Richard Parkes (piper)

Richard Parkes MBE (born 29 January 1960) is a bagpiper from Northern Ireland and pipe major of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.

Richard Parkes
Born (1960-01-29) January 29, 1960 (age 61)
Occupation(s)Engineer
InstrumentsBagpipes
Associated actsField Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band

LifeEdit

Parkes was born in Belfast on 29 January 1960.[1]

He started playing in Raffrey Pipe Band at the age of 9, and received tuition from Sandy Cummings. After taking a break of a few months, he returned to the band in 1971, by which time Raffrey had merged with Field Marshal Montgomery to become Freymont, in Grade 3. In 1976 it was decided to reform the band as Field Marshal Montgomery owing to the balance of players in Freymont. The band achieved promotion to Grade 2 under the leadership of Ricky Newell, but in the middle of 1981 Newell left after a disagreement and Parkes became pipe major.[1][2] Field Marshal was promoted to Grade 1 at the end of 1985, won its first World Championship in 1992, and won every Major Championship in 1993.[3]

Parkes suffered a stroke in March 2004, and Alastair Dunn led the band to victory at the European Championships in his absence, before Parkes returned to lead the band to victory at the World Championships in August.[4][5] He has said that as a result of the stroke he has to concentrate harder on his own playing in order to not make mistakes.[6]

Under Parkes' leadership Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band has won 65 Major Championship titles as of 2016, and is the only pipe band in history to have won all five Championships in a year twice.[7]

He has a Master of Science degree in Polymer Engineering and works for Bombardier Aerospace.[1] Parkes married his wife Ruth in 2000.[8][1]

Parkes has been conferred two doctoral degrees honorem causa. On 01 July 2019, Queens University Belfast conferred a Doctor of Literature for services to music. On 04 July 2019, Ulster University conferred a Doctor of Letters for services to pipe band music nationally and internationally.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Richard Parkes: The pipes-drums Interview – Part 1". pipesdrums.com. Retrieved 20 August 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE, MSc". fmmpb.com. Retrieved 20 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "History". fmmpb.com. Retrieved 21 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Richard Parkes recovering from stroke". pipesdrums.com. 31 March 2004. Retrieved 20 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "2004 New Year's Honours". pipesdrums.com. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 20 August 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Richard Parkes: The pipes-drums Interview – Part 3". pipesdrums.com. Retrieved 21 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band wins ninth world championship". bbc.co.uk. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE" (PDF). atlantapipingfoundation.com. Retrieved 21 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)