Good news for Argyll from the European Pipe Band Championships

The European Championships were held in a new venue this year – Grant Park at Forres in Moray. The news from the sharp end of competition is that the venue was excellent, with great facilities and the weather, although overcast, was largely dry.

The headline news is that Argyll’s premier band, the only one in Grade 1, Inveraray & Grade 1 Band achieved its best yet result playing at the highest level. They came second to the long time awesome band from Northern Ireland, Field Marshall Montgomery. The details are below but this is a result to warm Argyll, promising well for the remaining major contests of the season the Scottish Championships at Levengrove in Dunbarton on 27th July; the World Championships at Glasgow Green on 17th and 18th August; and the Cowal Championships in Dunoon on 31st August.

Argyll band results

Nine Argyll bands made the journey north east to Forres for the Europeans yesterday and this is how they fared.

Grade Juvenile

In the first major championships of the year, the British, in May at Bathgate, George Watson’s College took first in the Juvenile contest, with Dollar Academy in second and Inveraray & District in third, followed by George Heriot’s School in fourth, Kintyre Schools in fifth and Oban High School in sixth, with two other entrants behind them in a field of eight.

Yesterday, in a field of seven, all that changed for the Argyll bands was that George Heriot’s School leapfrogged Inveraray & District to third place, with Kintyre schools and Oban High School holding their previous positions.

The Inveraray band played at 12 noon, turning in a sound musical performance in their March, Strathspey & Reel.

The marks given below, represent the placings out of a field of 7 awarded in order by the First Piping Judge; the Second Piping Judge; the Drumming Judge; and the Ensemble Judge; and the total mark. Where two bands tie in their total marks, the one with the best mark for Ensemble playing takes the higher of the two places.

  • Inveraray & District: 4th – 4, 5, 4, 3, 16, playing above their place in Ensemble.
  • Kintyre Schools: 5th – 5, 2, 5, 6, 18, playing three places up for the Second Piping Judge.
  • Oban High School: 6th – 6, 7, 7, 4, 24, playing two places up for the Ensemble Judge.

Grade 3A

The Argyll Bands playing in this grade were from one of our west coast islands, our Clyde island and the Cowal peninsula which commands much of the Firth of Clyde. All three bands improved their performances from the British Championships in May. IN a field of 17 then, Isle of Islay came 8th then; Rothesay & District came 14th and Cowal 15th. Yesterday, in a field of 13:

  • Isle of Islay: 4th – 4, 5, 6, 3, 18, playing above their place in their ensemble work.
  • Cowal: 8th – 13, 11, 3, 9, 36, finishing in equal 8th place with the Fife band, Peter Vardy Glenrothes & District 2010 – and taking 8th because of their superior mark for Ensemble playing
  • Rothesay and District: 11th: 10, 9, 10, 10, 39, playing above their place across the board – just  not as much higher as the band placed immediately above them.

Grade 2

In this grade there were local interests in the bands from Lomond and Clyde in East Argyll and from Oban in North Argyll. Lomond and Clyde came second in a field of 13 at the Europeans in May, finishing 6 points behind first placed Buchan Peterson. Yesterday, in a field of 10, they finished second behind the same band – but had cut their lead to a single point with a markedly improved performance, as the marks below demonstrate. Oban moved up from 10th at the Europeans to 4th yesterday, with a really good all round performance across the disciplines.

  • Lomond and Clyde: 2nd – 3, 1, 3, 1, 8
  • Oban: 4th – 4, 6, 4, 5, 19,

Grade 1

At the 2012 World Championships, Inveraray & District Grade 1 Band finished in fourth place, behind first placed Field Marshall Montgomery, Scottish Power in 2nd, Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia in 3rd, with St Laurence O’Toole behind them in 5th and the renowned Simon Fraser University from Canada in 6th.

At the European Championships in May 2013, they came third, behind Boghall and Bathgate Caledoinia in 2nd and Field Marshall Montgomery in 1st – leaving St Laurence O Toole in their wake in 4th and Scottish Power in 5th.

Yesterday they led Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia who came 3rd, St Laurence O’Toole 4th and Scottish Power in 6th.

  • Inveraray & District:  2nd – 2, 2, 2, 3, 9

Their marks a month ago, for third place at the British Championships were 2, 3, 5, 5, 15 – making interesting evidence of the tightening up of their performance as the season progresses.

Out of interest, the winning Field Marshall Montgomery’s score yesterday was 1, 1, 1, 2, 5 – with Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia taking first place for their Ensemble work.

The Grade 1 band contest was later in the afternoon. It is based on each competing band’s submission of two different medleys of their own choice of tunes, with the one actually played chosen by a draw ‘on the line’. The Inverary band drew their new Medley for 2013 which, encouragingly, was very well-received by the judges and the crowd.

The next major competition is the Scottish Championships at Levengrove on 27th July.

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