Running a World’s-travelling competing band is an expensive endeavor in any location, with UK-based bands having to cover the cost of buses and ferries and those from elsewhere getting together the $50-100,000 to fly to and stay in Glasgow.
Two groups, College of Piping Pipe from Summerside, Prince Edward Island, and the City of Dunedin organization from Florida, are both making a last-ditch run at raising the funds in novel ways.
The Grade 3 College of Piping Pipe Band has just posted “Celtic Reverie,” a 30″ x 26″ oil on canvas painting by artist Grace Curtis for auction on eBay. Curtis created the work – which depicts band members Shanae Rogers and Logan Doyle and Highland dancer Hayley Porter – after she heard about the band’s need for funds on CBC Radio, with all proceeds going to the band. The painting has a reserve price of $1,500 and the auction closes on July 8.
According to Pipe-Major James MacHattie, the band has nearly reached its fundraising goal, and hope that the auction will put them over the top. The band plans to compete at North Berwick and Bridge of Allan in Grade 3 and in Grade 3B at the World Championships.
Meanwhile, about 3,200 kilometres away, the City of Dunedin organization faces a similar funding challenge as it needs to outfit and get its Grade 3 and Grade 4 bands to Scotland, and they are holding a raffle for a brand new set of set of McCallum AB4 Deluxe Celtic Edition pipes.
Raffle tickets are a recommended price of $20 each, with the pipes holding a retail value of about $1,600.
City of Dunedin has enjoyed a resurgence of success after new director and Grade 3 Pipe-Major Iain Donaldson was awarded the position vacated by the late Sandy Keith. The bands also plan to compete at North Berwick, Bridge of Allan and the World’s.
The College of Piping band will perform at George Square on August 8th as part of Piping Live!, and City of Dunedin will be featured at “Piping on the Clyde” on August 8th.
Travelling to the Scotland to compete has become more expensive than ever, and an increasing number of bands are choosing either to skip their more local competitions or opt out of Scotland altogether. For the first time since the 1980s, no Grade 1 bands from Australia will make the trip to this year’s World’s.