Scottish Bands to Participate in US Tattoo and New Championship

image004Pipe bands from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States have confirmed participation in the Virginia International Tattoo American Pipe Band Championship on Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Norfolk, Virginia. 

The press release reads: ‘The Virginia International Tattoo will host the first annual Virginia International Tattoo American Pipe Band Championship, a contest open to Grade 1 and Grade 2 pipe bands. Inveraray & District Pipe Band and Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band, both from the United Kingdom, will anchor the Grade 1 contest which has drawn commitments from two Canadian bands: Peel Regional Police Pipe Band and Toronto Police Pipe Band.  A second contest will feature four Grade 2 bands: Great Lakes Pipe Band, MacMillan Pipe Band, Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band and New York Metro Pipe Band. Each band will play a March, Strathspey & Reel and Medley, and cash prizes will be awarded to the top three in each grade. The program will also include an Open Drum Fanfare Competition.

‘In addition to playing in the contest, we are all excited to watch the Grade 1 event,’ said MacMillan Pipe Major. Andrew Donlon. ‘Not many people within our organization have ever seen a top six band live, and to catch one of the best bands in the world only 250 miles away is definitely a treat.’

‘The Championship begins at 12:00PM on Scope Plaza with a massed band performance and awards presentation at 6:00 PM.  The event is free and open to the public.  In case of inclement weather, the competition will be held inside Scope Arena.

‘Prizes will be awarded for both Grade 1 and 2 as follows: 1st Place – $2,500 [£1770 approx.], 2nd Place – $1,000, and 3rd Place – $500. The program will also include an Open Drum Fanfare Competition with a single $1,000 prize.

Fife Police will be a star attraction at the Tattoo
All set for the States...P/Sgt Alasdair Henderson and Inveraray & District PB
All set for the States…P/Sgt Alasdair Henderson and Inveraray & District PB

‘The competition coincides with the Tattoo performance weekend April 21-24.  Inveraray & District Pipe Band and Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band will have a combined feature scene in the Tattoo.  This is the first time that pipe bands of this caliber have participated in the Virginia International Tattoo. They will also play in the show’s massed pipes and drums, which includes Wake & District Pipe Band, the Canadian Forces Base 8 Wing Trenton Pipes and Drums, the Jordanian Armed Forces Bagpipe Band and two bands from Australia: the 51 ACU Swan Regiment Drums and Pipes and the Presbyterian Ladies’ College Pipe Band. Switzerland’s Top Secret Drum Corps is also scheduled to perform.  There are 4 performances of the Tattoo and tickets start at $20.

andrew-carlisle-mug‘Coordinating the Championship is world-renown piping soloist, Andrew Carlisle [left].   ‘Having the competition in April will give participating bands the opportunity to have their MSR and Medley selections evaluated very early in the year,’ said Carlisle. ‘For bands participating in other major competitions next year, hearing what the judges think in the spring can set you up for success later in the year.’

‘Emphasizing that the purpose of the Championship goes beyond just the competition, J. Scott Jackson said: “We want to draw attention to the incredible musicianship of top-level pipe bands. These pipers are not only ambassadors of Celtic Music and culture, but are also world-class performers in their own right.”

‘As the producer/director of the Virginia International Tattoo for the past 13 seasons, Jackson is well qualified to assess such musicianship. He has worked with thousands of pipers and is also a professional musician himself with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Jackson is a well-respected member of the International Association of Tattoo Organizers and under his leadership the Tattoo has become the largest event of its kind in the United States.

‘For more information on the 2016 Virginia International Tattoo and Virginia International Tattoo American Pipe Band Championship contact Jennifer Hafner at 757-282-2803 or

For more information or to purchase tickets for the 2016 performance, visit For video, visit