New band hits right note as Scottish champions

THE newly formed Scottish Borders Pipe Band stormed its way to first prize at the Scottish Pipe Band Championships as two bands came together to get success.

The new band, a collaboration between Hawick and Stow Pipe Bands, played their way to the Scottish title at a rain-sodden Dumbarton for a fabulous start in what promises to be a successful and musical journey.

The band was the last to perform and played in the worst of the weather, but this didn’t deter the Borderers as they won first prize in Grade 4A to become Scottish champions.

Last autumn, both bands reached the same conclusion that they were about to encounter some problems, which might prevent them from competing at all in 2011. At Hawick, there was a shortage of pipers due to players moving away from the town, and at Stow, their lead drummer had to undergo a major operation on his wrist. The juvenile band also consists of players from Melrose, Hawick and Stow pipe bands and is under the leadership of Hawick’s Alan Smith. “I’m absolutely delighted to lead the junior band. With Hawick, Stow and Melrose being involved, we have a larger player pool to be able to put out a band,” he said.

“At our first outing at a major competition, the Scottish championships, the juvenile band was placed 11th out of 20 bands. That is a very encouraging start and we hope to make great progress over the next couple of years.”