by Megan Canning | Aug 13, 2013

It’s now the week of the 2013 World Pipe Band Championships. For the women and men of Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, that means first and foremost that everyone’s focus over the next five days is on the most important event on the pipe band calendar. However with thousands of fellow competitors descending upon Glasgow and the Piping Live! festival in full swing in the build-up to the weekend, band members are also being represented at various other events during the week. If you’re interested in watching the band practice or meeting some of the band members this week, below is where to find us.

First and foremost, Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia is practicing as a full band on Tuesday evening, and on Thursday and Friday afternoons. We are hosting open practices this week, which means that anyone who wants to come along for a listen is more than welcome to join us. Tuesday’s practice is held at the band hall in Shotts- the same hall which has housed the band since the famous McAllister years- and runs from 7.30pm-10pm. The band hall is a tiny building tucked away on Robert Street, just a few minutes walk from the train station in Shotts town, which has an easy and direct train link from Glasgow Central train station. On Thursday and Friday, the band will be shifting our practices to Glasgow, pending dry weather. The band will be practicing outdoors at 1.30pm in Glasgow Green, on the far side of the park near the West Brewery bar off of Templeton Street. If the weather looks likely to be damp, the band will move its practice indoors to the Shotts band hall. We will post updates of our practice location on our Facebook page a few hours before each practice once we can anticipate the weather, so don’t forget to check back for updates of our whereabouts.

For drumming enthusiasts, members of the famous Shotts drum corps will be practicing in Glasgow at the Todd Bar at Strathclyde University at various points throughout the week in addition to the full band practices scheduled above. Anyone looking to meet Drum Major Jim Kilpatrick MBE or purchase Jim’s sticks and products can do so after these practices at his shop at the Todd Bar. Drummers might also like to attend Drumming for Drink on Wednesday 14 August at 1pm – one of the biggest independent events to take place during the build-up to the World Championships. The event is a fun and free-form competition between some of the world’s top snare, bass, and tenor drummers. Shotts drummer Neil Bruce is one of the competitors, and most of the Shotts drum corps will be stewarding the event. The event is sponsored by Pearl, Remo, Hardcase, Jim Kilpatrick Percussion, Scott Currie Percussion, and TyFry.

Band members are also associated with two separate book launches this week. Shotts drummer Graham Brown is launching his first book of drumming compositions, A Tap and a Roll. Graham has composed dozens of scores during his time as Leading Drummer of the Peel Regional Police Band, as well as having produced original compositions for many of the bands he teaches worldwide. His first book of music is a collection of some of his most popular drum scores, and his book launch will include a recital from Graham himself, accompanied by his brother and Shotts Pipe Sergeant, Glenn Brown. The launch is at 11am on Thursday, 15 August. Band members are also associated with the book launch of Our Journey, a book detailing the inner stories from World Champions from around the world. Included in the book are stories from Pipe Major Ryan Canning, Drum Major Jim Kilpatrick MBE, piper Megan Canning, and bass drummer Scott Currie. The book launch is taking place in the Street Café at the National Piping Centre on McPhater Street on Wednesday 14 August at 11am.

Finally, the busy week ends with the World Pipe Band Championships, held on Saturday and Sunday the 17th and 18th of August at the Glasgow Green. For the first time this year, the Worlds will be a two day affair. The Grade 1 event will host a qualifying competition on the Saturday comprising both an MSR and Medley competition, and a final the following day for the top 12 bands in the world. The band competes at 12.50, and again at 16.00 on the Saturday in the qualifying round.