Scottish Power Pipe Band have been competing as a grade one band for over two decades and have represented Scotland at New York’s Tartan Day to name just one of their prestigious performances.
We spoke to Oliver Riggs about just how different it is to play at grade one level.
“There is an enormous jump from grade two to grade one” he said. “The tunes are much more advanced and technical. It’s very focussed: people know exactly what they’re looking for in terms of sound and playing.”
Barry Wilson has been competing in grade one events for over a decade. We asked him if he notices a difference in the ability levels now as compared to when he was coming up through the grades.
“I can remember when I was a junior playing the junior grades, you could almost count on two hands the competitors you were coming up against” he told us. “A lot of the top grade one bands have a lot of teenagers in their pipe corps and drum corps, so it’s definitely becoming a young man’s game now!”
A busy week lies ahead for Scottish Power Pipe Band in the run up to the competition on Saturday. As well as preparing for the World Championships, the band will be performing at their own event, Energy, on Wednesday night with various other traditional and contemporary Scottish musicians at the Royal Concert Hall.
Competitively the band will also be fielding a four-piece for the The RT Shepherd & Son International Quartet Competition on Tuesday night at the Strathclyde Suite.
Piping Live! continues all week in venues around Glasgow. Check out all of our Piping Live! coverage here
For more information on the festival, check out the official website here