Award for dedicated Pipe Major

May 4, 2021

Pipe Major Jason Sumner has received a Lord Lieutenant’s Award for Meritorious Service to the Combined Cadet Force (CCF).
Jason was recruited by Robert Gordon’s College to be CCF School Staff Instructor (SSI) and also Officer In Charge of Piping Instruction and the CCF Pipe Band when he left his position as Senior Pipe Major in the Army in 2014. 
The citation for his award reads as follows.

Proving to be an exceptional colleague with boundless energy and drive, Jason is a tremendous asset to the CCF and the College through the numerous ways he contributes to school life.
In his SSI role, he has demonstrated great enthusiasm and initiative, assuming several management and instructional roles well beyond the scope of his employment. He seeks out opportunities for cadets and promotes initiatives ranging from adventurous training to charity work, having for example motivated cadets to raise over £1,200 for “Walking with The Wounded” in December 2020. 
His main contribution, though, has been in achieving his stated aim to establish RGC as a centre of excellence for piping and drumming within five years. RGC now has 130 musicians involved in weekly lessons, progressing to one of the school’s two Pipe Bands when appropriate. Warrant Officer Class 1 Sumner has personally recruited a team of five visiting and part-time piping and drumming instructors to cater for pupils from Primary 5 upwards, making piping and drumming music at the very centre of school life. 
The bands have a highly visual presence in the city and beyond, having performed at a wide variety of prominent events including official city events, competitions and Highland Games. Wherever they perform, the musicians are a tremendous advertisement for the school, young people in general and the Cadet Forces.
The development of piping and drumming has been nothing short of phenomenal and is one of the greatest success stories of the school in recent years. It is of course true to say that activities in 2020 and 2021 have been limited, but Jason’s determination to maintain momentum through virtual lessons in term time and throughout holiday periods has ensured that all are in great spirits and totally committed to returning to a very full and exciting musical programme when this becomes possible again.