As 2017 fair draws in, we take a look back at our archives to pick the top new stories from the last 12 months of piping and drumming. These are not the most-read stories of 2017, but the developments that we think were most important.
Any thought that the still-new American Pipe Band Championships in Virginia, which started in 2016 by bringing in two of the best bands from Scotland, would grow to become a threat to unseat the top grades at the World Pipe Band Championship were pretty much dashed when the event scaled down to be limited to Grade 2 and Grade 3 only.
Despite being on a clear upward swing, the Grade 1 New Zealand Police simply could not afford the time and money to get to Scotland for a fourth straight year. Did it hurt the band? Evidently not, with the group maintaining strong numbers and quality, most recently winning the big Square Day event in South Palmerston in December.
She might not have been a household name to many outside of Ontario, but major credit goes to Connie Blaney for overseeing the growth of the Glengarry Highland Games at Maxville, Ontario, to becoming the largest piping and drumming competition – by number of events and attendance – in the world. She is missed.