The new generation of players that was under training was still not ready when the band started to compete in 2010 in the newly created South American pipe band competition, promoted by SPBASA. The band finished last, with Argentina’s Highland Thistle band deservedly winning first prize. However, two years later, in Buenos Aires, another South American competition took place and by then we could field some very good players of our new generation of pipers and drummers. The band won that contest becoming Brazil’s first SPBASA Cup champion and capturing also the trophy for the best pipe corps.
The South American championships was to remain our main competition objective for the next few years, as it was much more financially accessible for our band than traveling to compete in the UK. And we were still having a taste of a real Scottish competition, as the adjudicators were brought from UK and North America.
In 2015, Brasil Caledonia were hosts to the first pipe band gathering in Brazilian soil, held in São Paulo. Adjudicators were Roddy MacLeod, Jamie Troy and David Wilton. In preparation for this event, and foreseeing that a number of bands mainly in the state of Rio de Janeiro could possibly participate but needed some help to be in line with the gathering musical requirements, I designed Rio Piping Hot. This event, held in Petrópolis in March 2015 had Ken Eller as our illustrious guest. Rio Piping Hot 2 also with Ken Eller was held in Petropolis in October 2017. Thanks to Rio Piping Hot 1, bands that were away from South American gatherings had a chance to effectively participate in such events, starting with the one held in SP. As a result of this effort, two civilian bands from Rio (Wolney Highlanders and Brazilian Piper), plus the Brazilian Marine band from Rio and the band of the Presidential Guard Battalion from Brasilia, all with pipe corps, ended up participating in the Brazil gathering in 2015, which had a record of 11 bands coming from Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Brasil Caledonia finished 3rdoverall, winning first prize in the medley contest and retaining the shield for best pipe corps.
The Brazil gathering also helped us to connect to the civilian bands in Rio, which were doing social work with the local impoverished “favela” communities, and as such were helping to keep boys away from drug and crime, especially Brazilian Piper band. Another positive outcome was to get the Brazilian army and navy bands involved, as this would speed up their musical evolution on the pipes.
The latest update to Brasil Caledonia’s competition results was a 2ndplace overall in the 2017 South American Pipe Band gathering held in Santiago, Chile. The band also placed 1stin the march medley contest. This gathering had a very special meaning to me as both a solo piping and a solo drumming competition was held for the first time in SPBASA gatherings. Our players kept the band’s tradition of getting the best results for Brazil in all competitions both band and solos, and all the prizes of the solo piping contest went to Brasil Caledonia, with myself finishing 3rdand my former pupils and now band mates Carlos Miranda and Nicholas Reis finishing 1stand 2ndrespectively.