The RSPBA has just posted the draws for the World Pipe Band Championships on August 12 and 13 at Glasgow Green.
All 21 Grade 1 bands will compete on Friday, 12 August (starting at the civilized hour of 11:00 am) with the Grade 1 final and all other grades competing on Saturday, 13 August.
The draw for bands at the Worlds is always eagerly anticipated. Overseas bands particularly, who are typically traveling in for the preceding week, use those times in order to set up pre-contest rehearsals and acclimate members (and instruments) to the schedule depending on the time of day.
Grade 1 bands will be playing both MSR and Medley on Friday in two heats. The top six from each heat overall will proceed to the final on Saturday. Grade 1 bands face the challenge of potentially bringing their "A-game" for four performances, two days in a row versus the usual one. Conventional piping wisdom often influences the appeal of the late draw in each heat, and the pressure of the “first on.” Bleary and District and Greater Glasgow Police have the distinction of starting off their heats respectively while Spirit of Scotland and Scottish Power occupy the coveted final slots in their qualifying heats. Last year’s “top six” are spread into each qualifying group in alternating fashion.
While not as numerous as in past years, American pipe bands are sprinkled throughout the grades. LA Scottish will make their regular appearance in Grade 1 while the Greater Midwest Pipes and Drums of Chicago and Detroit and Worcester Kiltie of Massachusetts can be seen in the Grades 2 and 3A qualifying circles respectively.