Oran Mor planning Queen Mary voyage in February
Grade 1 bands from the United States actually competing head-to-head is an infrequent occurrence due to the country’s size and the fact that bands are so far away from each other, but the Oran Mor Pipe Band of New York will be making a winter trip to sunny California to compete at the Queen Mary Scottish Festival in Long Beach.
The band will challenge the Los Angeles Scots in the Grade 1 event on February 14-15, 2009.
“We’re very excited to be a part of what should be a significant step forward for the United States Grade 1 pipe band scene,” said Oran Mor Pipe-Major Andrew Douglas. “It will also give us an opportunity to really push ourselves early in the year.”
The Queen Mary is one of the biggest piping and drumming events during the North American winter months. Held on and around the famous Clydebank-built ocean-liner, which now serves as a hotel, the competition includes full traditional solo events and a very popular Kitchenpiping contest.
The Queen Mary Festival also revealed that it is holding a tune composing contest, with a first-prize of $500.
There are two other Grade 1 bands based in the United States, but Prince Charles of San Francisco and City of Washington of Washington, DC, were both in a rebuilding mode in 2008, and did not compete during the year.