March 31, 2010

Ballycoan bails on Lomond & Clyde contest; no replacement band added

With less than two weeks to go before the 10th anniversary Lomond & Clyde Invitational Indoor Pipe Band Competition, one of the eight confirmed competitors, Ballycoan, has withdrawn from the event, leaving the organizers in a bind, unable to secure a replacement band.

According to the organizers, the Northern Ireland-based Ballycoan withdrew because the band’s lead-drummer found that he was unable to make the competition.

“We feel deeply let down by the timing of this notice,” said Lomond & Clyde  chairman Fraser Sergeant. “As there is less than two weeks until the event  and  with such little time left  we are unable to replace Ballycoan with another Grade 1 band.”

The withdrawal of Ballycoan is the second to hit the event, which is offering a first-prize of £2,500 to the winner – 150 per cent more than the first-prize offered in Grade 1 at the 2009 World Pipe Band Championship. In early February, Boghall & Bathgate pulled out of the event and was replaced by Torphichen & Bathgate.

Bands still scheduled to compete at the March 20th competition are Cullybackey, Fife Constabulary, House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead, Inveraray & District, Robert Wiseman Dairies-Vale of Atholl, the Tayside Police and Torphichen.

“We feel this announcement  will  disappoint not only our  band, but also those  who have purchased tickets expecting to see eight Grade 1 bands,” Sergeant added.

The event is one of few indoor competitions to be held in the UK for full pipe bands. Pipe band competitions are closely governed by the RSPBA, which purportedly has jurisdiction over any pipe band contest held in Great Britain.


  1. The answer to the question is both yes and no. Alot depends on the various skill level and experience of the players within al band meaning that there are always exceptions, but the following generalities apply. It is easier to find a substitute PM (usually the PS, but not necessarily) to lead a band if the PM is indisposed” mainly because all of the pipers in the band know and usually play the complete musical pipe score and

  2. Excuse my ignorance about how drumming works but are lead drummers totally irreplaceable- so if one takes ill on the morning of the Worlds and can’t play, the band doesn’t go on, even if they’ve travelled from the other side of the world? If a PM is ill on the day or called away by some important event, is a replacement allowed, or not? Seems a bit precarious if everything hinges on one person being ‘available’ or well ‘on the day’.

  3. I like that. ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’ So much falling to the one person seems slightly crazy in a group or band situation. They must feel pretty bad if something is cancelled or lost because of them. On the other hand, others could be very grateful to them if they didn’t really want to do the thing and that one person carries the can. I hadn’t quite realised that the Lead Drummer was the only person really who knew his score. Seems risky.

  4. Think most bands generally plan for the season to start in may, and the bands that withdrew have possibly been caught on the hop. Dont think they should be critiszied though, why do yourself an injustice infront of a hall full of your competition for the season ahead. Good luck to all the bands taking part, think shotts will get 1st prize but will be intereting to see how the crowd vote.



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