G9 - A Magical Gathering!
Oct 31, 2022
The 9th South American Pipe Band Gathering (27-30 Oct) was truly a magical comeback, following the 3-years since the G8, and back in Montevideo for the first time since the G1 in 2004!
The G9 hosts
Scottish Dance Uruguay offered to host the G9 shortly after making the finals at Uruguay's Got Talent, and still in the midst of the COVID pandemic and a worldwide economic crisis. This was the first Gathering to be hosted by an organization other than a pipe band, and SDU in fact halved the time it usually takes to put together an event of this magnitude! Our hats off to SDU for bringing back the Gatherings, but more so for such a successful Gathering!
Pipe bands and dance corps
Eleven pipe bands and dance corps gathered in Montevideo from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, but we are most proud to also have had the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regimental Pipes, Drums & Dancers of Alberta, the first non-South American pipe band and dance corps to have participated at a South American Gathering:
Bariloche Highlanders Pipe Band
Highland Thistle Pipe Band
South American Piping Association (SAPA)
St. Andrew's Society of the River Plate Pipe Band
Brazilian Piper Pipe Band
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regimental Pipes, Drums & Dancers of Alberta
Chilean Highlands Pipes and Drums
Hosts - Scottish Dance Uruguay
City of Montevideo Pipe Band
Latitude 33 Pipe Band
Adjudicators and instructors
We were most privileged to have had the following overseas and local instructors and adjudicators:
Pipes: Craig Munro (Scotland), Scot Walker (USA), Keith Bowes Jr. * (Scotland)
Drums: Tyler Fry (Canada/USA)
Dance: Rachel McLagan (Scotland)
Drum Major: Jared Redekopp ** (Canada)
March & Deportment: Thomas Hobbins (Uruguay)
Left to Right: Rachel McLagan, Craig Munro, Scot Walker, Tyler Fry - Photo Credit: Jeannine Facht
The G9 opened on Thu 27-Oct at 2pm with the Solo Competitions, at the Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza Hotel. The G9 Solo Competitions included Piping (Adult Intermediate and Adult Advanced), Snare (Open), Tenor (Open), Bass (Open), and Highland Dancing (Wee, Junior, Youth, Adult), The G9 actually hosted the first ever South American Bass Drum Solo Competition.
The Solo Competition prize lists are posted below.
Photos: Jeannine Facht
Cocktail and adjudicator concert
The G9's Cocktail was the official opening of the Gathering, and we were honoured to have had this at the Residence of the British Embassy in Montevideo. The camaraderie and joy of being back together was self-evident, as this past gap in between Gs had been too long, but especially tough due to the pandemic. It was indeed a celebration of both friendship and Scottish Culture.
The highlight of the evening was the Adjudicator's Concert, where Craig Munro, Scot Walker, Tyler Fry and Rachel McLagan delighted us with a sample of both traditional and Red Hot Chilli Pipers' repertoire and dancing!
Photo Credit: Maru Busico-Flight
Adjudicators' Concert - Photo Credit: Jeannine Facht
Workshops and clinics
The G9 introduced a number of changes on the education front, based on feedback dating back to the G2. At the G2 we realized that the topic-specific sessions were not working for most (for being too general), which is why we switched to band-specific sessions. By the G8, the feedback was that one hour per band (every 2-or-so years) before the pipe band competitions was not working either, as most time was spent on tuning-up for the competitions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we had no choice but to focus on learning through posted materials, plus video-conferencing with instructors. Generally speaking, SPBASA also pushed bands to focus on the learning opportunities in between Gatherings (a much larger period of time) vs. the comparatively brief weekend of the Gatherings.
Considering all of the above, SDU was able to offer at the G9 both topic-specific sessions (listed below), and band-specific sessions. Competing bands and dance corps had their band-specific sessions after the competitions, based primarily on competition feedback from the day before.
Band Practice Structure
Teaching young players
Introduction to Piobaireachd
Drum Corps Ensemble
Dance workshop for non-competing dancers
Keith Bowes Jr. and Scott Walker at the Teaching Young Players clinic.
Scott Walker and Craig Munro with City of Montevideo PB pipers.
Scot Walker during the tuning workshop - Photo credit: Jeannine Facht
Dance workshop with Rachel McLagan - Photo Credit: Maru Busico-Flight
Craig Munro conducting the Pipe Band Practice Structure session - Photo credit: Jeannine Facht
Jared Redekopp conducting the Drum Major workshop - Photo credit: Jeannine Facht
Tyler Fry taking a break during the drumming workshops - Photo credit: Jeannine Facht
Tyler Fry during the drumming workshops - Photo credit: Jeannine Facht
SAPA during the Pipe Band Practice Structure session - Photo credit: Jeannine Facht
About 300 pipers, drummers and dancers attending the G9 played and paraded down Arocena Street, in the beautiful neighborhood of Carrasco, ending at the iconic Hotel Carrasco at Montevideo's Rambla on the River Plate. The Massed Bands is the epitome of all pipe bands and Highland dancers coming together, the essence of the Gathering.
The Massed Bands parade ended with a Massed Highland Fling, followed by a street concert by the Adjudicators and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Massed Bands approaching the Carrasco Hotel
Massed Highland Fling
Adjudicators' Street Concert
Pipe Band and Dance Corps Competitions
Pipe Bands and Dance Corps competed in the following categories:
Quick March Medley *
March & Deportment
Dance Corps Competition: This Gathering's DCC in turn was broken down into Choreography, Technique and Overall.
* aggregated points for Overall Piping, Overall Drumming and Overall SPBASA Cup.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regimental Pipes, Drums & Dancers of Alberta was unfortunately not able to compete as a Dance Corps, but nonetheless did their competition routine for both the adjudicator's feedback and for the audience's entertainment.
See the PB and DCC competition prize lists posted below.
Highland Thistle Pipe Band - Overall SPBASA Cup - Photo: Jeannine Facht
N/P: No placing, competed for feedback only