In a bustling school in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland, almost 100 performances over eight categories.
With silverware up for grabs and almost £10,000 in prize money from the Scottish Schools Piping & Drumming Trust, this is a meaningful pool for competitors travelling from all over Scotland, and one band from south of the border.
The First Minister of Scotland presented the trophies.
1st Lochgilphead Joint Campus
2nd Johnstone High
3rd Equal – Renfrew/ St Andrews High
1 Balfron HS
2 Aberdeenshire Schools
3 Inverkeithing HS
1 St Columba’s, Kilmalcolm
3 Fettes College
1 Fettes College
2 Erskine Stewart’s Melville
1 Preston Lodge High School
3rd Sgoil Lionacleit
Eilidh MacLeod Endeavour Award: Ullapool Schools Pipe Band
The RSPBA recognised categories;
1 North Lanarkshire Schools
2 George Watson’s College
3 Dollar Academy
1 George Watson’s College
2 Dollar Academy
1 Dollar Academy
2 North Lanarkshire Schools
3 George Watson’s College
Our Juvenile Grade Correspondent will have a full report published on the ‘Championships’ during next week.
Earlier….. From the Inveralmond Community School complex in Livingston, West Lothian, and promoted by the Scottish Schools Pipes & Drums Trust, around 100 performances are expected in the next seven hours in eight separate competitions,writes our Special Correspondent.
The picture above is of Portree Schools Novice B band from the isle of Skye. Kicking off in parallel halls, Novice Juvenile B and Junior A are off and running. The Former is one of the three RSPBA categories of eight available. Namely Juvenile, Novice Juv A and Novice Juv B. These three grades are much the same as you would find at an RSPBA competition and are only open to relevant RSPBA registered bands. Although this is not an RSPBA sanctioned contest, it does get full support from RSPBA in stewarding, judges etc.
The blue ribbon Juvenile event is a March, Strathspey & Reel starting at 1230h. All in concert formation with adjudicators sitting at desks. To encourage new bands, perhaps recent starters, and those not yet in the RSPBA orbit, there is a Quartet competition at 10am, a Debut Band competition at 2.45pm, Junior B at 11am and Junior A at 9am.
On top of that lot is a lengthy ‘open’ Freestyle competition which runs from 1.30pm. In previous years the latter has produced some interesting and entertaining combinations of Pipe Band meets Celtic Connections, and there were even dancers spotted once. This event has had Gary West of Pipeline and Craig Munro of Wallace Bagpipes/Chilli Pipers on the panel in the past. The RSPBA competitions have a slate of well kent adjudicators. Hats off to them for the full day ahead on the pencil.
The First Minister of Scotland will make an appearance and has written a message in the Programme. A group from the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland will close the performance part of the day late this afternoon , with prizegiving to follow.
Unfortunately the car park was already full at a little after 8am, with advice from the steward to ‘park where you can’ in surrounding residential streets. Hopefully the good people of the area will be happy enough with hundreds of cars littering their avenues and groves. I fear this subject will feature in social media as the day progresses.
Schools nowadays can cater for the many hundreds of pupils on their roll, but it is often forgotten that car parking isn’t provided on a vast scale. This was an issue at the James Gillespie School in 2017 too. If you are planning to come along for the later competitions, Juvenile and Freestyle, be warned.
The venue itself is already busy, boisterous and crammed with pipers and drummers coming and going from warm up rooms to tuning and competition space. Results will be posted as soon as we have them.