Glasgow Skye now Grade 2 after RSPBA approves regrading request
The Standards & Grading Group of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s Music Board has approved Glasgow Skye Association’s application to move from Grade 1 to Grade 2 for the 2023 season.
The move brings the total number of actively competing Grade 1 bands worldwide to 23, with seven based in Scotland.
Glasgow Skye has a long and storied history as a competing band. In May 2020, the group announced the departure of Pipe-Major Ewan Henderson, who subsequently joined Grade 1 Police Scotland Federation as P-M, and Lead-Drummer Arthur Cook, who retired from competition. During the shutdown years of the pandemic, the band’s search for new leaders was unsuccessful, resulting in numerous departures.
The band was unable to field a competitive Grade 1 band over the 2022 season, but in November of the same year announced that Kenny MacLeod and Les Galbraith had agreed to take over the P-M and L-D positions, respectively, along with other additions to the ranks.
“It’s great news. We are trying to build the band back up and become a regular on the Scottish and UK pipe band competition scene, and we felt the only way for that to happen would be to allow us to rebuild in Grade 2.”
Affectionately known as “The Skye,” the band only recently held its first practice on full instruments, but with a strong complement of both pipers and drummers.
Of the downgrade, the band said, “It’s great news. We are trying to build the band back up and become a regular on the Scottish and UK pipe band competition scene, and we felt the only way for that to happen would be to allow us to rebuild in Grade 2. We want to get the band healthy and stable and back as an active member of the RSPBA. Starting again in Grade 2 would allow us to do that. The long term survival and growth of the band is paramount.”
MacLeod previously served as pipe-major of the band in the 1990s and 2000s. His brother Donald was pipe-major of the band in the 1980s, taking the band to Grade 1 status.