Published: October 31, 2003

Peel Regional Police Planning to Give World’s A Miss

Brampton, Ontario’s Peel Regional Police Pipe Band, a long time force in Grade 1 and a band that has often qualified for the Final competition at the World Pipe Band Championships, has revealed that it will not attend the 2004 World’s in Glasgow if the current qualifying system remains in place.

“Right now the plan is for the Peel Regional Police Pipe Band not to attend the World’s if the present format – namely the qualifier – exists,” said Pipe-Major John Elliott. “It just doesn’t make sense to spend $50,000 for six minutes of playing and when all is said and done you have no idea where you finished. The bottom line is that the prize list is made up from the bands that never have to qualify.”

In what many see as a rising negative reaction against the format and conditions of the World Championships, the Peel Police are the first non-Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) member band to announce that it does not plan to attend the World’s. Over the winter, additional bands are expected to announce their plans not to attend the event.

Last week it became known that a Glasgow Festival of Piping is being planned for week before the 2004 World’s as a joint venture between the National Piping Centre and Glasgow City Council, with an operating budget of £220,000. Separate from the actual competition, the proposed festival apparently does not impact the operation of or prize or travel money at the World Championships.

Iain MacDonald, Pipe-Major of the City of Regina Pipe Band, after learning of Peel’s plans, said, “Hopefully the RSPBA will take note of the mood among strong supporters of the World’s, and decide it’s time that the event live up to expectations delivered by the title ‘World Pipe Band Championship.’ If time constraints are the issue for the RSPBA, then surely the answer is to expand the event rather than limit the fair participation of the bands who make it a ‘world’ championship.”

Neigh now Peel Musical Director

The Peel Police also announced that Ed Neigh has joined the band as a non-playing Musical Director. A prominent judge with the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario, Neigh was the Pipe-Major of the former North American Grade 1 champion Guelph Pipe Band in the 1970s and early ’80s.

“Ed will be helping out Peel by becoming our Musical director/consultant,” Elliott continued. Running a Grade 1 band takes more than two people, and Ed coming in with all his knowledge and experience will not only be a great help for me but a great help for the organization in helping us to move forward.”

“John Elliott, leading drummer Doug Stronach and the band felt that I could make a contribution,” Neigh commented. “After being absent for close to twenty years from active participation in the Grade 1 scene, I am certainly looking forward to the challenges it will entail.”

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