UPDATED: Band Club Sydney promoted to Grade 1
Joining the list of recently bands promoted to Grade 1, the Australian Pipe Band Association has approved the upgrade of the Band Club Sydney to the premier grade after its success at the 2007 World Pipe Band Championships. The band applied to the Victorian Pipe Band Association after its return from Scotland where it finished third overall in the Grade 2 Final at the World’s, after finishing second in its qualifying heat. The Band Club Sydney in the Final received a first in piping from Iain MacLellan, two seconds in ensemble and drumming, and an eighth in piping from judge Harry Stevenson. The band was also third in the 2006 World’s Grade 2 Final, and unbeaten in Australia for the last two years.
The Band Club Sydney competed at two other contests as part of its Scottish trip, and was second at Bridge of Allen and first at North Berwick.
The band is officially the St Mary’s Pipes & Drums, but competes internationally as the Band Club Sydney.
Pipe-Major Scott Nicholson said that the band will travel the New Zealand Pipe Band Championships in Auckland in March, and the following week compete at the Victorian Pipe Band Championships.
The band had been in Grade 1 until 2002, when it decided to move to Grade 2 to begin a rebuilding project as part of a five-year plan to return to Grade 1.
St. Mary’s / The Band Club Sydney plans to return to Scotland in August for the 2008 World Championships, North Berwick, and Bridge of Allan, and then in November compete in Sydney at the Australian and South Pacific Pipe Band Championships.
“[We’re] looking forward to the challenge of stepping up to Grade 1 and feel the time is right for us to do so,” Nicholson said. “Both the management team and the band are aware of the enormous task associated with success but all our members are fully committed to achieving our goals and objectives on a year-by-year basis.”
Nicholson added that the band anticipates competing with at least 22 pipers, eight snares and a mid-section of six.
The promotion brings the number of Australian Grade 1 bands to five, and the total number worldwide to 38. Most recently, the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association approved Oran Mor’s application to move to Grade 1. The British Columbia Pipers Association is reportedly still deliberating as to whether Triumph Street should be moved to Grade 1 with or without the band’s application to do so, which it apparently has not submitted.
The world’s 38 Grade 1 bands:
City of Blacktown
St. Mary’s Band Club
Western Australia Police
78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)
Fredericton Society of St. Andrew
Peel Regional Police
Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders
Simon Fraser University
Canterbury Caledonian Society
City of Wellington
Dalewool Auckland & District
Manawatu Scottish Society
New Zealand Police
Bleary & District
Field Marshal Montgomery
St. Laurence O’Toole
Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia
Clan Gregor Society
Dysart & Dundonald
House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead
Lothian & Borders Police
Robert Wiseman Dairies-Vale of Atholl
United States of America
City of Washington
Los Angeles Scottish
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