Cullybackey promotion gives Ulster five Grade 1 bands
With the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s official promotion of Cullybackey to Grade 1, the country of Northern Ireland with its population of 1.7 million has five bands in the premier grade. Cullybackey joins Ballinderry Bridge, Ballycoan, Bleary & District and Field Marshal Montgomery as Ulster bands in Grade 1, and with St. Laurence O’Toole based in Dublin, Ireland as a whole now boasts six.
Cullybackey won the Grade 2 event at the 2007 World Pipe Band Championships.
In Part 2 of his pipes|drums Interview, Pipe-Major Richard Parkes of 2007 World Champions Field Marshal Montgomery, said, “I know that in Northern Ireland, we’re struggling to get just four or five good Grade 1 bands here,” when asked about his country’s small population in relation to the competitive success of bands overall.
There are currently nine
eight Grade 1 bands based in Scotland, seven eight in Canada, three six from New Zealand, five from Australia, and two from the United States and one from South Africa. Northern Ireland has the world’s highest per capita rate of Grade 1 bands.
Other re-gradings from the RSPBA:
- Grade 3A to Grade 2: Annsborough (NI), Arklow (NI), Johnstone (Scotland)
- Grade 3B to Grade 3A: Cullen (Ireland), Drumlough (NI), Lanark (Scotland), Greater Manchester County Fire (England), Brechin (Scotland)
- Grade 4A to Grade 3B: Cullenfad (NI), Killadeas (NI), Duns (Scotland), Troon Blackrock (Scotland), Kirkcudbright (Scotland), Kirkcaldy (Scotland)
- Grade 4B to Grade 3B: East Kilbride (Scotland)
- Grade 4B to Grade 4A: Belgian Blend (Belgium), Moneygore (NI), University of Bedfordshire (England), Northern Constabulary (Scotland), Black Bottle Isle of Islay (Scotland), Badenoch & Strathspey (Scotland), Bready Ulster Scots (NI), Dr. Wright Memorial (NI)
- Novice Juvenile to Grade 4B: Annan (Scotland)
The association demoted a handful of bands: Upper Crossgare (NI) to Grade 3A; Bo’ness (Scotland), Oban (Scotland), Altnaveigh Memorial (NI) to Grade 3B; and Sgt. Walker Memorial (NI) to Grade 4A.
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