New RSPBA contest at Airth shaping up well
The inaugural pipe band competition at Airth, Scotland, that’s scheduled for July 24th is shaping up well, according to organizer Robbie Crow, with 15 bands so far entered, including two in Grade 1, with late entries accepted right up to the contest-day itself. The competition, only announced in April of this year, is intended to provide a run-through for bands competing at the European Pipe Band Championships in Belfast the following Saturday.
“So far, we have 15 bands, but with bands playing up we’ll have 24 performances,” Crow said. “We are taking late entries and entries on the day, but if we get more than 25 bands then we won’t be allowing bands to play up as time won’t allow it. The draw closes July 2nd, so plenty of time.”
Crow, Lead-Drummer of the Grade 4A Denny & Dunipace Gleneagles Pipe Band, and who is also Secretary of the RSPBA’s Stirlingshire Branch, has been working to develop the competition with the help of RSPBA Music Board Convener Neil Whitelaw and Denny & Dunipace Pipe-Major Mark Sutherland, and the competetition overall is being staged by the Stirlingshire Branch.
“Entries have been consistent but slow,” Crow added, “and hopefully we can get a few more bands before the day. This isn’t unusual for a first year competition though, if it goes well then we hope to attract more bands next year.”
The competition will have a full component of judges – two piping, one drumming and one ensemble – unusual for a non-championship, which normally have only one piping and one drumming adjudicator.
The event will be held in Airth in a park known as The Wilderness. Airth is known for several architectural attractions, including Airth Castle and Dunmore Pineapple, an 18th century house now owned by the National Trust for Scotland.