Pipe Band Wins U.S. Open Championship
The Alma College Pipe Band recently won first place in grade five at the United States Open Pipe Band Championship.
Competing against eight other bands, Alma’s band received first-place scores on both days of the competition, which was held during the Alma Highland Festival and Games.
Andrew Duncan, director of piping at Alma, says his students in the band, which was formed in 2011, have put in a lot of work over the past year. Dave Zerbe, director of percussion, also has spent a lot of time helping the drummers in the band.
Alma pipers prepare for commencement.
“My students are constantly watching grade-one bands on YouTube and looking for things we can do to improve,” he says. “While we’re all extremely proud of our win, it is even better to have accomplished it with a group that practices hard, enjoys what they do, and continually strives to improve their performance.”
Alma’s pipe band also kicked off this year’s Highland Festival on a high note. Duncan says he received a lot of positive comments about the band members’ abilities after they performed Friday night at a concert with grade-one pipe band the 78th Frasers.
“We put together a string of quality performances starting with the concert,” he says. “That kind of consistency is a direct result of all the preparation that the students put into this competition. We played against a lot of good bands during the competition, so it is an honor to have been able to do so well both days.”
Kiltie Dancers Advance
In addition, two of Alma’s Kiltie Dancers were successful at the Highland Festival. California sophomore Heather Randell and Maria Taylor, a 2012 graduate, both qualified for the United States Inter-Regional Highland Dance Championship, which will be held in Maryland this July.
“Heather placed second in the Western Regional Championships while Maria placed third in the Midwest Regional Championship,” says Kate DeGood, Alma’s director of highland dance. "I'm extremely proud they’ll both be representing their respective regions at the U.S. Championships.”
Posted: Tue, June 5th, 2012 at 8:51AM