Published: January 31, 2011

pipes|drums’ 2010 New Year’s Honours

Pipe Band of the Year

St. Laurence O’Toole – what more can be said about the finest band ever to emerge from the Emerald Isle? SLOT was a story of perseverance and determination, putting every bit into ultimately gaining the World Pipe Band Championship as any band in history. A sold-out show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. The back-stories of the trials and tribulations that SLOT faced over the years made the band’s victory that much sweeter, we’re sure, and the band was a unanimous choice by our panel for the 2010 pipes|drums Pipe Band of the Year.

Panelists’ comments:

“It has to be SLOT, as the first band from Eire to win the World Championships, plus a hugely successful Worlds-week concert.”

“St. Laurence O’Toole really has to be the Band of the Year.”

“Clear winner not because of the season’s results and their first-class Pre-World’s concert, but there a great human interest story here that hopefully one day will be told in full. The sum of the parts over the years made them a clear winner.”

Also considered (in alphabetical order):

Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia – it’s remarkable to think that this stalwart of the Grade 1 scene may be on the verge of its greatest triumphs, but that’s exactly what seems to be happening after Boghall’s terrific 2010 campaign, culminating with a victory at Cowal. Add a 2010 RSPBA Champion of Champions Drumming award, and the future is bright indeed for West Lothian’s Boggies.

Field Marshal Montgomery – a perennial contender and winner of the Pipe Band of the Year award, FMM showed uncanny consistency in 2010, producing yet another standard-setting sound week-in and week-out.

Peel Regional Police – an unfortunate off-run at the World’s couldn’t overshadow Peel Police’s undefeated season at home, winning every other contest it played in. The band was more than willing to push boundaries and, for those who are in or around the group, the band carries an undeniably strong positive attitude for the future.

Simon Fraser University – ho-hum, another top-three finish at the World’s and another undefeated season at home, but winning never gets old for this western Canada musical fortress. The dynasty continues with what is most likely the world’s strongest single pipe band organization.

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