July 31, 2001

‘Committed to compete at World’s’ — Prince Charles Pipe Band

In the evolving story of the MacTarnahan’s Prince Charles Pipe Band being downgraded to Grade 2 by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s (RSPBA’s) Music Board only two weeks before the World Pipe Band Championships, Piper & Drummer Online has learned that the band is prepared to play in Grade 2 if the decision cannot be overturned.

The Prince Charles band reportedly intends to ask the RSPBA to reconsider the decision, and is willing to hold a special audition on August 9 or 10 for the RSPBA Music Board’s grading committee, which comprises Robert Mathieson, Pipe-Major of reigning World Champions Shotts & Dykehead, and Tom Brown of Dysart & Dundonald. Both Shotts and Dysart would have competed against Prince Charles in Grade 1.

It is not known whether Mathieson or Brown have heard the Prince Charles band in the last year.

Winners of Grade 2 at the 2000 World Pipe Band Championships, Prince Charles has competed in Grade 1 throughout the summer and fully expected to play in that grade at the World’s. If required to play in Grade 2, the band would be pitted against an excellent field, including the Ravara Pipe Band of Northern Ireland, which is so far undefeated this year.

Including Prince Charles, there are 32 bands entered in Grade 2.

Said one Scottish pipe band insider who requested anonymity: “This is a shambles. The matter should have been resolved months ago. At the very least, the band should have been told that there were some doubts as to its Grade 1 status.”


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