Police Scotland Fife appoint a new Pipe Sergeant

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Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band are delighted to announce the appointment of Greig Canning as Pipe Sergeant. Greig is current Pipe Major of Lochgelly High School Pipe Band and joins as a multiple World Pipe Band Champion with Inveraray and District Pipe Band as well as being a former Pipe Major of Dysart and Dundonald Pipe Band.

Pipe Major David Wilton said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Greig into the band as Pipe Sergeant. Greig and I have always had a great relationship centred around piping, having been taught by the same tutor, Walter Drysdale, and travelling the country together to compete in solos. Somehow, we have never played in the same band, so to be leading this great organisation together, alongside Mick is a dream come true. I have to say a massive thank you, and good luck, to my friend Bryan who has been a rock for Police Scotland Fife over the years and an absolutely fantastic Pipe Sergeant. I know he will make a huge success of Burntisland and District Pipe Band”.  

•Pipe Major David Wilton and Pipe Sergeant Bryan Spears lead Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band into their final medley performance at the World Pipe Band Championships in 2023. Photo: JohnSlavin @designfolk.com / Bagpipe.news

Greig takes over from Bryan Spears as he steps back to lead up a youth development programme at Burntisland & District Pipe Band. The announcement brings to an end Bryan Spears’ six years as Pipe Sergeant, which included 15 top six placings at major championships, with a top three placing at the UK Championship 2022.   Both Bryan and Greig live in Kirkcaldy, Fife, and are former members of the Lochgelly High School Programme. Together, the Burntisland & District and Lochgelly High School Programmes deliver tuition to over 200 young people in Fife. At the time of writing, collectively, the Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band membership provides tuition to over 750 young people in Central and East Scotland.

•Greig Canning with Dysart and Dundonald Pipe Band playing a solo in George Square at Piping Live! 2011. Photo: JohnSlavin @designfolk.com / Bagpipe.news

Greig said: “I’m absolutely delighted to join up with the band, taking over the mantle from Bryan who has been an admirable servant to the band for many years. I am really excited to play music with my long-standing friend David Wilton, and the rest of the pipe corps, many of whom I know well already. I am equally looking forward to being supported by a fantastic drum section lead by Mick O’ Neil, who I have long admired as a leader and educator in pipe band drumming. A special thanks must go to my old band, Inveraray and District, and the leadership team of Stuart Liddell, Alasdair Henderson and Steven McWhirter. I hope that I can bring some of the immense experience gained under their guidance back to Fife through my own teaching at Lochgelly High School as well as in this new role at Police Scotland Fife”.

•Bryan Spears, David Wilton and Greig Canning pictured at the Brechin Solo Piping and Drumming Contest, September 2023.

Former Pipe Sergeant, Bryan Spears said: “I am one of the last two original founding members of 16 years still playing with the band, the other is my brother. The young Burntisland team, including my daughters and nephew, had an outstanding season in 2023 and have been upgraded to Grade 3B for the 2024 season. Sadly, the rules on dual membership do not extent to Grade 3B so I have had to make the incredibly difficult decision to step away from Fife, for now. In 2023, Burntisland & District Pipe band won all championships entered in Grade 4A and were upgraded by the RSPBA to Grade 3B September 2023. Canning’s Lochgelly High School consistently placed in the top six of the Novice Juvenile Grade, placing second at the World Championships, being upgraded to Novice Juvenile A for the 2024 season. I am delighted that Greig is joining the Fife Leadership Team. David, Greig and I have been friends for many years. Greig will bring new ideas and experience from the top level, and, like me, he is a Fifer – what’s not to like! I would like to thank Douglas Murray, David Wilton and Mick O’Neill for giving me the opportunity to serve as Pipe Sergeant of this fantastic organisation – it has been 16 years well spent.”

Lead Drummer Mick O’Neill said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bryan for the colossal contribution that he has made to Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band over the last 16 years. We hope to see you back into the ranks again when the time is right. A very warm welcome to Greig, whom I’ve known for a very long time, as a friend and fellow teacher. I am very much looking forward to working with the Pipey and Greig, along with our great team at Fife, to bring much more success to the band”.

Chief Inspector Chris Dow, Vice President of the band said, “We would like to thank Bryan for all his hard work and dedication to the band and we wish him success as he focusses on youth development. We would also like to welcome Greig into his new role and congratulate him on his appointment”.

The band have started preparation for the 2024 competition season.

•Pipe Major David Wilton and Pipe Sergeant Bryan Spears lead Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band into their final medley performance at the World Pipe Band Championships in 2023. Photo: JohnSlavin @designfolk.com / Bagpipe.news