pipes|drums has learned that the RSPBA’s Music Board has recommended that Torphichen & Bathgate of Scotland and Bagad Cap Caval of Brittany should be promoted to Grade 1, pending approval by the RSPBA’s National Council.
Torphichen & Bathgate won the Champion of Champions title in Grade 2 in 2008, winning three major championships. The band also secured the Grade 2 Champion of Champions Drumming award for most overall points across the five major championships.
Bagad Cap Caval won the Grade 2 event at the World Pipe Band Championships. It is the first Breton band to be officially recognized by the RSPBA as Grade 1.
National Council approval is generally a formality.
The Torphichen upgrade would bring the number of Grade 1 bands based in Scotland to 10.
Established in 1902, Torphichen is one of the older civilian bands in the world. The band is led by Pipe-Major Gordon Stafford. Bagad Cap Caval, led by Herev le Floc’h, also won the Breton Championships this year.
Torphichen & Bathgate reached Grade 1 in 1990, but returned to Grade 2 a year later, and took a hiatus from competition for several years in the mid-1990s before resuming in Grade 2 in 1996.