Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia were one of the last pipe bands to perform in 2020 with our January Celtic Connections Concert, and we are delighted to have hit the ground running by completing a busy calendar of events in the first half of 2022.
For this season, we are proud to present both our Novice Juvenile B and Grade 1 competition bands in local and Major Competitions. In a change to recent years, our most experienced Juvenile aged players are working with our adult corps. Many of them have already made their competitive debuts in the elite grade. They should all be proud of their efforts and dedication as they kept up remarkable progress in the absence of Juvenile Grade competitions in 2020-21.
Our year began, as it often does, by supporting Scottish Rugby internationals at BT Murrayfield. How refreshing it was to entertain the full stadia for both men and women’s Six Nations matches. These events provide both an important fundraising opportunity for the band and a unique chance to play for capacity crowds in a 67000 seat venue.
Over the Easter holidays, the RSPBA Lothian and Borders Branch Indoor Championships heralded our competitive return. The Grade 1 band performed 2022’s new Medley with a host of young debutants was the first performance for a panel of judges since 2019. Despite this, the band put on an assured performance to a packed auditorium at James Young High School. We also congratulate our numerous soloists, especially Branch Champions Morven Walker, Kerr McQuillan and Emily Davidson.
The Grade 1 band has performed solidly in all three Major Championships so far this season, finishing in 6th, 7th and 6th places at the British, United Kingdom and European Championships respectively. With our most assured performances coming towards the end of June, and knowing how tight competition is for Top 6 placings in Grade 1, the corps will hope and strive to maintain their recent momentum in the second half of the season.
Our fledgling Novice Juvenile B band have been making great strides forward in 2022, making the most of the opportunities to perform in competition and fundraising alongside the Grade 1 band at local events. Their little brogues have already clocked up a fairly high mileage after playing at Bathgate Procession, Linlithgow Gala Day and Bo’ness Children’s Fair Festival and competing at Inverclyde’s British and Inverness’ European Championships. We are all very proud of the work being done by our youngest members and cannot wait to view their continued development in the months and years to come.
Thank you to all of our members, tutors and families for the support so far in 2022 after what has been a challenging period for the band. The second half of the season begins at the Scottish Championships in Dumbarton, before taking a more international turn with the World Pipe Band Championships and the Grade 1 Band’s return to Avenches, Switzerland for the first time since 2008.