March 31, 2004

Los Angeles Scots giving World Championships a miss

One of North America’s best pipe bands, the Los Angeles Scots, will not attend the 2004 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow in August, despite the band’s influx of talent.

Instead, the band is centering its sights on the North American Championships at Maxville, Ontario, where the band hopes to compete and perform in concert.

The L.A. Scots have enjoyed a significant injection of talent after the 2003 season, with pipers Eric Rigler and Adrian Melvin and drummer Andrew Hoinacki joining the ranks.

“We feel that with the off-season changes with personnel it would be better for us to work together for a year before setting off to Scotland again,” said L.A. Scots Pipe-Major Scott MacDonald. “We are very pleased with the progress the band has achieved already, and our first contest of the year at the Queen Mary made us confident that we are going in the right direction.

“We plan to attend more contests in North America, including looking into the possibility of attending the North American Championships in Maxville. We plan on competing at at least four contests this year.”

The band competed at the 2003 World’s, but failed to go through to the Final, finishing twelfth in the qualifying round. According to MacDonald, the budget for travelling to Scotland in 2003 was US$45,000.

While plans to attend the North American Championships are not complete, the band is apparently exploring various options to make its attendance more lucrative.

Rigler’s popular Celtic rock group, Bad Haggis, has performed with the L.A. Scots several times. Its combined rendition of Rigler’s composition, “Walking The Plank,” has been particularly popular.

Hoinacki solidifying corps

A Chicago native, Andrew Hoinacki was appointed lead-drummer after Carl Lenny returned to his native Scotland to play with Jim Kilpatrick’s House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead corps.

MacDonald added: “Andrew Hoinacki has done a terrific job with our drum section in his first year of leading the corps. He was put in a difficult position of building a corps after the losses of several drummers, including Carl Lenny and Eli Fugate. He has assembled some very talented drummers who are enthusiastic about the coming year.”


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