December 29, 2023

The 10 most-read pipes|drums News stories of 2023

In 2023, nearly 200 news stories (not counting articles about competition Results, Features, Interviews, Reviews, Opinion pieces, or other special pieces) were published in pipes|drums.

All told we brought you almost 400 articles over the year, and, as always, we thank you for reading.

But which 2023 News stories were the most read?

As with our 2023 Features, we looked back at the analytics, and here are the 10 most-read News articles of the year:


Doug MacRae retires as P-M of 78th Fraser Highlanders

Surprising? Not really, since MacRae led Ontario’s only Grade 1 band for more than 13 years, successfully maintaining the standard even through hard pandemic times.


BBC Radio Scotland nixes Pipeline; final show April 1

Outrage and despair ensued as pipes|drums broke the story of Scotland’s publicly-funded broadcaster cancelled the century-old program on the country’s national instrument.


John Elliott, Kirkcaldy, Scotland – 1976-2023

The sudden sad passing of the popular piper, reedmaker and G1 Reeds founder left the piping and drumming world reeling in a year of mostly bad news.


RSPBA has no replacement solution; 2023 British Championships presumed cancelled

For the first time in its nearly 70-year history, the world’s most powerful pipe band association couldn’t deliver five major championships.


RSPBA indicates only two major championships for 2024

The news for the UK pipe band scene didn’t improve when the RSPBA revealed that 2024 could see only two staged over the summer after a season of only four major competitions. The organization hasn’t formally cancelled the British, UK and European championships at the end of the year, hoping that some solution can be found.


Sandy Jones, 1938-2023

The venerable and loved American piping leader left his community in a better place, and pipes|drums readers knew it as they mourned the passing of Sandy Jones.


RSPBA clarifies World’s Grade 1 judging matter

You can see where our list of most-read stories might be heading. After more than two months of silence, the RSPBA finally said something more about the mysterious and unfortunate circumstances of the 2023 World Championships.


Claiming exemption, BBC refuses Freedom of Information request to help clarify World’s judging controversy

An appeal to the BBC to divulge what it knows about the 2023 World Championships judging matter was rejected, leaving the globe’s pipers and drummers in the dark.


Sources: alleged incomplete judge’s summary sheet at the heart of World’s Grade 1 fiasco

pipes|drums investigated the 2023 World’s judging matter and found several insiders who shared what they knew. We did what we always do: ask questions, gather details, corroborate information, and report it to you.


Friday Grade 1 MSR judge Nat Russell’s results scrubbed from World’s tally; rocks pipe band world

Minutes after the 2023 World’s results were announced, we learned of what might be the biggest news story in pipe band competition history. We obtained details from multiple sources, asked questions, got answers and broke the news. The debacle continues, but thankfully, it has not overshadowed the achievements of the prizewinners. This story on its first day attracted more than 16,000 readers.


So, those are the 10 News stories of 2023 that gained the most attention.

Here are other top-read stories that didn’t quite crack to the top 10:

Thank you to all for reading and watching pipes|drums in 2023, and here’s to another year ahead full of news and information coming to you first.

Stay tuned for the 22nd annual pipes|drums New Year’s Honours!






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