March to the Majors: a 2016 watchlist
A surging Inveraray
They might be the most popular band in the world; their fans are legion. After a few near-misses, many expect Inveraray & District to pick off several major championships, including the World’s. With music coming out the wazzoo, IDPB has that rare mix of world-leading musicality, orchestration, creativity and technical brilliance. The band will be featuring some experience-relishing guests in the ranks – always a tell-tale sign of who’s a popular choice to win big.
Meet the new Ross, same as the old Ross?
We’re talking Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia, of course. The perennial chappin’-on-the-door band made a huge change in leadership when Ross Walker retired, turning the reins over to Pipe-Sergeant Ross Harvey. Our guess? This move has made the band work even harder. We anticipate no serious change in quality with Bathgate’s favourite sons and daughters, and we know for certain that, after a tradition of more than 40 years of world-class drumming, Gordon Brown’s corps will produce the usual cracking standard.
The reformed Spirit of Scotland could be the biggest single addition to and possible impact on Grade 1 at the five majors. With what could be a championship-winning-calibre drum section, SoS in 2008 made the World’s final and finished eleventh overall with one week of practice. This time they’ve been at it since January with a crew of 31 top-tier pipers and almost as many in the drum section, with an extra-fired-up Jim Kilpatrick-led corps pushing to finish in a blaze of glory. [Disclosure: the editor of pipes|drums is a member of Spirit of Scotland.]