January 31, 2007

Our fearless forecasts for 2007!

It’s that time again, when we gave in to the pipes|drum cairngorm ball to divine what will be in and what will be out, what will be hot and what will be cold, who’s going where and what’s going where in 2007.

As is our custom, we assembled a panel of experts from around the world and asked each to submit his or her prognostications for the year. They returned their usual array of canny predictions. We took note of the many duplicate predictions, and whittled them down to the greatest hits that follow.

We know it’s hard for some crusty, humourless folks to understand, but please remember that it’s all in fun, which, of course, is the essence of what we do.

  • “World’s prediction: FMM, SFU or Shotts – who else?”
  • “Iain Speirs will win the Northern Meeting Gold Medal.”
  • “Strathclyde Police will replace Shotts in the top-three. They should’ve in 2006, but fell short in their performance at the World’s, and Kilpatrick’s drum corps holds the band in place.”
  • “Willie McCallum will finally win the Clasp”
  • “Major contests will again struggle to have enough top judges and will approach senior competitors to judge some B events.”
  • “Northern Meeting will decide to return to Inverness for 2008”
  • “FMM will again dominate pipe band season with SFU coming to prominence and maybe shading the World’s.”
  • “Major new piping product will take the piping world’s notice.”
  • Piping Times will continue its small-minded attitude to the National Piping Centre; Piping Centre will continue to ignore their jibes.”
  • “Pipe bands will talk about boycotting Cowal, but no one will do anything about it.”
  • “Pipe bands and composers will rise up to challenge the ongoing shambles of the World’s CD and take on the RSPBA and Klub. They will be told to go away, thus only increasing the resentment.”
  • “Richard Hawke will finally break through and get the Oban Medal.”
  • “Look for Strathclyde to again win at least two championships this year.”
  • “The big-five solo competitors will continue to win almost all the major solo prizes.”
  • “Shepherd to launch a new-must-have-if-you-want-to-win-a-prize-pipe-chanter.”
  • “Greentrax to take over World’s recordings contract.”
  • “New product waves: less synthetic; more sheep and cane.”
  • “Band size continues to grow and at the top 24 and 10 seen regularly at championships.”
  • “RSPBA: the beast will never change, just wish the bands could get together on a united front. We are all wimps. It’s all about winning and not ruffling feathers.”
  • “Strathclyde Police reclaim the World’s title.”
  • “McCallum chanters will completely take over the competitive pipe band scene.”
  • “RSPBA opens dialogue between bands for purpose of studying copyright and royalties as they pertain to competition performances – no brainer.”
  • “More bands will adopt the Cameron/Stronach snare drum.”
  • “Gordon McCready and William Geddes for Gold Medals.”
  • “The RSPBA will make no changes to the way they conduct the World’s. Now, instead of obvious results leaks to connected players before massed bands, the results will be again given away by the appearance of TV cameras around the winning band, as they were in 2006.”
  • “SFU will win the World’s, simply because it’s become “not the done thing” for a band to win twice in a row and it’s “their turn.”
  • “A Canadian piper will win one of the Gold Medals.”
  • “The trend toward huge bands will continue, and someone in Grade 1 will field 25 pipers. More Grade 1 and 2 bands will fold. See the connection?”
  • “Jim Begg will buy a new car.”
  • “Final season for MAP experiment. RSPBA finally abandons bizarre scheme.”
  • “More top-grade bands will continue to return to sheepskin bags.”
  • Record heat at World’s; UK bands crumble under conditions. Advantage Al-Cal, SL78FH and Dubai Highlanders.”
  • “A Piobaireachd competition will be held where note mistakes are ignored by judges and adjudicated purely on the musical performance.”
  • “Climate change will have impact on rain-cape business; Mr. Antony transitions to manufacturing “Sun-Spec” tartan parasols.”
  • “The 2007 Grade 2 World Champions will not fold the month after the contest.”
  • “Who will win the World’s? For the sake of the contest, someone who hasn’t won it before. Vale of Atholl are my favourites.”
  • “Argyllshire Gathering will continue to disappoint competitors with poor organization. New piping convener will promise changes.”
  • “A Grade 1 band will break the 490 pitch barrier.”
  • “What will the RSPBA do in response to performers rights? Bugger all. They know that for 90 per cent of the bands, competition is their only way to play publicly and the simple competitive drive of North American people will keep them coming there. A band almost cannot risk missing the worlds as their players will just leave and join the band that is going to the WPBC.”
  • “Pipe bands to start playing with two bass-drummers.”
  • “CPA will get shut out of any set tune negotiations and the Joint Committee for Judging will dissolve into several sub-committees.”
  • “Windsor Police will start to challenge in Ontario Grade 1.”
  • “A pipe band in the Grade 1 final will compete with more than 30 pipers.”
  • “The National Piping Centre and The College of Piping to kiss and make up and merge into new premises in a purpose-built Portakabin that can be taken anywhere around the world. To be called The National College of Piping Centre.”
  • “Rain at the World’s.”
  • “SFU will win the worlds. It seems that the band that should have won it the previous year gets it the next. Either way, they’re due.”
  • “Talks begin to start planning a real World Championship.”
  • “A new Grade 1 band will emerge on the North American west coast as fallout from the RMM debacle. Look for them to be fired up and very good.”
  • “ScottishPower will be the one band to improve their standing.”
  • “Three bands in the top-six at the World’s will be Canadian.”
  • “Quality cane reeds will begin to revive themselves on the market.”
  • “SFU to win the World’s”
  • As with every year, we’ll check back at the end of 2007 to see how our illustrious panel did!

    p|dWhat do you think? We always want to hear from our readers, so please use our comment system to provide your thoughts!

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    1. My prediction is for a major new competition to be announced in the U.S. that brings in all of the top grade one bands and has a big sponsorship and big prizemoney.

    2. I predict there will be another travel disaster like last year in August and bands will once again re-think their Worlds plans. I also think Windsor Police will win Maxville.



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