Maxville, Ontario was again the site of the Glengarry Highland Games, the crown jewel in the PPBSO’s competitive pipe band season. Fifty five bands in five grades competed for the title of North American Champions, on what was a mainly sunny day, interrupted only briefly by some short-lived showers. A full field of bands playing in front of a packed grandstand and crowded berm on the Maxville fairgrounds is indeed a sight and sound that may not be equaled anywhere in the world.
Peel Regional Police took the overall Grade 1 crown, winning the medley, while the set went to the Toronto Police. A very full Grade 2 contest saw local favourites Ottawa Police march off with the victory in front of a very enthusiastic and partisan crowd. George Watson College, a juvenile band from Scotland capped off a very busy week that saw them play in Ottawa at the ‘B’ In the Park on Thursday night, and at the Friday night Tattoo in Maxville with a commanding win in the Grade 3 contest. Ogden Legion, were victorious in Grade 4, having made the long trip from Calgary, Alberta, and Chatham-Kent Police continued their dominance with another convincing win in Grade 5.
Ottawa Police playing their set
The weekend also featured some stellar performances in solo piping and drumming, none more impressive than those offered by Alex Gandy, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Having won the Bar to the Gold Medal in the premier Piobaireachd event at the Maxville Anglican Church on Friday, Alex went on to take all the light music events on Saturday, easily gaining him professional piper of the day over two other strong performances by Ian K. MacDonald and Andrew Hayes. Jeremy Keddy of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia won both professional snare contests to capture top professional honours in the drumming.
Andrew Mackay won the Amateur Piper of the day, while Blair Thomson was named Amateur Drummer of the day.
Please click here for full results. http://www.ppbso.net/contests/maxville.shtml
Despite the successful staging of these 66th edition of the Glengarry Highland Games, there was also great sadness on the day as Bruce Jones, a lifelong piper who was attending the games with the Forest City Celtic pipe band from London, Ontario, collapsed and died soon after competing with his band. A memorial tribute is being planned for the massed bands ceremonies at the Fergus Highland Games, being held this coming weekend, on Saturday, August 10th and Sunday, August 11th.