The growing size of pipe bands in every grade continues to be a topic of hot discussion, with no apparent addressing of the issue by any association. In every grade, there are the haves and have-nots, with bands with a pipe section of minimum numbers trying to compete with those of 22, 24 and more.
There are minimums for sections sizes, but, so far, no maximums, as discussed in this July 2013 Blogpipe post. In August last year, pipes|drums held a debate that we called “Size Matters” where Pipe-Major Chris Armstrong of the Grade 1 ScottishPower Pipe Band argued against placing maximum numbers on competing pipe bands, while Bill Livingstone, former pipe-major of the Grade 1 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band argued for limits.
The event was held on August 15, 2013, to a large audience at the Street Café outside of the National Piping Centre at the Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival. We captured the event on video, and present it here in four segments.
With the new pipe band competition season close to starting in the northern hemisphere, the world will be watching and counting the size of the world’s most successful bands in ever grade. We hope that you enjoy the debate, and consider your own opinion on what, if anything, should be done about the matter of size.