Friday 15th and Saturday 16th August saw our annual pilgrimage westbound along the M8 to Glasgow Green for the World Pipe Band Championships. Following the introduction of a two day event in 2013 this years event retained a two day approach but this time was split over Friday and Saturday rather than the Saturday/Sunday of the year before.
This meant the Grade 1 band had a fairly busy day on Friday with two qualifying events including both an MSR and a medley. With the Grade 1 bands split into two separate heats, Boghall were up against a number of top bands including previous winners Simon Fraser University and current European Champions, Inveraray and District. Despite facing such stiff competition and in some challenging weather conditions the band produced two great runs to win both qualifying sections and thus gaining entry to Saturday’s final, taking four 1st places for piping in the process.
Saturday morning dawned and the atmosphere at the green stepped up a level from Friday with a huge increase in the number of bands and spectators. Sadly the weather remained fairly miserable with heavy overcast skies and intermittent rain dominating much of the day.
Having had Friday off the Juvenile band were looking forward to competing and had the added pressure of playing in front of a sizeable crowd and the television cameras in the G1 arena. The band handled the pressure admirably and after their strongest performance yet of their Dechmont Flyer medley they were pleased to finish 3rd out of 8 against some excellent Juvenile bands. Given it is only 15 months since this band made their debut in the Novice grade this is a remarkable achievement - congratulations to all our youngsters on their progress and hard work and thanks to all their tutors; Ali Scougall, David Burnside, Gavin Burns, Gavin Orr and Stevie McQuillan for all the time they have put into the band this year.
As the afternoon approached the Grade 1 band began to prepare for the MSR and medley finals. Having switched the two marches for their MSRs round, the band chose to compete with Brigadier General Ronald Cheape of Tiroran, The Caledonian Society of London and Pretty Marion. After a very strong performance the band were hopeful of being contenders and this turned out to be very much the case finishing only 4 points behind MSR winners Inveraray and District.
Another strong run in the medley left the band hopeful of challenging for the overall title but once all the scores were added up the band had to settle for 4th place. Nonetheless, the drum corps were delighted to win the Medley drumming title and only narrowly missed out on the overall title which went to Shotts and Dykehead - well done to them. Congratulations must also go to Field Marshal Montgomery on their overall win and to St Laurence O’Toole for lifting the drumming champion of champions title. Thanks also to the BBC for their as always excellent recordings of the band.
Both bands will now attend the Edinburgh contest this weekend before the Grade 1 band round off their season with a concert in Frankfurt at the end of August. Thank you to everyone who has supported the band this season - here’s hoping we can bring you even more silverware next year!