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Inspired by the long time success of the somewhat awkwardly titled “Pre-World’s” concert annually held at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall two days before each World Pipe Band Championships, the bi-annual Australian Pipe Band Championships will feature a “Pre-Aussies” concert the night before the April event in Ballarat, Victoria, by the Western Australia Police Pipe Band.
WAPOL won the last Australian Championships in 2012, also in Ballarat, and later in the year saw James Murray immigrate to Australia from Scotland to become pipe-major of the band.
According to the band, the Pre-Aussies concert at the Regent Theatre on April 11th will reflect material that the band featured on its Live at the Quarry recording, captured from its 2013 concert in Perth, Australia, along with new content for the Ballarat concert. A backing band comprising members of the pipe band will also be featured.
Tickets to the concert are priced at $30.
While the Western Australia Police Pipe Band is the current national champion, the
group is prevented from travelling to Scotland to compete at the World Championships band’s members must fund travel to any competition, including its trip to Ballarat, out of their own pockets. Any travel to the World Pipe Band Championships would be self-funded. Consequently, several of its members have competed with bands contending at the World’s as fly-in guests.
While the Western Australia Police Pipe Band is thriving, other police bands in Australia have not been as well supported. Last month the Victoria Police force
formally shut down began to phase out the Victoria Police Pipe Band, which won the 1998 World Championship, citing budget constraints. The remaining members of the non-competing band employed by the police force were reportedly given the option of accepting a severance package or training to become working police officers. The band had not competed since 2000 following the force’s decision that its attention to competition was not in its best interest.