Published: February 28, 2005

North Coast packs it in

The highly successful North Coast Pipe Band of Cleveland, Ohio, has decided not to try to compete in 2005 due to personnel problems with its drum section.

“I regret [that], due to many scheduling conflicts with our snare drummers, leaving us with an insufficient number to field a reasonable program over the next few months, the North Coast Grade 2 program has decided to take the year off for 2005,” said Pipe-Major Bentley Wall. “At the end of the season we may resume discussions about whether or not we have commitments from enough people to restart the program. It is unclear to me at this time whether or not the Grade 2 band will come back to life at some point.”

Wall said that the organization’s Grade 3 band will continue, with “two or three” members of the Grade 2 band joining.

North Coast’s collapse leaves the Clevealnd area with no Grade 2 band. The 87th Cleveland Pipe Band, also in Grade 2, folded in the spring of 2004. Seevral of that band’s drummers went on to play with the Windsor Police.

Established in 1986, North Coast rose to the top of Grade 2 in North America in the late 1990s, but the band has been beset by personnel changes and power struggles.

The band won the Grade 2 contest at the 2004 North American Championships at Maxville, Ontario. North Coast was a favourite for the same grade at the 2004 World Championships, but several pipers reportedly fell ill with food-poisoning and the band failed to make the Grade 2 final.

“I am sure that most of the members will pop up in other places and hopefully we will all see each other again perhaps as adversaries, but always remaining as friends,” Wall added.

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