January 31, 2012

pipes|drums’ 2011 New Year’s Honours

Recording of the Year

Evolution (DVD) – St. Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band – actually released at the very end of 2010, the SLOT project was included in our 2011 awards, and gained the most votes from our 30-member panel. The project is a grand testament to the remarkable year that was SLOT’s in 2010, and stands up as an impressive production in the library of piping and drumming recordings.

  • “A wonderful production.”
  • “An amazing concert with an equally entertaining DVD. The bar for the pre-World’s concert continues to be raised.”
  • “Great variety from this wonderful pipe band.”

Also nominated (in alphabetical order):

Front Row Seat (CD) – Bruce Gandy – a wonderful, compendium of stand-out performances by the Nova Scotia piper was well reviewed in 2011, with all proceeds going to Gandy’s development charity.


On The Day Box Set – Spirit of Scotland / John McDonald – the Los Angeles filmmaker continued the On The Day franchise with a special box set production complete with posters, additional CDS and outtakes. The project was another first for the pipe band world.


  1. I’ll try that comment again, can’t you have a pipesdrums book of the year award (any book pipe/drum or pipe band related) and also a separate product award?

  2. While I can see this is rather novel and might interest some, I think it actually serves to do little else but highlight just how small the top of the pyramid is (and that our focus is always up there). With the very rare exception, it’s the ‘same olds’ year after year. Band of the year: FMM. How many ‘experts’ are required to deliberate and agree on that…? It would be better if the ‘panel’ had carte blanche to dissect the year that was and make some statements about what was good, bad or otherwise, and not restricted to the elite level. Some commentary about the grades around the globe – comparisons etc. Readers might benefit a bit more if the expert panel was engaged to express its views on the broader scene, not simply be polled or asked to recite results that we all know already.

  3. Thanks, @uilleannonlooker. If you look back at the awards over the years (see links at article end), you’ll see that some years there are enough books to warrant that. 2011 saw relatively few collections being released. @Lawrie – thanks for your, as usual, frank feedback. Similarly, you’ll see in past years it’s not so straightforward. I agree that a lively debate with a panel of experts on the good and the bad of the year would be fun and enlightening, but the awards are structured as such to make them relatively straightforward. Panelists did in fact mention people, bands, events and products that they thought merited nomination, and, interestingly, every band nominated had at least one vote, so the winner was not unanimous.



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