At the European Pipe Band Championships at Forres today, 25th June, Inveraray & District Pipe Band laid down more proof of their progress to focused competitiveness in this year’s World Championships in Glasgow in August.
They won the Grade 1 drumming contest – the equal best performance by their drum corps [led by multiple world champion drummer, Steven McWhirter] in the 2016 major championships campaign. They also won the drumming in the first major of the seasons, the British Championships.
The band as a whole, in the Grade 1 challenge under their celebrated Pipe Major, Stuart Liddell, came joint second in points – 10 – as Northern Ireland’s Field Marshal Montgomery band. Inveraray were, however, placed third because, in the event of a tie in any place, the band with the best score from the judge of the ensemble playing takes precedence. Playing as an ensemble is what a band is centrally all about.
The band placed first today was Dublin’s St Laurence O’Toole band, with 5 points – and it is worth noting that the fourth placed band, Shotts and Dykehead, was, with 17 points, some distance behind Field Marshall Montgomery and Inveraray, with 10 points each.
In the top three bands, St Laurence O’Toole was placed first in piping by both piping judges; with Field Marshal Montgomery and Inveraray each placed second by one of the two piping judges.
Inveraray took the drumming contest, with St Laurence O’Toole in second and Field Marshal Montgomery third.
St Laurence O’Toole was first for its ensemble playing, Field Marshal Montgomery second and Inveraray third – and therefore third overall.
A warning sign for the talented local band though is the fact that their outright win in Grade 1 came in the first of the three majors this year at the British Championships in May – with Field Marshal Montgomery in second and St Laurence O’Toole third.
At the second major championship, the UK on 11th June, Field Marshal Montgomery took the win and Inveraray came second, with St Laurence O’ Toole dropping to sixth but bouncing back triumphantly to win today.
At today’s European Championships, the performance of other Argyll bands was:
- Novice Grade A: Oban High School came 6th of the 11 bands competing in this grade; and Dunoon Grammar School came 9th.
- Grade 2: Oban came 9th of the 17 competing bands; and Isle if Islay came 16th.