City of Washington to sit out 2014 season

Published: April 16, 2014
(Page 1 of 1)

One of the United States’ most well-known and accomplished pipe bands, City of Washington reportedly will not compete in 2014 due to lack of numbers according to sources close to the group.

The band, which has struggled to maintain a competitive roster over the last five years, is so far only able to field eight pipers, with winter recruitment efforts not coming to fruition, and two pipers who had intended to compete with the band recently pulled out, leaving the group with little choice but to nix the year.

It is not known if members have been given a blessing to find other bands with which to play, and Pipe-Major Dan Lyden had not responded to a request for comment at publication time.

The group has tried to establish an unofficial feeder-band system with both the Guilford & Glencoe Pipe Band, which has also fallen on hard times, leaving only the Grade 3 MacMillan Pipe Band of Maryland as a strong source for recruitment.

Founded in 1961 as Denny & Dunipace (in tribute to the Scotland-based band of the same name, but completely unconnected), the group has competed in Grade 2 and Grade 1 ever since, with its most successful years being in Grade 1 in the late-1990s and early-2000s, when it finished as a high as second in the Grade 1 North American Championship.

A source close to the band said that there is a contingent within the remaining group “that would like to see if there’s any way to use the freedom of a no-competition schedule to breathe some wind into the sails.”

City of Washington was demoted to Grade 2 by the RSPBA after their Grade 1 MSR performance with 10 pipers at the 2010 World Pipe Band Championships, and never was able to return to Grade 1. The band finished last overall out of seven bands competing in Grade 2 at the 2013 North American Championships.

In November of 2013, the Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band of New York folded and merged with the Grade 2 Stuart Highlanders of Massachusetts, leaving the United States with one Grade 1 pipe band, the Los Angeles Scots.

The Greater Midwest Pipe Band recently formed to create a new Grade 2 group in the Chicago area. The band’s website currently lists five members.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/5
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0
  1. Piperjay23

    This is terribly unfortunate. Seems to be a recurring problem throughout the US as players continue to genuflect to the mystique and aura of Canadian grade I. It makes it difficult to sacrifice the time, $ and travel when you know you’re hitting the field without some of your better hometown players. Too bad American players aren’t as patriotic when it comes to Pipe Bands as they are with the Ryder Cup. [edited]

GET THE MOBILE APP!
The new pipes|drums app offers the same publication with a streamlined experience. Get the latest news optimized for your smartphone.
Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play
THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
March 26, 2014New version of pipes|drums launched.
MOST RECENT POST
  • Quelle reprise
    Wed, 22 Mar 2017
    The now double-homage to the anniversary of the 78th Fraser Highlanders “Live In Ireland” concert in Ballymena in 1987 is much deserved and, evidently, attractive to many people who wanted to live or relive the event. That music w …
Read more »
UPCOMING EVENTS April 7, 2017Cincinnati Piping & Drumming Solo Competition & WorkshopSpringdale Nazarene Church, 11177 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45246

April 7, 2017Pipers Club AtlanticThe Old Triangle Alehouse 5136 Prince Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

May 18, 2017Prairie Piping InvitationalRegina, SK

May 19, 2017Saskatchewan Highland Gathering and Celtic FestivalVictoria Park, downtown Regina

May 20, 2017British Pipe Band ChampionshipsPaisley, Scotland

TIP OF THE DAY
Write drum scores at about the same tempo that the tune will be played in competition. If a score is written when a piper is playing slowly, then the score may sound too busy and and will be hard to play at competition tempo.
Michael Hunter, Toronto