December 31, 2007

UPDATED: Band Club Sydney promoted to Grade 1

The Band Club Sydney of Australia abou to compete in the Grade 2 Final at the 2007 World Pipe Band Championships.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:

Australia Highlanders
City of Blacktown
Queensland Highlanders
St. Mary’s Band Club
Western Australia Police

78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)
Alberta Caledonia
Fredericton Society of St. Andrew
Peel Regional Police
Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders
Simon Fraser University
Toronto Police
Windsor Police

New Zealand
Canterbury Caledonian Society
City of Wellington
Dalewool Auckland & District
Hamilton Caledonian
Manawatu Scottish Society
New Zealand Police

Northern Ireland
Ballinderry Bridge
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
Strathclyde Police
Tayside Police

United States of America
City of Washington
Los Angeles Scottish
Oran Mor
Prince Charles


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  1. Both Triumph Street” and the “Band Club” are great names; I prefer former over the latter but am a bit biased. When we were starting up a local band the pipe major wanted to call it “Gale Force” (but I think he wanted to spell it “gael”) or “G-Gorce” for short. We ended up sticking with “Wasatch and District” In any case

  2. I suppose bands from that side of the world are looking for more global appeal and therefore have more of an international emphasis on their name. As a result some rely too heavily on international playing guests. Well done to the St Marys

  3. Well done to all concerned with the Band Club. Certainly one of the most respected and even ‘feared’ bands coming over for the Worlds in Grade 2 and a great bunch of people as well!

  4. Brilliant news and thoroughly deserved – As anyone who has heard them will testify! Congrats to Ken Maltman (Bass Drum) and Co! Should really add to some great competitions in G1 down under!

  5. i wanna say they’re holdin their chanters (and chanter stocks) to keep both ends warm and keep the tone relatively where they were when they tuned the band. please, correct me if i’m wrong

  6. Its wonderful to see that some of the great grade two bands have been upgraded. I just wish that the BC Pipers association would get on with it and quite ***** footing around within their own organization and looking like complete incompetent fools to the rest of the outside pipe band world and do the right thing and justly upgrade the Triumph street pipe band. Anyone with half a brain in the world of pipe bands totally agrees with this move and knows they have earned it.



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