June 07, 2024

Big events highlight a big Saturday: British, USPF on tap

The British Championships at Forres, Scotland, and the United States Piping Foundation’s Maclean Macleod Memorial Piping Championships in Delaware are the big events in the piping and drumming world taking place on Saturday, June 8th.

The British Championships are the second of five Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association major competitions, following the UK Championships at Bangor, Northern Ireland, in May, where Dublin’s St. Laurence O’Toole burst out of the gate with the band’s first major championship win in several years.

The competition was not held in 2023 because the Inverclyde Council had elected not to renew its sponsorship. Inveraray & District are the defending Grade 1 champions from the 2022 event in Greenock, Scotland, the first major championship held following a two-year shutdown of all pipe band events in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The same 10 Grade 1 bands that competed at the UK Championships will vie for the British Championship title. Only nine Grade 2 bands are entered for Forres, all from Scotland except North Stratton, which has made the long journey from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to compete.

The weather forecast for the north Scotland town of Forres is middling, with a high of 12°C and intermittent sunshine and rain showers expected.

Three thousand miles away in Newark, Delaware, the 2024 USPF Maclean Macleod Memorial Piping Championships will take place at the University of Delaware’s Amy DuPont Music Building.

Seventeen Professional/Open-class solo pipers will compete in traditional Piobaireachd and MSR events, and another 18 top-grade soloists will compete in the amateur events. The event has been running since 1987, missing only 2021 due to the pandemic.

As with many top solo competitions, the USPF Maclean Macleod Memorial Piping Championships are organized by a group not connected with a piping and drumming association.

Derek Midgley of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, won the 2023 USPF Professional trophy and will compete to defend the title this year.

Still further west, the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario will finally start its outdoor season with a full slate of solo and band competitions at the Georgetown Highland Games in Georgetown, Ontario.

With no other entries, the PPBSO’s lone Grade 1 band, the 78th Fraser Highlanders, will perform for judges. Six Grade 2 bands are entered, and a total of 28 are entered across all grades. The Peel Regional Police are the defending winners of Grade 2. Peel Police challenged up in the Grade 1 MSR event last year but lost to the 78th Fraser Highlanders, who were then under long-standing Pipe-Major Doug MacRae. The 2024 event will be the band’s first outdoor appearance under Michael Grey, who took over the position last winter.

The weather for Georgetown looks excellent, with mostly sunshine and a high of 20°C forecasted.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for results from these three events as they become available.






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