The 13th annual pipes|drums New Year’s Honours!
2014 Pipe Band of the Year
Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia
Considering that this band was on the brink of extinction only a few years ago, for Shotts & Dykehead to return this year to being consistent prize-list-winners at major championships, and be seen as a realistic contender to win are astounding feats. Add to that their community involvement through the launch of a new juniors’ competition, their rejection of “fly-in” talent, and returning to the top-six at the World Championships (many feeling the band should have been in the top three) and Pipe-Major Ryan Canning, Pipe-Sergeant Glenn Brown and Leading-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick are recreating a Shotts era for the ages.
Also considered (alphabetical order):
- Bleary & District – three Grade 2 championship wins and promotion consideration to Grade 1 make Bleary a solid runner-up. Let’s hope they continue to grow, make and stay in the premier grade.
- Field Marshal Montgomery – another World title, another Champion of Champions award. There’s no sign of FMM letting up on the competition gas.
- Greater Glasgow Police Scotland – their “Ceolry” concert was a sold-out rave, honoring the Gaelic tradition in Glasgow piping, and they acquitted themselves solidly in the field. Pipe-Major Duncan Nicholson is returning this also near-extinct group to greatness.
- Inveraray & District – they picked off a major and produced more great arrangements in 2014. This group continues to ooze music and, increasingly, is the world model for style.
- Stuart Highlanders – being ordered to compete in Grade 1 or nothing only months before the World Championships might have caused many Grade 2 bands to crumble. It only seemed to make the Stuart Highlanders stronger. The Stuarts might eventually be the first US band to break the top-six at the World’s since Worcester Kiltie in the 1960s.