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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 08-21-2009, 06:46 PM   #1
McKnight
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Default Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

Hey everyone,

I had been viewing the thread earlier about improvements to be made for the Worlds, and it got me thinking: Why not bring back the Intercontinental PB Championships?
The contest used to flourish, and could possibly again. I would personally suggest a different venue every year, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, USA, etc. Potentially in rotation or something similar to the Olympics, where a committee designated the "host city" two years in advance.

What are people's thoughts on this??

-Ted McKnight
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:57 AM   #2
classicbagpipes
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Default Re: Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

I recall the first as it was the very first time that I ever got to hear the BIG bands live up close and personal. I was in awe at the time.

I am sure some forumite can clarify that there was loads of money from someone or something, think corporation or government, that helped to finance it.
The first time they brought over a load of bands in all grades. It was an undertaking. They were housed at university residences around Toronto.
For many of the Scottish bands it was their first trip outside of Scotland.

I recall after that it was a bit more selective about the bands brought over and it may have been more of a one shot deal.
It is tough getting older as the memory fades.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:54 PM   #3
Ray Halliday
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Default Re: Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

The Intercontinental Pipe Band Championship were part of the Scottish World Festival which was part of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) which takes place annually in Toronto. Actually its on right now. The first year was 1972, 13 Grade 1 bands, 4 Grade 2, 4 Grade 3 and 4 Grade 4 bands were brought over from Scotland / England / Northern Ireland. The festival ran 4 days, there was a parade Thrsday Morning, 2 grades competed on Satrday, 2 on Suday I think 4 & 2 the first day then 3 & 1 the second. There was a Tattoo all 4 nights. The CNE put up the money, PPBSO ran the competition but (R)SPBA judges were used possibly it was PPBSO & SPBA judging. Only the Grade 1 bands were brought back the following years. I believe 1981 was the last year. For most North Americans involved in pipe bands at the time, it was our first exposure to Scottish Bands in the flesh. 1972 spawned the tune Inntercontinental, Innes Tartan from New Zealand (now Auckland & District) blew the Tattoo audiance away with their marching display - I have yet to see it matched by anyone anywhere - and for those of us on the field when Red Hackle played the Inntercontinental Marched and had tenors beating, we knew pipe bands were going to change. At the time it was pure magic! How far mid-sections have come from a tympani style roll in a simple 4/4 march to what is done today.

At the time it was scheduled after the end of the Ontario season, and the World's was usually held in June. Getting something like it going again would be difficult in my opinion. Since then, the World's has grown and basically taken over the time frame in August. I suspect the CNE dropped it for commercial reasons, so finding someone to finance a restart could be a tough sell.

Last edited by Ian Lawther; 08-24-2009 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Repairing what Hamilton broke......
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:35 PM   #4
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

The Worlds will always be the Worlds, but there is a team working on an Intercontinental PB Championships to be held in the western USA. The team has been to Maxville, Pleasanton, the Worlds (I believe) researching and it would be a few years out but the plan would be to have some of the top Grade 1 bands brought in from overseas to the event along with successful bands from associations all across North America and beyond. It would over $1,000,000 to put it on, but it if happens (and it's looking good so far) it'll be quite the event.

Andrew
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:14 AM   #5
classicbagpipes
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Default Re: Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

Ray,
Thanks I knew someone could fill in a lot of the fuzziness that I encounter as I grow older. Yes it was a part of the CNE which I negected to mention. But again there had to be a ton of money behind it, but they had to have some deep pockets as well.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

I remember catching the Intercontinental around '77/'78 at the CNE. A buddy of mine and I drove up to watch a band from Cleveland that some friends played for; the Western Reserve PB.

Great time, and a great city to visit.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

Quote:
Originally Posted by classicbagpipes View Post
I recall the first as it was the very first time that I ever got to hear the BIG bands live up close and personal. I was in awe at the time.

I am sure some forumite can clarify that there was loads of money from someone or something, think corporation or government, that helped to finance it.
The first time they brought over a load of bands in all grades. It was an undertaking. They were housed at university residences around Toronto.
For many of the Scottish bands it was their first trip outside of Scotland.

I recall after that it was a bit more selective about the bands brought over and it may have been more of a one shot deal.
It is tough getting older as the memory fades.
My memory is probably just a fuzzy as yours Reck, but I do remember heaving a hell of a good time playing there with Erskine....and a party in the motor home (parked under the stands, you do remember how we got that in there don't you?) with the Glasgow cops.

It was a great contest while it lasted, I for one would love to see it again, even at a different venue ..... with a truly international panel of judges I might add. I'd be happy to travel anywhere in the states to that event....once I get a passport!
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:53 AM   #8
Paul Wood
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Default Re: Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

Why would "we" (we being the rest of the world) have to bring Scottish, Irish, and English bands here? They do not bring us there...we pay for it ourselves. I think that the cliche "if you build it, they will come" is very true. Make a contest somewhere else that the rest of the world goes to. Call it the "Universal Championships" or whatever and build into it all the concepts that people don't like about the worlds. Move it all around like the World Cup or whatever if you like. But why would bands need to be brought there by the committee? I seem to recall that the current World Champions are in North America...make the rest of the world come to them.

All this being said, the Worlds are still that. It is hard to separate the fact that this is a "Scottish" instrument for all intents and purposes. For the Championship to be elsewhere is a hard sell.

I think there are several venues currently up and running that could provide a great foundation...Maxville for one is a destination Pipe Bands make. Build on that. The Celtic Classic in Bethleham is another. Usually there are a good number of excellent bands in attendance.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #9
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Wood View Post
But why would bands need to be brought there by the committee?
Back in the early stages, the thought was to make sure the World Champion attended however that happened. The bands, of all grades, would get some travel money if recall correctly.

Quote:
I think there are several venues currently up and running that could provide a great foundation...Maxville for one is a destination Pipe Bands make. Build on that. The Celtic Classic in Bethleham is another. Usually there are a good number of excellent bands in attendance.
I'm not actively involved in the committee, I'm just on the periphery. Like I said, this particular scale of event would cost over $1,000,000 in seed money. If there's a city willing to do that (like the one currently in discussions) then let me know and I'll put that city in touch with the committee.

Andrew
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Intercontinental Pipe Band Championships...

1976 was an odd year. Only a few UK Grade 1 bands came over (generally the lower end of Grade 1), but 10 or 12 Grade 2 bands were brought over for the CNE. The Grade 2 event was won by the Ayr Society band, or possibly Dingwall Legion. I used to have a tape of it somewhere.

Guelph won the Grade 1 that year, with fine runner up performances by the Clan MacFarlane and MacNish Distillery bands.

I was at only one CNE, in 1973 ... still have the program book somewhere. I was not even on pipes at the time, and had only the vaguest idea of the magnitude of some of the bands. I was more interested in the Ghurkas than the Edinburgh Police.

Chris
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