Three Nevada bands combine to form Grade 4B superband
As a way to celebrate 50 years of pipe bands in the state of Nevada, three pipe bands will suspend individual activities in 2011 to form a group with sights set firmly on competing at the 2011 World Pipe Band Championships in Grade 4B. The new collective is called the Battle Born Pipes & Drums, and comprises the Sierra Highlanders, the Ruby Mountain Highlanders and the Desert Skye pipe bands.
Battle Born is planning to hit Scotland for a full 10 days, taking in other events along the way. According to Reay Palmer, Pipe-Major of the Sierra Highlanders, the three bands will remain intact during the 2011 hiatus, and simply put aside their respective competition seasons while they pursue the state-wide all-star band.
The first Nevada-based pipe band was the Sierra Highlanders, formed in 1961.
“We got this idea because we wanted to do something to celebrate 50 years of the existence of a pipe band in Nevada,” Palmer said. He described the endeavour as similar to that of the 2008 Spirit of Scotland project in Grade 1, except that Battle Born will play and compete throughout the year, rather than only for the week of the World Pipe Band Championships.
The Pipe-Major of Battle Born Pipes & Drums is James Sawyer, formerly a member of the now-defunct Grade 2 Hamilton Police Pipe Band of Ontario.
In December 2008 a similar project was announced with some fanfare, but the North American Pipe Band has not yet come to fruition, its sights originally set on competing in Grade 1. The Hamilton Police organization continues with a bands in Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5.