May 31, 2012

Boghall kicks off fifth decade with gala black-tie dinner

With three second-prizes at the World Championships and a raft of firsts at other majors, many people agree that Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia holds the unofficial title of “Best Band Not Yet to Win a World’s,” and the Bathgate, Scotland-based organization launched its 40th anniversary year in high style at a gala black-tie dinner that attracted more than 150 past and present members and Scotland’s Culture & External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop.

At the May 4th event, Hyslop made a keynote speech highlighting her positive impression of the pipe band movement, and, in particular, Boghall’s four decades of working with West Lothian youth to sustain one of the world’s most successful and admirable pipe band organizations.

The organization earlier launched a new logo, and will soon make live a new website that incorporates Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Spotify features – particularly apt as half of the Grade 1 band’s current membership is younger than 25. The new site also promises a blog and constant looks behind-the-scenes of the Boghall organization.

The Boghall & Bathgate organization currently comprises three competing bands in Grade 1, Juvenile and Novice Juvenile, and has sustained a top-tier top-grade band since 1979, only six years after the concept was started in Bathgate by the late Pipe-Major Robert Martin and Leading-Drummer Tom Brown, whose positive impact Hyslop cited in particular.


The Grade 1 band performed at the gala dinner, previewing a few of the items that the band plans to deliver at its “Forte” show as the selected act at this year’s coveted “Pre-World’s Concert” at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on the Wednesday before the World Pipe Band Championships.

“It was a great opportunity for those present to hear some of the pieces we are preparing for the Forte concert in August, [and] we are really excited and looking forward to this,” said Pipe-Major Ross Walker. “It was great fun to play Pipe-Sergeant Ross Harvey’s version of ‘The Australian Ladies’ and ‘The 93rd at Modder River,’ and we also played our new competition medley finishing with Donald MacLeod’s ‘Glasgow Police Pipers.’ Wonderful tunes to cap a wonderful evening.”


The Boghall organization is holding a 60-mile sponsored cycling fundraiser where members of the band will be pedaling from Edinburgh to Glasgow on June 3rd to offset the group’s £60,000- £70,000 in annual expenses. Those interested in making a sponsorship pledge can do so at the event’s sign-up site.




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