January 31, 2012

pipes|drums’ 2011 New Year’s Honours

Piping/Drumming Event of the Year

Piping Live! Glasgow International Festival of Piping – the eight-day festival for many has become the primary reason the be in Glasgow in August, and could well go on even without the World Pipe Band Championships. The slate of more than 170 events put a spotlight on world piping like no other event in 2011. Attendees were spoiled for choice at last year’s Piping Live! like never before – and all agreed it was a terrific problem to have.

Panelists’ comments:

  • “Piping Live is miles ahead of any other event in terms of variety, inclusivity, interest, excellence, and most of all brilliant fun.”
  • “Single-most important event of our year. Like the NCAA basketball championships for piping. Solid week of superb entertainment/activity.”
  • “It keeps getting better and better!”
  • “It’s simply impossible to take in all the events offered during the Piping Live Festival. A true celebration of piping throughout the world.”
  • “A fantastic achievement appealing to all and bringing buzz and bawbees to Glasgow.”
  • “So much choice, so little time!”

Also nominated (in alphabetical order):

“Energy” – ScottishPower Pre-World’s Concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall – a two-hour tour de force by one of the world’s fastest-rising pipe bands, ScottishPower produced the goods during that Wednesday night before the World’s.

“Pipes of Peace” – Simon Fraser University and St. Laurence O’Toole at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre – another major pipe band concert in Glasgow during World’s Week vied for 2011 Event of the Year honours, and the double-bill of two of the world’s top bands drew crowds and piqued interest.

World Pipe Band Championships – the 2011 edition of the biggest pipe band competition of the year did not make significant changes, but went with the formula that seems to work. A day of good weather made things enjoyable for the large crowd and the more than 220 bands competing on August 13th.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees, and thanks to our panel of experts for providing their input.

Past pipes|drums New Year’s Honours:









Stay tuned to pipes|drums for our 2012 Fearless Forecasts of predictions for the year to come!


  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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