July 31, 2007

More than 50 bands, 230 soloists entered for 2007 North American Championships

The 2007 North American Championships at the Glengarry Highland Games at Maxville, Ontario, will feature 54 bands and more than 230 solo pipers and drummers will compete during the two-day event, Friday, August 3rd, and Saturday, August 4th, in the small farming community about 30 kilometres from Cornwall, Ontario.

The overall number of competitors and events make Maxville the largest single competition in the world by a wide margin. Although crowds have never been formally counted, numbers have been estimated as high as 80,000 combined over the two days, turning the town of a few hundred people into a vast experience with two massive tents with live music that goes well into the night.

The Grade 1 event will feature five bands, and 10 are entered in Grade 2, including the Triumph Street Pipe Band from Vancouver. More than 20 professional solo pipers are entered across the five contests, which this year includes a special March, Strathspey & Reel competition to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the games.

The Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) solo piping competitions will take place again on the Friday.

While solo numbers have increased, the overall band entry is down slightly from 2006. Reasons are thought to be the increased cost of fuel, the strong Canadian dollar, and the impact of the August 11th World Pipe Band Championships.

Several years ago, some amateur solo events were moved to the Friday to accommodate the increased entry, and 2007 will mark the first year that all amateur events will be held on the first day. Saturday is reserved for Professional solo and band competitions.

As with most major piping and drumming events, pipes|drums will post the results from Maxville as they are made available.

The Toronto Police won the 2006 North American Championship.


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  1. I’m not sure how the number of competitors makes Maxville the biggest contest in the World? (I’m not entirely disputing it – I’m just not sure how that figures though?). Surely, if the average band has say, 27 players (average remember) and there are 54 bands, that’s 1458 competitors. There are 230 competitors for solos but many of them will be from bands. Even they weren’t, that’s a total of 1688 competitors. Even the ‘smaller’ RSPBA majors have at least 100 bands. 27 x 130 = 2700.

  2. It’s by far the largest event by number of total band and solo contests. The total crowd size is not known for sure, but estimates have been put at 80,000. Santa Rosa, CA, and Bethlehem, PA, are on that level. The ’06 World’s drew about 40,000, according to the RSPBA.



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