Sikh bagpipers blow rivals away in world meet
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Sikh bagpipers blow rivals away in world meet

Oct 03, 2023

ANNUALLY, the World Pipe Band Championships held in Scotland, the United Kingdom, gather bands from around the world.

They converge there to compete in six categories: Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3A, Grade 3B, Grade 4A and Grade 4B.

Sri Dasmesh Pipe Band Malaysia is the world's largest Sikh pipe band with 50 members (including learners). It won the World Pipe Band Championships in 2019 in the Grade 4B category.

For this year's competition, the band decided to play in a higher grade, Grade 3A.

However, only five members of the 2019 team could travel to Scotland to compete in the championships due to the pandemic.

The five members who made the trip were Pipe Major Tirath Singh, Drum Sergeant Tripert Singh (both Malaysia Airlines pilots) as well as students Sohan Singh, Gurishver Singh and Gursager Singh.

They teamed up with a Scottish band, Coalburn IOR Pipe Band, to compete in the championships held on Aug 13 and were up against 21 other bands from countries such as Canada and Ireland.

(From left) Tirath, Gurishver, Sohan, Gursager and Tripert happy with their success at the Glasgow Green arena in Scotland. Tirath and Tripert are both MAS pilots flying Boeing 737 ­liners.

Coalburn IOR competed with the largest drum corps by far, fielding 14 snare drummers including four from Sri Dasmesh Pipe Band Malaysia.

With this being the first championships since 2019, over 40,000 spectators flooded the Glasgow Green arena over two days.

The warm weather with temperatures reaching 28°C, and dry heat meant that it was more difficult to get the bagpipes going and staying in tune.

However, the band managed to earn fourth place at the championships.

The win in Grade 3A is the highest grade attained by a South-East Asian band at the world level.

"We are very happy to have had the opportunity to play and win with Coalburn IOR this year and are grateful to everyone who made this happen," said Tirath.

"We hugged each other tearfully as we said our goodbyes after the prize-giving ceremony.

"We cannot wait to go back to fight for the next win," said Tripert.

Tags / Keywords: World Pipe Band Championships , Scotland , Sri Dasmesh Pipe Band Malaysia

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