•Pipe Major Roddy Weir

Roddy Weir, ex-Pipe Major of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, and former member of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards plus Grade 1 civilian bands, has been appointed as the lead tutor of the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band.

In addition, the Fife-based piping instructor takes over from Gary Nimmo as Pipe Major of the Perthshire outfit’s Grade 4 band.

A spokesman for the band, said: “Roddy has been Pipe Sergeant of our Grade 3 band for the past couple of years and was one of the key factors in our successes this season [the Vale won two of the major championships in Grade 3a]. His appointment to take over from Gary was really a no-brainer for us. Roddy is vastly experienced as a piper, Pipe Major and a piping tutor. To say we are delighted he accepted this appointment would be an understatement.”

Roddy Weir and Mark Stewart of the Vale of Atholl, pictured at Gourock earlier this year after the band took the British Pipe Band Championships.

Weir works at Fife Council as a full-time piping instructor in its schools. He was taught at school in Dundee by Vale legend, Ian Duncan, and went on to play with MacKenzie Caledonia, Drambuie Kirkliston, Scottish Power, Shotts and Dykehead and Fife Police.

As a soloist Weir won many prizes including at the Argyllshire Gathering and the Northern Meeting as well as numerous contests elsewhere. Before retiring from the British Army, Weir was a Pipe Major at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming in Edinburgh.

The Vale appointed Gary Nimmo as its lead tutor and Grade 4 band Pipe Major in late 2019. A spokesman added: “We thank Gary for his excellent contribution over the last couple of years and he leaves with our very best wishes. We will miss him.”

Nimmo is a member of the Grade 1 Scottish Power Pipe Band and proprietor of Achiltibuie Bagpipe Specialists. He is also a member of Bagad Kemper, who were crowned Champion de Bretagne in August. He said: “I’ve had three great years there culminating with a very good 2022, taking prizes in all bar one of the contests. My sincere thanks go to all the band members for their hard work and efforts and I’ll look forward to seeing the Vale’s journey continue next year.”