Buchan Peterson crowned Champion of Champions

The band members celebrate their success at the Cowal Games in Dunoon.
The band members celebrate their success at the Cowal Games in Dunoon.

Buchan Peterson Pipe Band have continued their successful year by returning from the Cowal Gathering at Dunoon having been crowned ‘champion of champions’ in the second grade.

Cowal is the fifth and final major championship run by the Pipe Band Association over the year.

Although one of the oldest competitions Dunoon will miss out on this prestigious competition as it moves to Belfast for the next three years.

The title Champion of Champions is awarded to the top band in each grade from points accumulated from the five major events over the season.

A total of 135 bands participated at the event. As reigning World Champions, Buchan Peterson went into the competition with high expectations having already won the British and European championships earlier in the year.

In what was a red letter day, the band took top honours to become Cowal Champions.

The band was also awarded first prize in drumming. This was the second major drumming title of the season with the drum corps having previously won the top award at the British Championship at Bathgate back in May.

The Champion of Champions award was to follow.

The band led by Pipe Major Scott Oliphant with Leading Drummer Brian Martin has had one of the best seasons in its history.

Marginally missing out on top honours at the Scottish Championship in July being runners-up, they have however been unable to emulate the attainments of 1996 when the band took all five major titles.

The band was then awarded Champion of Champions for that season.

Several members of the band from 1996 band are still playing in the group. The band continues to draw members from across the North East and travels extensively to attend competitions.

The name “Buchan” is well published and has been regularly heard at events up and down the country.

Keeping the band on the road is financially challenging and support from the main sponsor and the Palace Hotel has been greatly appreciated.

Pipe Major Oliphant told us he will continue to strengthen the ranks in anticipation that the band may be promoted to the top flight and play in Grade 1 next year. That will be decided by the parent body later in the year.

His origins are in Argyllshire and he has attended the Dunoon event every year since he was six years old.

To be one of the last bands to march in the street with three major trophies was something really special for him.

Leading drummer Martin felt the corps was up against strong opposition in Lomond and Clyde pipe band who had been his main challenge throughout the year.

“On the day we delivered and were more than equal to the task in all sections,” he said.

Lomond and Clyde finished second in the contest which was enough to see them being awarded to the top drumming award across the board for 2013.

Graham Gauld, chairman of The North of Scotland Branch of The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said that ringing a Champion of Champions award to the North East was a major triumph and particularly pleasing.

North East bands have been well represented at local competitions and major championships this year which is encouraging. Bands at the top of Grade 2 are playing to an extremely high standard however moving to the premier grade could be challenging.

Chairman, Robert Skinner, said that things don’t come much better. He recognised the extra effort that would be required to compete at the higher level.

He anticipated that investment in new instruments was inevitable and that the continuation of the present sponsorship and assistance from other donors was essential.

The door remained open to any business or entity that felt it could offer stability to the group through financial support.

He was anxious that the colour and musical talent could be displayed locally. He was hopeful that the band

would display their major trophies and give a short performance at Drummers Corner, Peterhead, at 1130 on Saturday 14

permitting, the display will go ahead.