Big top-grades contest at Norfolk planned for April 2016
compete at the Inter-Continental Pipe Band Championship. As part of the deal, bands had to perform twice a day at a military tattoo at Exhibition Stadium, often to crowds of more than 30,000.
The Norfolk contest would be held on April 23rd, comprising an MSR, Medley and Drum Fanfare events. Richard Parkes, pipe-major of the Grade 1 Field Marshal Montgomery, and EUSPBA-certified judge Sandy Jones of North Carolina have been asked to adjudicate. In his message to bands Clark said that “the Virginia Arts Festival would like to secure a well-respected judge from Scotland; also the other potential piping-ensemble judge could potentially be Andrew Carlisle from Pittsburgh.”
The event would take place on the Scope Center Plaza in downtown Norfolk, with a rain plan to move indoors to an arena with a seating capacity of approximately 9,000.
First prizes reportedly will be US$2,500, US$1,000 and US$500 for first, second and third in each grade and US$1,000 for the Open Drum Fanfare, which would have only one award.
The New York Metro and Dunedin pipe bands, each currently in Grade 2, have reportedly committed to competing in the April 2016 contest, and the Grade 2 Paris Port Dover Pipe Band of Ontario is anticipated to participate. There are no provisions yet if any bands change grades after the 2015 season.
“The Virginia International Tattoo American Pipe Band Championship will be the only competition of its kind in the United States and is aiming to bring together the world’s best competing pipe bands from Canada, the United States and Scotland,” Clark added.