Vale of Atholl appoint David Richardson as Leading Drummer


David Richardson has been appointed as Leading Drummer of Perthshire’s top pipe band organisation, the Vale of Atholl.

David is well known in pipe band circles, having started at Selkirk Pipe Band almost 30 years ago under the tutelage of Drum Major Stuart Fleming BEM, before progressing to Grade 1 bands.

David said: “I am delighted to be joining the Vale. The band has always been one that has caught my attention over the years, and I have been following the band’s current rebuilding project closely. I am extremely excited about working with Mark [Stewart, Pipe Major] and Roddy [Weir, Pipe Sergeant] to help the band in its next step. I would also like to thank Alistair ‘Bongo’ McNab for all the hard work that he has put it over the last few years, and I look forward to also working with him to push the band on to the next level.”

David joined the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards at the age of 16 before joining Ian Duncan’s Lothian & Borders Police, then Central Scotland Police. He then spent three seasons in Grade 1 with Denny & Dunipace under the leadership of Arthur Cook.

Until recently, David was Leading Drummer with Ullapool & District, a key element to the Wester Ross outfit winning the Grade 4A World Championships, as well as leading the drum corps to the Champion of Champions title. David told “As this was a drum corps made up of mainly kids, this has to be one of my proudest achievements within pipe bands.”

He then led the Grade 2 Bucksburn & District’s drum corps for three seasons. Richardson is currently spending a lot of time in Perthshire, working as the lead drumming instructor for Strathallan School, situated very close to Perth, where the Vale of Atholl practices.

A spokesman for the Vale told “We’re delighted to welcome such an experienced and well respected drummer to lead our Grade 3 band. Not many bands can say they have someone who is also a very good piper as its Leading Drummer*

“At the same time we want to acknowledge and thank most sincerely Bongo McNab for his dedication to the entire organisation from a very young age. Due to workload he has decided to step down as our leading tip but will remain a member of David’s corps and we thank him for this.

“He has been a phenomenal – legendary even – member of this organisation and we will be forever grateful to him for everything he has achieved over the years, both as a Drummer and on more than one occasion, as a Leading Drummer.”

The Vale of Atholl’s Grade 1 band for many years practiced at the Tulloch Institute in Perth while the remainder of the organisation practiced half an hour away at a state school in Pitlochry. During lockdown, when all schools closed, the entire organisation relocated to the Tulloch Institute.

The organisation appointed Mark Stewart as Pipe Major of its Grade 3 band in September 2019. Roddy Weir joined as Pipe Sergeant in October 2022. Weir is now also Pipe Major of the Vale’s Grade 4 band and Lead Tutor for the organisation.

  • David Richardson is a member of the National Piping Centre’s CLASP. In addition to the snare drum, he took up the chanter as a youngster in the Selkirk Pipe Band. Read his profile here.