pipes|drums Best of the Decade Awards – Recording
And what a 10 years they were!
The decade was rich with piping and drumming achievements. It was hard to decide the very best of the best, so we assembled a group of 50 accomplished pipers and drummers to allow us to democratically determine the winners.
Opinions will vary. It’s all subjective. Our nominees were chosen from the annual pipes|drums New Year’s Honours winners, plus select others that rated highly.
We have six categories:
- Pipe Band of the Decade
- Piper of the Decade
- Drummer of the Decade
- Product of the Decade
- Recording of the Decade
- Music Collection of the Decade
The second in our six-part feature series . . .
pipes|drums Recording of the Decade
On the Day – The Story of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band
(read the 2011 pipes|drums review)
The 2011 feature documentary by professional filmmaker and piper John McDonald of Pasadena, California, captured the extraordinary week in 2008 that saw the world’s first truly all-star one-time band get together to test their mettle at Glasgow Green.
On the Day strives to tell a story – one of camaraderie and commitment by the more than 35 pipers and drummers who assembled, ultimately winning one qualifier event and making the Grade 1 Final and finishing eleventh overall.
Pipe-majored by Roddy MacLeod and with John Fisher leading the percussion, cameras trailed members, microphones captured personal thoughts, and McDonald made the canny decision to tap other competitors for their views. Sumptuously shot and beautifully rendered in post-production, the movie also broke new ground for pipe bands by being shown across Canada in major movie theatres.
Sooner or later, another band of all-star players will try a similar test, but it’s unlikely that we will see a documentary on the level of On the Day.
With 38% of the vote, On the Day narrowly beat out Inveraray & District’s Ascension commercial recording of their 2103 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall concert, which gained 35%.
A few comments from panelists:
- “The Spirit of Scotland ‘experiment,’ in a way, answered a question that most of us have had our entire band careers: could a group of capable soloists come together and win the World’s? John McDonald expertly captured the story on film.”
- “The most fun, and brought some flesh, blood and personality.”
- “Records the trials and emotion of competition day at the World’s.”
- “A unique and high-quality recording of a unique and high-quality ensemble.”
- “An intimate viewing of the most groundbreaking pipe band of all time. We all know/knew these guys, and the production made them look like the stars they are/were, and made us feel special because we could say, ‘I know her/him.’ Great story, presented as well as it possibly could be.”
- “Definitely a great piece of film for the decade and shows so much of how people should carry themselves and prepare.”
- “This was a really positive and inspirational look at what makes top pipers and drummers tick (love of music and friends).”
- “The concept of taking the worlds top players and have them practice together for a short period and then compete at the World Pipe Band Championships had never been done. It made the video that much more unique.”
Also nominated, along with their percentage of votes:
- Ascension – Inveraray & District (35%) (2014)
- Live – ScottishPower (12%) (2015)
- Ceolry – Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band (6%) (2015)
- Evolution (DVD) – St. Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band (3%) (2011)
- Forte – Live at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (DVD) – Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band (3%) (2013)
- IMPACT – Field Marshal Montgomery (3%) (2017)
- Live In Ireland In Scotland (video stream and download) – various artists (0%) (2017)
Here’s a chart that shows how the voting went:
[Disclosure: the editor of pipes|drums was a member of Spirit of Scotland in 2008 and 2016, and did not have a vote in this survey.]
Stay tuned for the remaining pipes|drums Best of the Decade Award winners over the next four days, and of course the 18th annual pipes|drums New Year’s Honours to be announced on December 31!
pipes|drums Best of the Decade Awards – Music Collection
December 18, 2019