Once again, Maxville has come and passed... as predicted almost. The West is still the best and the East isn't too shabby either. Ontario bands are certainly in a rut. If it weren't for a strong performance by the Rob Roy Pipe Band of Kingston, locals would be shut out in the top 3 grades... as it was, Grade 3 went to Rob Roy but hotly on their heels were the Great Lakes Pipe Band of Cleveland, Ohio and the Ulster Scottish Pipe Band from Philadelphia, so even the Grade 3 wasn't a slam dunk!
The Grade 1 North American Champions for 2010 are the Peel Regional Pipe Band under PM John Cairns and LD Graham Brown. Congratulations to them as well as worthy runners-up, the 78th Highlanders (The Citadel) from Halifax, NS, under PM Roderick MacLean. Now Grade 2 presented few surprises as the City of Chicago and the St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg split the top events with the CoC nudging in for the championship. Kudos to PM Pat Lynch of CoC and PM Wes Sheppard of the St. Andrew's. The Fredericton Society of St. Andrew was third with Rocky Mountain of Calgary and the Stuart Highlanders of Boston rounding out the top 5. With this result it would appear that the Ontario Grade 2 has been decimated... or is it guillotined?
The World's Championships is next on the list of majors. Canada will be well represented in the premier grade by SFU, Triumph Street and Edmonton Caledonia from the west and Peel Police and the 78th Fraser Highlanders from Ontario. The USA will have the City of Washington and the LA Scots entered. SFU is the only sure bet for the final as they are defending champions and already qualified. The other 4 bands just might share in elation and bitter disappointment as only 6 bands make it through the qualifier... and the contest is stacked! The Grade 2 this year also has qualifiers with two heats running simultaneously to select 12 finalists. The New Westminster Police, 6th last year, heads up a list that includes the City of Regina and the St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg. Good luck to them all. Better still, let's hope for good plays and satisfying trips.
See you in Glasgow!