A leading north-east pipe band will compete against elite musicians from across the globe after securing promotion to the world’s top tier competition class.
The Buchan Peterson Pipe Band has been promoted to Grade 1 and will join 20 of the best bands from around the world in the top grade for the 2017 competition calendar, including the European and World Championships which are both held in Scotland.
Originally founded in Peterhead, the band is primarily composed of north-east musicians from towns including: Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Inverurie, Huntly, Keith, Elgin and Forres, as well as Glasgow, Brechin and Kirriemuir further afield.
The band will be the only one north of Perth competing in Grade 1 at the World Championships in August next year and is the first band in the north of Scotland to play in Grade 1 since 2013.
The promotion comes on the back of four very successful years which has seen the band win 15 major championships, including the 2013 World Grade 2 Championships. The band was also crowned Champion of Champions in the same year.
Pipe Major Scott Oliphant is delighted with the progress the band has made in recent years and is looking forward to competing with the best pipe bands in the world.
He said: “The promotion to Grade 1 is a great honour and the result of a lot of hard work from everyone involved, especially Brian Martin and Peter Carter who run the band’s drum corp.
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to compete alongside the best pipe bands in the world and are looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
Mr Robert Skinner, Chairman of the band, first played with in the band 45 years ago and is keen to see them compete in the world’s top tier.
He said: “In football terms we have moved from The Championship to The Premier League and our first goal must be to ensure we consolidate our place at the top table of the pipe band world.
“I also hope our elevation will attract rising stars from the local area who would be keen to compete for the only north based Grade 1 pipe band.
“The competition in Grade 1 will be tough as we will be facing the top 20 pipe bands in the world. However, we are up for the challenge and aim to make the north of Scotland proud of its premier pipe band.”
The World Pipe Band Championships have been held in Glasgow continuously for the last 30 years during August, and the city will host the championships until 2021. In addition, the European Championships is now regularly held in Forres in June of each year attracting over 120 bands.
Entries for all major pipe band championships are regularly received from as far afield as Canada, USA, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Zimbabwe as well as from across Europe, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.