Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all at Boghall and Bathgate!
In days gone by, winter was a time for pipe bands to hibernate and take some well earned time off before regrouping in the new year to build towards the coming season. I think it’s safe to say that is no longer the case and that for many people pipe bands have become a full on, year round activity.
This has certainly been the case for Boghall and Bathgate, with many events occurring in the traditional close season. Since the final championship of a very successful 2013, the band have crammed in a number of public events including performing at all three Scottish Rugby Autumn Internationals and a performance at a prestigious event at the Scottish Parliament.
Alongside these performances, a number of our talented soloists have been impressing around the country with excellent results at events including the World Solo Drumming Championships, International Juvenile Solo Tenor Drumming Championships and the Scottish Piping Society of London.
Particularly notable results included Craig Brown making the adult final of the World Solo Drumming Championships for the second year in a row; Kerr McQuillan, Lauren Thomson, Iona Hatcher and Joanna Fairbairn all winning their respective grades at the International Tenor Drumming Solos and Calum Watson taking a fantastic haul of solo prizes at multiple contests over the last few months. All results for our soloists from the last few months are listed below – well done to all of them:Blairgowrie Highland Games, Sunday 8th September, Blairgowrie:
SPA Juvenile Contest, Saturday 14th September, Glasgow:
• Calum Watson: 1st C Piobaireachd, 1st C March, 1st C S&R
• Ross Miller: 3rd C Piobaireachd
Captain John MacLellan Memorial Contest, Saturday 5th October, Edinburgh:
• James Miller: 4th B Piobaireachd, 3rd B March, 2nd B S&R
Falkirk Tryst Piping Recital, Saturday 5th October, Falkirk:
• Calum Watson: 1st C Piobaireachd, 1st C MSR, 1st C H&J
National MOD Piping Contest, Saturday 12th October, Paisley:
• James Miller: 4th Falkirk Tryst Contest
World Solo Drumming Championships, Saturday 19th October, Glasgow:
• Calum Watson: 3rd Adult MSR, 3rd Adult H&J
• Reed Cameron: 5th Juvenile MAP 1
• Lachlan Gibb: 2nd Juvenile MSR 3
• Craig Brown: 12th Adult Final
• Adult Semi-Finalists: Craig Brown, L/D Gordon J Brown, Euan MacAllister, Alan Irvine, Ross Walker.International Juvenile Solo Tenor Drumming, Saturday 19th October, Glasgow:
74th Scottish Piping Society of London, Saturday 2nd November, London:
• Kerr McQuillan: 1st Juvenile MAP 1
• Jamie Easton: 6th Juvenile MAP 1
• Lauren Thomson: 1st Juvenile MAP 2
• Hugo Richards: 5th Juvenile MAP 2
• Iona Hatcher: 1st Juvenile MSR 1
• Joanna Fairbairn: 1st Juvenile MSR 3
Graeme Johnstone Memorial Juvenile Solo Piping, Saturday 16th November, Glasgow:
• Calum Watson: 5th C Piobaireachd, 2nd C MSR, 1st C H&J
Craigmount High School Pipe Band Solo Contest, Saturday 6th December, Edinburgh:
• Andrew Hutton: 3rd MSR
• Christina Shaw: 4th 18+U MSR
• James Miller: 2nd 15+U MSR, 6th 15+U Piobaireachd
• Ciaren Ross: 3rd 15+U MSR, 2nd 15+U Piobaireachd
• Andrew Hutton: 4th 15+U MSR
• Craig Easton: 5th 15+U MSR
Since our last formal update, we are also delighted to announce that our Novice Juvenile band have been upgraded to the Juvenile grade by the RSPBA after their first season under the leadership of P/M Ali Scougall and assistant P/M David Burnside. This is a fantastic achievement and is a great reward for the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of all the tutors and young people involved in the band. Everyone is well aware of the challenges of stepping up to Juvenile, but they have already put in a great amount of hard work over the winter and are looking forward to debuting their fantastic MSR and medley in 2014.
With the Novice Juvenile band upgraded to Juvenile, we are now putting additional efforts into developing our current crop of learners to the point where they are able to compete in the Novice grade. To that end, the instruction of the learner group is being led and co-ordinated by Alvis Kerr and ably assisted by G1 pipers Ross Miller, Ewan Sturrock and Calum Watson. These players are developing at a fantastic rate and we hope to see them out competing in the near future.
At this point, a special vote of thanks must also go to the immediate past Pipe Major of the Juvenile band, Ian Bowden. With the Novice Juvenile band’s promotion to Juvenile, Ian has elected to step down from a front line leadership role in the Juvenile side of the organisation, but we are delighted that he has already pledged his support to the new Juvenile leadership and we are sure that Ali will be keen to draw on Ian’s wealth of knowledge and success at this level.
P/M Ross Walker was incredibly impressed with the standards Ian achieved during his tenure as Juvenile P/M:
“Ian took over the reins of the Juvenile band at a point when the band was regularly finishing around the bottom of the Juvenile prize list. With his inspired leadership, he improved the band year on year and led them to great success in the highly regarded Juvenile grade. Perhaps his band were unfortunate not to win more titles, but they were one of three bands that consistently pushed each other to standards seldom seen before in the Juvenile grade. Despite the great achievement of collecting multiple championship titles, I believe that Ian’s biggest legacy will be the number of Juvenile pipers he has helped to make the jump to the Grade 1 band. On behalf of the entire organization, thank you for everything Ian.”
Over recent months we have also been very proud to see two of our Grade 1 pipers, Ross Miller and Calum Watson appointed as joint Pipe Sergeants of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. Both Ross and Calum seem to have taken to their new roles with great enthusiasm which has been evident in both of the band’s superb recent concerts in Aberdeen and Glasgow. Alongside Ross and Calum, a number of our other young members have been involved in these shows and it’s great to see they have been rewarded for their hard work with a recent trip to Switzerland to perform at the renowned Swiss Tattoo’s. At the other end of the age spectrum, it seems Rock and Roll (or bagrock) knows no age limits with Grade 1 veteran Stuart Scott becoming one of the latest additions to the Red Hot Chilli Pipers line up – well done Stuart, but make sure you remember to stand still in the competition circle!
Finally, we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over the last 12 months. We have had a great year which has only been possible due to the enormous amount of help and support we get from our followers, our sponsors, our friends and family, our fantastic committee and every single individual within our organisation. Here’s hoping 2014 will prove to be an even more successful year! If you’re in Scotland for Hogmanay you might even be lucky enough to start your 2014 with us – keep your eyes peeled and you might just see a great band gracing the stage on the Hogmanay show on BBC1!