January 03, 2014

pipes|drums’ fearless forecasts for the year 2014

came directly from our panel, some serious, some not so much. You decide:

  • Glasgow Police Scotland to finish in the top-three in at least one major.
  • As with the recent trend to seek alternative 2/4 marches, the same will happen with strathspeys.
  • Continued general solo piping domination from Iain Speirs – he’ll qualify for the 2014 Glenfiddich at least four times.
  • A critical mass of RSPBA members will begin to seriously question association policy, especially as it relates to continued tinkering with their marquee event, the World “pe Band Championship.
  • EUSPBA will upgrade both New York Metro and Stuart Highlanders to Grade 1 after 2014 season.
  • Inveraray & District to walk away from Sinclair chanters.
  • The price of tenor drum sticks will fall in response to lowered demand.
  • Normal programming resumes at Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, despite the change at the top.
  • The number of pipe bands overall will continue to dwindle, as the big numbers and money commitment will exert pressure on bands and their members
  • Medleys at the World’s will continue the recent trend of “what’s old is new,” with a return to a slightly more traditional approach.
  • Oran Mor will re-emerge with different leadership in a lower grade.
  • Bill Livingstone will compete in one professional solo piping contest, and win.
  • Gold Medal: Dougie Murray.
  • A solo piping record will be released that offers a pleasingly different look at pibroch.
  • More elite soloists return to canisters moisture control systems and “McFrankenstein” bags as the tolerance for even just a hint of stability/tuning blemish across a 10-minute Piobaireachd is all but gone these days.
  • Cameron Drummond to win a Gold Medal.
  • More large contests and associations will jump on the live-streaming bandwagon to take advantage of the demand for piping and drumming events online.
  • Reay Mackay will release a book of music.
  • The fledgling Balmoral bonnet trend will die on the vine.
  • Public controversy will emerge with Glasgow Life, the BBC and the RSPBA over music licensing.
  • The 2014 year will see the end-of-season retirement of Reid Maxwell and Jim Kilpatrick as lead-drummers of their respective bands.
  • With the idea of encouraging even more healthy competition the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario will institute both solo and band Grade 6 events for 2015 with an eye to investigate the feasibility of Grade 7.
  • The World’s format will continue to be a much discussed issue for bands while the RSPBA tries to find the right balance.
  • Stuart Liddell will qualify for the Glenfiddich from three different events.
  • Recent tightening of U.S. border regulations will see the end of Canadian judges travelling to U.S. piping events.
  • SFU excepted, Canadian Grade 1 bands will continue to struggle to make the Final at the World’s.
  • Steven McWhirter makes it four in a row at World Solos.
  • Solo light music tempos will creep upward after a couple decades of getting slower and slower.
  • St. Laurence O’Toole to win at least one major and place second at at least one other.

Remember, it’s all in fun, and please feel free to submit your own predictions via our comments feature.

Only our best wishes to all pipers, drummers and pipe bands in 2014!




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