Richard Parkes MBE received an honourary PhD today at a graduation ceremony at Queen’s University, Belfast.
After the ceremony five pipers from Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band surprised him on the lawn outside the building.
Parkes, the legendary Pipe Major of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band since 1981, is the most successful Pipe Major in the pipe band world. He is aiming for a record-breaking 13 World Pipe Band Championships this August.
Queen’s University awards honorary degrees, “to individuals who have achieved high distinction or given significant service in one or more fields of public or professional life, and who serve as ambassadors for the University and Northern Ireland around the world.” Parkes’ award is a DLit (Mus) for services to music.
This is the first time that someone from the pipe band world has been recognised within academia in Northern Ireland for services to music.