Since the Pipes and Drums of the Edmonton Police Service began in 1961, there have only been five Pipe Majors and three Drum Majors. During the first year of the band George Tripplet was the acting Drum Major until PM Paddy Bawn took over permanently. George Tripplet came from the British military and last worked the Chiefs office before resigning and moving to B.C. As he was Drum Major in an acting capacity he is not formally included on this page. Here is a brief history of each of Pipe and Drum Majors.
The Pipe Major is normally responsible for the selection, compilation and arrangement of tunes for the band’s repertoire and acting as the musical director and leader at rehearsals. They manage and coordinate the performance schedule and help with the recruitment and training of new pipers. The Pipe Major is in charge of the pipe section of the Band and calls the tune selections when on parade.
The Drum Major is in charge of the drum section of the band and is the leader of a pipe band when on parade. He is positioned in front of the band and is often dressed in a more ornate uniform than the rest of the band or corps. He is responsible for providing marching commands that directs the band’s conduct when on parade.
The Pipe Major and Drum Major coordinate their responsibilities and activities to provide joint leadership of the band.
Pipe Major Jim Rodger
In 1952 Jim was one of twelve men and one woman who were recruited by the City of Edmonton Police Force. He had been a member of the City of Glasgow Force in Scotland. Jim quickly rose through the ranks and became Deputy Chief in 1977. He retired at that rank in 1991 and spent his spare time golfing, gardening, and as a member of the R.C.A.F. Reserve and The Edmonton Flying Club.
Jim was one of founders of the current Pipes and Drums of the Edmonton Police Service in 1959. He was the first pipe major of the band and played with the band until 1964 when he was promoted to Inspector. With his promotion, Jim became the Band Officer, replacing Inspector Dave Burns in that capacity. He served as Band Officer until his retirement from the service in July of 1986.
Pipe Major John Izatt
John was one of the Canadian Army members who were sent to form, with the Americans, the First Special Service Force, (The Devils Brigade). John served overseas during W.W.II and on his return to Canada, joined The Edmonton Police Department in 1948. John was also one of the founding members of the band and served as Pipe Sergeant until he took over as Pipe Major from Jim Rodger in 1964. John was Pipe Major of the band until he retired from band activities in January 1973. John retired from the Police Department as an Inspector in 1981.
Pipe Major Dave Scott
Dave Scott took over as Pipe Major of the band upon the retirement of John Izatt in January, 1973. He was involved in the selection, compilation and arrangement of tunes for the band’s repertoire, many of which we still play today. Dave was the Pipe Major when the band was asked to join the N.O.R.A.D. Canadian/American military brass band in a performance at the Jubilee Auditorium in 1980. He also had the pleasure of piping Prince Charles and Princess Diana to dinner during their visit to Canada in the summer of 1983. Later in 1983 Dave piped the Queen Mother to a luncheon during her visit to Canada. As musical director, Dave was involved in recruiting many of the pipers who are still active in the band today.
Pipe Major Scott retired from band activities in January of 1984. He retired from the Edmonton Police Service as an Inspector in October 1990.
Pipe Major James McKee
James McKee joined the Edmonton Police Service in 1979 after having played many years with pipe bands in the Edmonton area. James was a competitive piper and quickly moved through the band ranks to the position of Pipe Major in 1984. James is responsible for the selection of tunes and sets that form the band’s repertoire. He is also responsible for the selection of marching routines in cooperation with the Drum Major.
James retired from the Edmonton PS in 2012 and continued to perform the duties of Pipe Major for 36 years until January 2020 when he turned the duties over to Cst. Dale McDonald. James continues to play with the pipe band as Pipe Major Emeritus. Scroll down to see photos of the 2020 ceremony.
Pipe Major Dale McDonald
The year PM McKee was celebrating his first promotion to PM, Pipe Sgt Dale McDonald was celebrating his first birthday. Dale McDonald joined the Edmonton Police Service in 2003 and soon after became a member of the Pipes and Drums. Dales commitment was demonstrated very early on and in 2017 he was promoted to Pipe Corporal and in 2019 he received another bump to Pipe Sgt.
Dale’s unwavering commitment to this band, the people in it, and its role as a key ambassador to the EPS are some reasons why his peers have offered him the opportunity to be our leader. To see some photos of the change of command ceremony at the 2020 Robbie Burns Dinner, scroll to the bottom of this page.
In 1950 Paddy joined the Ulster Constabulary where he served until 1956 when he emigrated to Canada and joined the Edmonton Police Department. He served with the Edmonton Police Service from March 1956 until January 1993 when he retired at the the rank of Inspector. He was the Drum Major from its inception until his last parade during the last week of November 1998 when they were entertaining shut-in’s at extended care facilities in the Edmonton area.
Drum Major Langford Bawn
Langford Bawn followed in the footsteps of his father P.J. Bawn and joined the Edmonton Police Service in 1986. Langford was already an accomplished piper and took over the Drum Major duties in 1999. He turned the Drum Major duties over to DM Lange in 2010. Langford was promoted to Corps. Sgt. Major in 2012 and continues to play with the band as a piper.
Drum Major Marv Lange
In 1975 Marv joined the Edmonton City Police and later retired as a Detective in 2008. While with the Service, Marv then joined the Pipes and Drums of the Edmonton Police Service in 1978 and took up Bass and Tenor drumming. Except for a 4 year absence Marv was the Bass Drummer until his promotion to Drum Major in 2010. Being the third Drum Major for the Band and in his retirement, Marv remains an active member of the Band and still assumes both duties as required.
Pipe Major Change of Command January 2020