P/M Richard Parkes MBEPiper Richard Parkes is probably best known in his position as Pipe Major of Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band, a role he took over in 1981 when the band were grade 2. He came up through the ranks of the band and was originally taught by Sandy Cummings in the early 70's who was Pipe Major at that time.
The band has a formidable record under Richard's leadership, Achieving grade 1 status in 1986 and winning their first major title at Cowal in 1990. In the 90's the band went on to win a total of 13 major championships, including 2 World and 4 Cowal titles. They were in the prize list in all of the Championships in which they competed in the 90's, a total of 47 top six prizes, indicating incredible consistency. By 1998 the band had also won a records 11 consecutive All Ireland titles.
After suffering a stroke in March 2004, Parkes took a leave of absence as Pipe-Major of Field Marshal Montgomery, handing the temporary reins to Alistair Dunn. Unable to play for months, Parkes had regained enough strength by June to assist at practices and at larger competitions. His goal of taking his band onto the field at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow in August was realized and he led Field Marshal Montgomery to a decisive win of the pipe band world's biggest title.
In June 2004 Parkes was awarded an MBE
Richard Parkes appears on 'The Piping Centre 1998 Recital Series Vol I' (Temple Records COMD2087)