Glasgow City Pipe Band and Grade 2 Prospects for 2018

Our Grade 2 watcher MacStig regrets to note that Glasgow City Pipe Band has disbanded after 2 years……

It’s always sad to see a band packing up and calling it a day, and there have been many over the years. Glasgow City tried hard in a very competitive market for players, stepped out in Grade 2, and made it through two seasons, albeit this past season probably signposted challenges with a couple of no-shows and propping up the points table.

We should applaud the efforts of those who try, the risk takers, as it is tough going to start from scratch. Not all can repeat the feats of Inveraray and progress through the Juvenile ranks, win Grade 2 and then 10 years later take the World title. That requires skill and determination for sure, but many are called, few are chosen.

We wish those leaving Glasgow City well and hope as many as possible remain in the game, find new ranks to join, and consider it a worthwhile experience on their personal journey.

With the 2017 upgrade announcement from the RSPBA due quite soon, we could see the Grade 2 ranks shortened by two going up (Glasgow Skye who are pictured at the top of this article, and Lomond &Clyde), and now Glasgow City disappears too.

Balagan have announced they will be attending all five Majors in 2018

Readers will remember the shortened running order in both Belfast and Forres this past year, and we hope that more of the bands will play all five Majors. Balagan of Denmark has already committed to that and it may be that City of London will too after a debut year where that band made it onto the prize list at Dumbarton (Scottish Championship).

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If the two promotion candidates go up, the grade will open yet again and offer a real opportunity for the likes of Mackenzie Caledonian, Closkelt and Manorcunningham. Also Balagan, Grampian Police and City of Discovery will have a shot too, as will the likely promoted Wallacestone & District (pictured).

Now, not wishing to get ahead of the season before the year has turned, if I was in a decision making seat in a North American, Aussie or Kiwi band in Grade 2 I might already be limbering up for a campaign to fund a trip to the Worlds in August 2018. The trigger will be the promotion of Skye and L&C to clear out the two bands in the field that few could get close to last year. Both St Thomas Alumni and City of Dunedin, Florida, outperformed them in piping at various stages on the Green, so both are no doubt watching this closely.

After the month the City of Houston, Texas, has had, the St Thomas school being devastated, band kit and instrument destroyed, what a story that would be for the St Thomas School and Alumni bands to travel to Scotland in 2018 as very real contenders. The fly in the ointment might be any Grade 1 bands coming down in the other direction but, as in football, relegated teams quite often find the drop difficult to manage, don’t retain players and struggle to find their feet.

It’s not even October and the winter practice regimes are only just off and running, so time will tell. Over and out.

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