With several off-season up- and down-gradings, the biggest beneficiary in Ontario outside of the bands themselves might be Grade 3 itself.
In a late-off-season move, the Penetangore Pipe Band of Kincardine, Ontario, was officially bumped up to Grade 3 after the band requested the move following several additions to its ranks. The band joins other upgrades from Grade 4, including the Durham Regional Police and the Niagara Police, while the Rob Roy Pipe Band earlier had its request to move down from Grade 2 was accepted in late-2012
The Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario has not announced any band or solo regradings publicly.
Penetangore is led by Pipe-Major David Goodall and Leading-Drummer Jeff Boyle, is under the direction of Music Director Jake Watson. The organization’s Grade 2 band shut down in April 2012, and the band revealed that its goal was to have a Grade 3 and Grade 5 bands in 2013.
The Rob Roy Pipe Band, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, has new leadership after the resignation of long-time Pipe-Major Scott Bell. The band’s new pipe-major is Ross Brown.
While Ontario’s Grade 3 has benefitted from four more bands, its Grade 2 class lists only two bands, 400 Squadron and the Ottawa Police.
When asked to comment on the most recent upgrade and the status of both Grade 3 and Grade 2 in his association, PPBSO President Duncan MacRae said only, “I can confirm that Penetangore has been upgraded to Grade 3.”