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Pipe Major for The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, Richard Parkes MBE is receiving the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) from Ulster University today for services to pipe band music nationally and internationally.

One of the leading pipe bands in the world and the most successful from Northern Ireland, under Richard’s leadership and 45 years after its inception, the band won its first major title at the Cowal Championships Scotland in 1990. Never looking back, they have gone on to win every major championship title available including 12 World Pipe Band Championships, 3 ‘Grand Slams’, 14 Champions of Champions titles, 25 All Ireland Championships and 60 RSPBA major championship titles. In total winning more major championships than any other pipe band in history.

Leading tirelessly from his appointment in 1981 Richard, an engineer by trade, was awarded an MBE in 2004 for his services to pipe band music in Northern Ireland.  His commitment is such that even after suffering a stroke in the same year he returned within the season to lead the band to victory at their last three championships, including the band’s fourth World Championship title. The great respect for Richard from within his own band and from his competitors is as much a part of the band’s hallmark as is its list of prizes.

Richard said:

“I am delighted to receive an honorary degree from Ulster University in recognition of my achievements in music. Leading the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band has been a true privilege and it has allowed me to travel the world and represent Northern Ireland on a global platform. It is a great honour to be among this prominent group of honorary graduates and I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to all students graduating today.”