Scottish on Saturday launches UK championships season
On May 24th Levengrove Park in Dumbarton, Scotland, once again will be the venue of the Scottish Pipe Band Championships, the first major contest of the 2008 UK pipe band competition season. Only 12 Grade 1 bands – two fewer than in 2007 – have entered the event, bringing the contest back to the 2006 number, the smallest entry for a championships in decades.
The event will feature the Grade 1 championship debut of both the Fife Constabulary, which formed as a new band after last season, and Cullybackey, which was promoted to Grade 1 after 2007. Fife Police won its very first event, taking the Grade 1 contest at Dunbar on May 10th.
The following day, ScottishPower put in a strong performance at Gourock to win its first competition of the year.
As always, the first championship bring along with it questions stemming from the off-season of news:
- Will the Strathclyde Police successfully defend the Scottish Championship title that it won last year?
- Will House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead continue its regular place in the top-three despite personnel changes after 2007?
- After taking two firsts in piping over Field Marshal Montgomery at Banbridge, will St. Laurence O’Toole rise to prominence?
- Will bass- and tenor-players stage a demonstration after the RSPBA pulled the plug on Best Bass-Section awards?
- Will Grade 1 bands increase, decrease or maintain the sizes of their sections after the pipe-section-size record-setting in 2007?
- Will any bands attempt to shake-up the medley format after decades of essentially two or three structures being played?
Grade 1 judges are John Moles and John Wilson (piping), Billy Dunlop (drumming) and Alan Ronaldson (ensemble).
pipes|drums plans to have Grade 1 results from the Scottish posted in sync with their being announced on the field, expected around 1:30 pm EDT.