World Pipe Band Championships

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The World Pipe Band Championships is a pipe band competition currently held in Glasgow, Scotland every August. The event has been operating regularly since 1930, when the Scottish Pipe Band Association (today known as the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association) was formed. For competitive bands, the title of World Champion is highly coveted, and this event is seen as the culmination of a year's worth of preparation, rehearsal and practice.

Until 2013, the entirety of the World Championships has taken place on one day in August, the current venue being Glasgow Green. Typically several hundred bands attend, traveling from all over the world. Competition commences at 9AM. Depending on the size of the grade - or in the case of Grade One, where a band has not previously secured automatic qualification - bands are required to perform in a qualifying round which takes place in the morning. The top bands at the end of the qualifying round play in a second event in the afternoon to determine the winner.

To win, Grade One bands must perform in two events, a March, Strathspey & Reel event (known as a "set" or "MSR") which consists of three pre-arranged tunes, and a Medley event, which consists of a short selection of music chosen and arranged by the band.

Currently holding the title is the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern Ireland, which won five out of ten from 2002 to 2011 and retained the title in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

New Format[edit]

Starting in 2013, the World Championships will be held over two days.[1] For all but Grade One bands, the competition will remain as it previously was, with each grade competing in morning qualifiers and afternoon finals on either Saturday or Sunday. For Grade One, all the bands (there will be no more automatic qualifiers for the finals) will be required to compete in a qualifying round on Saturday, playing an MSR and a Medley. The 12 bands that qualify for the finals will then play a different MSR and Medley in Sunday's final for the championship.

In 2014, the schedule was changed to hold the Grade 1 qualifying rounds on Friday, and the Grade 1 finals along with the lower grade qualifiers and finals on Saturday.[2]

Competition grade system[edit]

Prizes at the World's are awarded in the following eight categories:[3]

  • Grade One
  • Grade Two
  • Grade Three "A"
  • Grade Three "B"
  • Juvenile
  • Grade Four "A"
  • Grade Four "B"
  • Novice Juvenile

In the Novice Juvenile and Juvenile categories, band members must be under the age of eighteen, with the exception of one "adult" player, often instructors, who may serve as the Pipe Major or Pipe Sergeant. The remaining categories have no age restriction, but are based on proficiency. Grade One is the highest of these categories, and Novice is the lowest. Grading and eligibility are overseen by the RSPBA, and bands must apply for downgrading or upgrading.[4]

Because of time constraints, the RSPBA uses "A" and "B" designations in Grade 3 and 4, for major competitions. By doing this, bands are grouped based on prior-years' performances, and can receive promotions within their respective grade. It is also important to note that these vary slightly throughout the world. For example, in North America, many regional associations have implemented Grade Five, an entry-level Grade, intended to help bands familiarize themselves with competition and in Australia, New Zealand and Northern Ireland there is no Novice grade at all. There is also no Juvenile grade in Northern Ireland.

World Pipe Band Championships Results[edit]

The highly coveted Grade One title remained in Scotland until 1987, when the Canadian 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band became the first overseas band to win the award. In recent years, the title has travelled to Canada a further 6 times with Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, Northern Ireland 10 times with the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, Australia with the Victoria Police Pipe Band in 1998, and, the Republic of Ireland with the St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band in 2010. The most successful pipe bands in this competition remain the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band (known as City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band from 1912 to 1975) winning 20 times, and, the House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band (winning fifteen times). Other multiple World Champions include the Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band (8 times), the Clan MacRae Pipe Band (8 times), and the Edinburgh Police Pipe Band (7 times).

Year 1st place 2nd place 3rd place
2014 Field Marshal Montgomery Inveraray & District St. Laurence O'Toole
2013 Field Marshal Montgomery Boghall & Bathgate ScottishPower Pipe Band
2012 Field Marshal Montgomery ScottishPower Pipe Band Simon Fraser University
2011 Field Marshal Montgomery Simon Fraser University ScottishPower Pipe Band
2010 St. Laurence O'Toole Field Marshal Montgomery Simon Fraser University [nb 1]
2009 Simon Fraser University Field Marshal Montgomery St. Laurence O'Toole
2008 Simon Fraser University Field Marshal Montgomery House of Edgar - Shotts & Dykehead
2007 Field Marshal Montgomery Simon Fraser University House of Edgar - Shotts & Dykehead
2006 Field Marshal Montgomery Simon Fraser University House of Edgar - Shotts & Dykehead
2005 House of Edgar - Shotts & Dykehead Field Marshal Montgomery Simon Fraser University
2004 Field Marshal Montgomery Simon Fraser University House of Edgar - Shotts & Dykehead
2003 House of Edgar - Shotts & Dykehead Field Marshal Montgomery Simon Fraser University
2002 Field Marshal Montgomery Simon Fraser University Shotts & Dykehead
2001 Simon Fraser University Shotts & Dykehead Field Marshal Montgomery
2000 Shotts & Dykehead Field Marshal Montgomery Simon Fraser University
1999 Simon Fraser University Shotts & Dykehead Field Marshal Montgomery
1998 Victoria Police Shotts & Dykehead Field Marshal Montgomery
1997 Shotts & Dykehead Simon Fraser University Victoria Police
1996 Simon Fraser University Field Marshal Montgomery Shotts & Dykehead
1995 Simon Fraser University Field Marshal Montgomery Shotts & Dykehead
1994 Shotts & Dykehead Boghall & Bathgate Victoria Police
1993 Field Marshal Montgomery Shotts & Dykehead Boghall & Bathgate
1992 Field Marshal Montgomery Strathclyde Police Victoria Police
1991 Strathclyde Police Polkemmet Grorud Power of Scotland
1990 Strathclyde Police Power Of Scotland ScotRail Vale Of Atholl
1989 Strathclyde Police Power Of Scotland ScotRail Vale Of Atholl
1988 Strathclyde Police Simon Fraser University 78th Fraser Highlanders
1987 78th Fraser Highlanders Simon Fraser University Strathclyde Police
1986 Strathclyde Police 78th Fraser Highlanders Boghall & Bathgate
1985 Strathclyde Police Simon Fraser University Polkemmet Grorud
1984 Strathclyde Police Shotts & Dykehead 78th Fraser Highlanders
1983 Strathclyde Police Boghall & Bathgate Shotts & Dykehead
1982 Strathclyde Police Boghall & Bathgate Dysart and Dundonald
1981 Strathclyde Police Shotts & Dykehead Boghall & Bathgate
1980 Shotts & Dykehead Strathclyde Police Polkemmet Colliery
1979 Strathclyde Police
1978 Dysart and Dundonald Strathclyde Police
1977 Dysart and Dundonald Strathclyde Police Shotts & Dykehead
1976 Strathclyde Police
1975 Edinburgh Police Pipe Band
1974 Shotts & Dykehead Dysart and Dundonald Pipe Band
1973 Shotts & Dykehead
1972 Edinburgh Police Pipe Band
1971 Edinburgh Police Pipe Band Shotts & Dykehead City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band
1970 Shotts & Dykehead
1969 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band
1968 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band
1967 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band Invergordon Distillery Pipe Band
1966 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band
1965 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band
1964 Edinburgh Police Pipe Band
1963 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band
1962 277 Btn. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
1961 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band
1960 Shotts & Dykehead Bucksburn & District Pipe Band
1959 Shotts & Dykehead
1958 Shotts & Dykehead
1957 Shotts & Dykehead
1956 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band
1955 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band
1954 Edinburgh Police Pipe Band Red Hackle Pipes & Drums
1953 Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1952 Shotts & Dykehead
1951 City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band
1950 Edinburgh Police Pipe Band
1949 City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band
1948 Shotts & Dykehead
1947 Bowhill Colliery Pipe Band Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1946 City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band
1945 - 1940 (No Championships were held during World War II)
1939 City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band Glasgow Corporation Transport Edinburgh Police Pipe Band
1938 City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band Glasgow Corporation Transport Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1937 City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band
1936 City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band
1935 MacLean Pipe Band
1934 Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1933 Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1932 Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1931 Glasgow Corporation Transport
1930 Millhall Pipe Band
1929 Glasgow Corporation Transport
1928 MacLean Pipe Band
1927 MacLean Pipe Band Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1926 Millhall Pipe Band Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1925 Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1924 Millhall Pipe Band Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1923 Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1922 Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1921 Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band
1920 City of Glasgow Police Pipe Band
1919 Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band
1918 - 1914 (No Championships were held during World War I)
1913 7th Battalion Highland Light Infantry
1912 5th Battalion Highland Light Infantry
1911 5th Battalion Highland Light Infantry
1910 5th Battalion Highland Light Infantry
1909 Stonehouse Pipe Band
1908 5th Battalion Highland Light Infantry
1907 3rd Volunteer Battalion H.L.I.
1906 1st Volunteer Battalion H.L.I. Govan Police 3rd Volunteer Battalion H.L.I. Queen's R.V.B. (Royal Scots) -tied for 3rd

Most Successful Bands[edit]

The following is a list of some of the most successful pipe bands at the world championships.

Place Band Wins
1 Strathclyde Police Pipe Band 20
2 Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band 15
3 Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band 10
3 Clan McCrae Pipe Band 8
3 Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band 8
6 Simon Fraser University 6

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The results were originally announced with Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia in 3rd place, but the RSPBA website states that "Simon Fraser University from Canada took 3rd spot on an Ensemble Preference from 4th placed Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia. Unfortuately this was announced the wrong way around and we apologise to both bands for this error."

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Pipe Band Championships 2013 - Two Day Format
  2. ^ The Worlds 2014
  3. ^ RSPBA - The Heart of the Pipe Band World
  4. ^ RSPBA - The Heart of the Pipe Band World

External links[edit]