New band debuts with a Grade 3 prize
At a time when many bands are threatened by declining numbers and vanishing sponsorship, the new Great Lakes Pipe Band of Cleveland, Ohio, made a successful debut at the United States Championships at Alma, Michigan, with a second-prize in the Sunday competitions.
The band was formed over the long off-season, prompted by the folding of the Grade 1 Windsor Police of Windsor, Ontario, when several Ohio-based members decided to commence something new rather than committing more to travel to upper-grade bands.
Pipe-Major Barry Conway is a veteran of several top-grade bands, as is Leading-Drummer Michael Crawley. Sixteen pipers are on the roster, including several who have competed at the Grade 1 level, traveling from cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Detroit.
“Our focus is on developing young players,” said Conway. “It has been about five years since there has been a band competing above Grade 4 in Cleveland so there is a lot of undeveloped talent.”
Until the band receives its new uniforms, they will be wearing unused gear on loan from the Windsor Police. Great Lakes plans to compete extensively throughout the Ontario circuit over the summer.