NJ Bagpipe Band Wins Historic Championship
I've been in and out of bagpipe bands since I was about 17. The bands I was with were mostly parade bands, but we did compete occasionally. Unfortunately I never made the trip across the Atlantic to compete, although my cousin has (yeah, bagpiping runs deep through my family).
The St. Columcille United Gaelic Pipe Band of Kearny, NJ won the Grade 3B Championship at the 73rd Annual All Ireland Pipe Band Championships in New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland. This was special because by winning, the band became the first from outside Ireland or the United Kingdom to be crowned Irish Pipe Band Champions.
Bagpipe judging is split into "grades", with Grade 5 being the lowest, and Grade 1 being the best. St. Columcille competed in the middle at a 3B - apparently in Ireland, they don't have a "Grade 5", and I'll admit it's been a while since I've been in a band so I forget why some grades would have a "B" attachment. Regardless, it's amazing that this band was the first North American band to win!
Just for fun, here is the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, an elite Grade 1 band, considered one of the best in the world.
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