Published: September 30, 2006

RSPBA Music Board to meet on grading

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s Music Board will convene on Saturday, September 23, to discuss the regrading of member pipe bands in the organization.

Of the top Grades, the Tayside Police are widely expected to be promoted to Grade 1. Torphichen & Bathgate, which also had a strong season in Grade 2, may get the nod to move up as well.

Of current Grade 1 bands thought to be under discussion for relegation, the Lothian & Borders Police may avoid being downgraded due to the appointment of David Barnes as pipe-major. Barnes is said to be bringing with him several pipers from his former Polkemmet Pipe Band.

The RSPBA had for many years re-graded bands not in its organization, but in 2004 agreed to discontinue the practice and would instead respect the decisions of “overseas” bands’ home associations.

The RSPBA Music Board’s recommendations will be passed to the RSPBA’s National Council for official ratification, which is generally a formality. The National Council’s next meeting is on October 14 and grading announcements will reportedly be made shortly thereafter.

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Published: September 30, 2000

RSPBA Music Board to Meet on Grading

The Music Board of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association is scheduled to meet on September 30, 2001 in Glasgow, Scotland, to discuss, among other matters, grading of bands.

The Music Board will examine a report by the board’s Grading Sub-Committee, which has assessed bands and results over the course of the 2000 season.

Several bands in Grade 1 and Grade 2 are thought to be potentially impacted by the meeting. Among them are the Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band, which won the Grade 2 Champion of Champions award and finished the 2000 season with first prizes and eight straight first placings from judges at the last two major championships; Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band and Hydro Electric Buchan, which had relatively poor seasons in Grade 1, have an outside chance of being dropped to Grade 2.

In addition, Glasgow Skye’s Pipe Major, Iain Roddick, has announced that the 2000 season was his last as leader of the band.

Speculation has it that no bands from Grade 1 will be relegated, as RSPBA contests have seen dwindling numbers in the premier grade. For example, only 10 bands competed in Grade 1 at the Scottish Championships at Arbroath, thought to be the lowest number since the 1940s.

In Grade 3A, both Coulter & District and the 1st Batallion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders will have the best chance of moving to Grade 2.

Grading recommendations from the Music Board are passed to the National Council, which meets on October 14-15. The National Council then generally accepts the Music Board’s decisions.

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