pipes|drums’ 2008 New Year’s Honours
Congratulations to all winners of the pipes|drums New Year‘s Honours. All nominees are to be congratulated, too. And to our panelists, we thank you for your input.
And the winners are . . .
- William Donaldson, Aberdeen – Donaldson‘s historical contributions to the art are profound, and his work in 2008 gave much back to the piping world, including his eighth edition of the Set Tunes Series.
- Michael Grey, Dundas, Ontario – with his avant-garde “Variations on a Theme of Good Intentions“ medley, the Toronto Police pipe-sergeant pushed the band to think about prizes second and do something musically different. The result was extended constructive worldwide dialog about the direction of pipe band competition.
- Terry Lee, Vancouver – as Pipe-Major of the 2008 World Champions, Simon Fraser University, Lee produced a winning band on the day – a remarkable feat considering how little competition SFU has on its home circuit.
- Robert Mathieson, Lanark, Scotland – the House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead leader continues to push pipe band boundaries, even putting a World Championship on the line, and retaining membership in the “Big Three“ despite big personnel changes.
- Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland – sure, McCallum won his usual heap of major trophies, but his work as an organizer of events at the University of Strathclyde are appreciated by thousands, making him a substantial nominee.
- Terry Tully, Dublin – great credit goes to the St. Laurence O‘Toole pipe-major for guiding his band to an RSPBA Champion of Champions title, the first time that the award had left Great Britain.
- Gordon Walker, Galston, Scotland – another spectacular competitive season from Ayrshire‘s finest, whose recitals have become the stuff of legend.
- Alan Bevan, Surrey, British Columbia – the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting came Bevan‘s way, after years of near-misses.
- Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland – the Inverness Silver Star, the Todd Bar Challenge and seriously well-in at numerous contests all year.
- Roddy MacLeod – a great big load of great big prizes in 2008 for MacLeod, as mentioned above.
- Willie McCallum – Another fine prize-winning season from McCallum, including the Silver Star at Oban.
- Niall Stewart, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland – the Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering lifts Stewart to the highest-echelons of the world solo piping scene.
- Bagad Cap Caval – Brittany‘s finest took home the Grade 2 prize at the World Championships, the first time a group from continental Europe had managed such a feat. Cap Caval‘s subsequent promotion to Grade 1 will inject even more excitement into the 2009 World‘s.
- Field Marshal Montgomery – a fateful pipe bag failure at the British Championships likely prevented FMM from taking another Champion of Champions prize after the group‘s solid 2008 campaign, which included wins at the European and Cowal and a second at the World‘s.
- Simon Fraser University – the 2008 World Champions produced yet another convincing sound, guided by the steady hands of Pipe-Major Terry Lee and Leading-Drummer Reid Maxwell. The band‘s creative “SFUTube“ initiative was a nice service for those wanting to see and hear the band on video.
- Toronto Police – not since “Journey to Skye“ has a single piece of pipe band music provoked so much conversation, debate and argument. Whether you love or hate the band‘s “Good Intentions“ medley, there is should be no denying that it brought welcome variety to a pipe band world that many feel was stuck in a musical rut.
- Scott Currie, Glasgow – Currie‘s efforts to push tenor- and bass-drumming to the fore were major talking points in 2008. Never afraid to take on the establishment, Currie was relentless in his pursuit of overturning the RSPBA‘s decision to do away with Best Bass-Section awards.
- Tyler Fry, Kincardine, Ontario – Fry‘s work with House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead, his thriving TyFry business and his tireless teaching of tenor drumming made him a strong contender for the award.
- Jim Kilpatrick, Ashgil, Scotland – Kilpatrick continues to be everywhere there‘s pipe band drumming, and his leadership of the Shotts‘ section to another Champion of Champions award despite many new players, was another addition to his massive list of accomplishments.
- Barry Wilson, Glasgow – Wilson took home his second straight World Solo Drumming Championship and continued to pull his ScottishPower section into contention for major prizes.
- Bagpipe Revolution, Jori Chisholm – Seattle‘s Chisholm pushes himself and the instrument in this late-year release.
- without fear, Australia Highlanders – one of few pipe band recordings in 2008, the CD was well received and reviewed.
- Lochbroom, Alasdair Gillies – a variety of live tracks of the great Gillies captured from various recitals over the years.
- Gordon Duncan Tribute Concert, numerous artists – the live recording of the tribute concert in memory of the late, great Duncan.
- Shores of Loch Ness, Niall Matheson – Big Niall shows the piping and drumming world his stuff on this fine CD.
- The Waking of the Bridegroom, Patrick Molard – an esoteric collection of lesser-known piobaireachds from the Breton pupil of the famous Bobs of Balmoral.