World Pipe Band Championships 2007 Preview

The World Pipe Band Championships starts tomorrow! This is like the Super Bowl or World Series for competitive bagpipe bands. It's a one day event and takes place in Glasgow, Scotland. Tomorrow morning bands will compete in a qualifying round. The top bands will then move on to compete in a second round in the afternoon and then a winner is declared.

There are 8 different levels of competitive bands that compete, Grade One being the top level.

This competition started in 1930 and the Grade One title stayed in Scotland until 1987 when the Canadian 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band won it.

This year there will be 8,000 pipers and drummers (we can't forget them!) from 250 bands and 17 different countries. Let's have a look at the Grade One competition this year:

78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel – Canada
Australia Highlanders – Australia
Clan Gregor Society
St Laurence O’Toole – Eire
Robert Wiseman Dairies Vale of Atholl
Tayside Police
Dysart and Dundonald
Scottish Power
Strathclyde Police
The House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead
Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia
Lothian and Borders Police
Bleary and District
Field Marshal Montgomery
Alberta Caledonia Pipe Band – Canada
Ballindery Bridge Pipe Band
Manawatu Scottish Society Pipe Band – New Zealand
Scottish Lion – 78th Fraser Highlanders – Canada
Simon Fraser University – Canada
Los Angeles Scots – USA
Windsor Police – Canada

Bearing in mind that I really am a relative newbie in terms of looking at competitive piping, here are the bands too watch for at tomorrow's competition.

There are basically the "big three" in the world of bagpiping. These three bands have consistently fallen in the top three at the World Pipe Band Championship. Since 1998 each of these bands has placed somewhere in the top three, talk about domination!

The Big Three bands are:

Field Marshal Montgomery band from Northern Ireland. They won the European Championship earlier this year and they won the World's for the fifth time last year.

Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Canada. They placed second at the World's last year and have won the World's four times, the last time being in 2001. They are one of only three bands outside of the UK to have won at the Worlds.

The House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band, also known as Shotts and Dykehead. They placed third at the Worlds last year and won the Worlds fifteen times. The last time they won was in 2005. This band is also the oldest band, it was formed in 1910. They also placed third at the European Championships.

While these bands are considered to be the Big Three, I would also say that Strathclyde Police of Glasgow is a band to watch for. They are the world's most successful competitive band, having won the World Championships twenty times. The last time they won was in 1991, but they did place second at the European Championships this year. Pipes/Drums commissioned a panel of world experts for their picks, and guess what, they picked the Strathclyde Police band to win it all! They picked Field Marshal Montgomery for second, and Simon Fraser for third. You can read more about their findings here:

If you're interested in media coverage for the World Pipe Band Championships, check this web site out: If you don't have access to BBC television your best bet is to listen to the Pipeline on the BBC Radio Player online. It looks like you can listen to it live or just catch it on their site, they'll keep the feed up for 7 days. You can also use this site to access Radio Scotland which will have highlights from the competition on Sunday. This site will also have video clip highlights on Sunday.

Oh yes, and the picks from this rookie?? I'm going to agree with Pipes/Drums and go for the upset:
1. Strathclyde Police
2. Field Marshal Montgomery
3. Simon Fraser

While you're waiting for tomorrow, check out Field Marshal Montgomery after their win last year, you can literally feel their excitement at winning come through in their music!!

Pipe on!

1 comment:

Mircea said...

Thanks for writing this.

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