16 Pipe bands Enter Inverness Highland Games Event
The City of Inverness Highland Games Committee has announced that 16 Pipe Bands will be competing at the Highland Games on Saturday July 23 in Bught Park Arena. Organised by the North of Scotland Branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Association, which was formed in Inverness in 1951, the Tulloch City of Inverness Pipe Band Competition is the first local pipe band competition held in the Inverness since the 1960s and marks the official start of preparations for Inverness to host the European Pipe Band Championships in 2007.
The bands will give 24 competitive performances on the day, which commences with the Grade 4 event at 11.15 am with Grades 3, 2, and 1 following on thereafter. During the day there will also be an event for Drum Majors. The Adjudicator is Drum Major Bill Barclay. Four adults have entered the contest with a Juvenile Drum Major joining the ranks from Sheffield. The Drum Majors are judged on their dress, marching and discipline whereas the bands are measured purely on their musical ability by two adjudicators looking at piping and drumming respectively. On this occasion that job falls to Pipe Major Trevor Dear and Drum Major Alistair Dowling, who were a formidable pairing in competition when at the helm of the Dingwall Royal British Legion Pipe Band.
As is normal practice at all Branch competitions, the day culminates with a massed band finale as part of the prize giving ceremony. A haul of new trophies has been generously donated; all will be awarded on the day. An additional trophy is to be awarded to the best Novice Juvenile Pipe Band competing within the Grade 4 contest.
Two young bands, one from Culter, the other from Bucksburn, will vie for this new quiach. In addition to winning these trophies, points earned by bands in the prize list from each grade will count towards the North of Scotland Branch Championship to be awarded at Mintlaw in late August.
The timing of the Inverness contest provides an ideal rehearsal for those bands that will compete at The British Championships to be held in Tain on Saturday 30th July. The British Championship is one of five major contests held annually under the auspices of the RSPBA and attracts competitors from far and wide. 113 bands have entered the Tain event.