Toronto Police to miss World’s, Maxville in favour of Lorient
An invitation to perform at the 10-day-long 2009 Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany, in August was too much for the Grade 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band to resist, even if it means missing the World and North American pipe band championships.
In addition to regular performances during the festival, which runs from July 31st to August 9th, the band plans to stage a full concert at the large Espace Marine tent. The concert will be recorded live for a commercial release, to be titled Lorient en direct (Live in Lorient).
“The band is at a place in its development where another Maxville performance or trip to the World’s just wouldn’t offer a lot of benefit,” said Toronto Police Pipe-Major Ian K. MacDonald. “We’re committed to being the best and right now a trip to the famous Lorient festival seems to be timed just right. We’ll be focusing on performance, learning from the thousands of great musicians at the festival – and having fun. When we get all of that right we’ll be set up well for our next big championship, wherever that may be.”
It is not yet kjnown if the band will participate in Lorient in the Scottish Pipe Band competition against Bagad Cap Caval, which was promoted to Grade 1 after the 2008 season. MacDonald and Pipe-Sergeant Michael Grey will compete in the annual MacCrimmon Trophy solo competitions that feature Breton, Irish and Scottish music sections.
The Toronto Police were the topic of much conversation in 2008 when the band competed with an avant-garde medley named, “Variations on a Theme of Good Intentions.” The group competed in the 2008 World Pipe Band Championships, finishing eleventh in the MSR Qualifier competition.
The band is reportedly working on two new medleys, both taking a non-traditional approach similar to that of the “Good Intentions” selection.
Toronto Police also reported that it has added James Stewart, former Pipe-Major of the now defunct Grade 1 Windsor Police Pipe Band, and that its drum section has expanded to 11 snare-drummers and seven mid-section players.
The band also said that it will launch a new website on December 24th.