Doug Lawrie

Drum Major Doug Lawrie

Doug Lawrie was the drum tutor at the UQ Pipe Band from 1998 until 2007. More than half of the current drummers in the band learnt drums with Doug as their primary tutor.

The following text is an extract from a 2004 issue of the Fiat Lux, the Emmanuel College newsletter.

Doug Lawrie, the second youngest of eleven children, is now the kindly patriarch of five children, twelve grandchildren, and one great grandson, and as Tutor in Drumming, the ‘father figure’ to the Emmanuel College University of Queensland Pipe Band since its formation in 1998. Doug began playing drums at 8 years, tutored at the same time by his father, the late Pipe Major James Lawrie of Linlithgow, Scotland, in the art of playing the bagpipes. At age 17 Doug became Drum Sergeant of the then prize winning Grade 1 St Andrew’s Pipe Band, leading its drum section to many successes in State, Interstate and South Pacific championships in solo drumming.

In the early 1970s pipe bands ‘took a back seat’ as Doug, a Master Builder, became managing director of several companies, during which time he was elected a Fellow of the Australia Institute of Management. However, in 1981 he became Leading Drummer with the Queensland Police Pipe Band. In 1983, Doug accepted an offer from the Commissioner of Police to become fill-time Tutor and Leading Drummer of the Police Pipe Band, handing over administration of his substantial family construction business to his elder sons. In 1989, the Queensland Pipe Band re-entered the competition arena in Grade 3, and in the following years, under Doug’s guidance, the Police Drum Corps won State, Australian, and South Pacific Drumming Championships. Prior to this retirement in 1993, the Police Drum Corps competed in Grade 1, winning several completions. From 1988 to 1997, Doug was Vice Principal of Drumming at the Australia Federation of the Pipe Band College. In 1990, he achieve an honours result at the College’s highest level, with the distinction of being only the second in Australia to do so.

Over several years, Doug Lawrie performed with the Queensland Pops Orchestra in the Scotland the Brave productions. In 1993, he directed 200 drummers in an internationally televised production, The Drums of Ballymore, at a Wallabies v Springboks rugby test match. Doug Lawrie’s achievement and status in drumming was acknowledged in a book distributed world wide, nominating him as one of the world’s most influential drummers of the past century , the only Queensland, and one of only three Australians to be recognised in the book.

During his career Doug had tutored in excess of 300 individuals and 60 bands. Emmanuel College is proud and privileged to be associated with Drum Major Doug Lawrie and grateful for the wonderful service he has given and continues to give to our pipe band. Doug has composed two pieces for the band: one which features on the CD The White and the Blue entitled Drummers Fanfare: Salute to Principle Angus Edmonds (2003) and Emmanuel College (2004), a March in 6/8 for the pipe band. Drum Major Doug Lawrie presented a framed copy of Emmanuel College to Principal Edmonds at the Pipe Band Dinner (2004).