February 29, 2000

RSPBA Reportedly Rejects Lothian & Borders Police Bid to Stay in Grade 1

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association has turned down the application of the Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band to stay in Grade 1 after the band was relegated to second grade after the 1999 season.

Despite the fact that the band has changed its leadership and added numerous new pipers and drummers, the RSPBA’s grading committee decided to stand by its original decision.

In addition to Gold Medallist Colin MacLellan becoming Pipe Major and World Solo Drumming Champion Arthur Cook taking on the Leading Drummer position, the band has added a wealth of Grade 1 band experience to the ranks. Jenny Hazzard, Donald MacBride, and Iain and Gregor Speirs have each joined over the winter months.

Additionally, Toronto-based piper Michael Grey reportedly will compete with Lothian & Borders Police at several major championships this year. For the previous four years Grey was Pipe major of the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band.

There is some speculation that the band had its appeal rejected because not all its new members have completed their transfers officially from the bands they were registered with previously.

One insider said, “If the RSPBA turned down their application because of some bureaucratic nonsense like transfers and registrations, then that speaks volumes for that organization’s small-minded way of thinking.”

As in years past, Grade 2 promises to be the most closely fought grade on the RSPBA circuit in 2000.


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