The Grade 1 City of Washington Pipe Band of Washington, DC, is preparing for the 2008 competition season with the most change the band has seen since its move to the top grade after winning the 1999 Grade 2 contest at the World Pipe Band Championships.
Twenty-five-year-old Dan Lyden of Baltimore (pictured right) has taken over the pipe-major role, replacing long-serving leader Mike Green. Green voluntarily stepped down after the birth of a son in the fall and a continually grueling work schedule. He had led the band since 1990. A professional-class solo piper, Lyden was the band's pipe-sergeant in 2007 and has been with the band since 2002.City of Washington's new Pipe-Sergeant is Derek Midgley of New Jersey, who joined the band in 2004. Midgley has played a significant role in the band's tune selections and arrangements.
The band reports that it has added five new pipers to its ranks, mainly from the Guilford & Glencoe District Juvenile Pipe Band.With the Oran Mor Pipe Band's promotion to Grade 1, City of Washington has increased opportunity to compete, starting with the Fairhill games on May 17th in Maryland. The band plans to compete at the North American Championships at Maxville, Ontario, in August, and is looking at returning to the World Championships in 2009.
"We are also thrilled that Oran Mor has been upgraded and there will now be Grade 1 band competitions on the US East Coast," Lyden said. "This will no doubt be a huge boost to the standard of American pipe band playing."Green commented: "The transition has been good and it is nice to play in a band that has peaceful transfers of power. The hardest part is not tapping my foot, but I'm working on it.
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