The Los Angeles Scottish Pipe Band, known more commonly as the LA Scots, is a competitive Grade One pipe band based in Orange County, California.
This is the Band's eighth year in Grade One, after winning the 1997 World Pipe Band Championships in Grade Two. In 1999, the band proved itself as a contender in the future by placing Eleventh in a field of twenty-five in the Band's second time in the Grade One contest at the World Championships. This was a major accomplishment for the LA Scots, one of the United States' few Grade One pipe bands, and was repeated last at the 2002 World Championships. The Band was first organized under the direction of P/M Jimmy Thomson, P/S Ian MacDonald and D/S Charlie Capperauld in 1961 as a Grade A competition pipe band. The Band competed quite successfully throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. In fact, the Band was virtually undefeated from 1961 to 1971. The success of the Band brought them more players of all ages and soon the Band had enough younger members to form a Juvenile band. The Band was recognized throughout the western United States for its excellent innovative music and playing ability. The Los Angeles Scots were known as a force to be reckoned with throughout the area. Their chief rivals were the City of San Francisco P.B. under Donald Shaw Ramsey. Other bands that they played against many times were Port Moodie and City of Victoria from Canada. 1974 marked the last time the band competed for many years under that name. In 1990 the LA Scots Pipe Band was revitalized from the nucleus of the Scottish Heritage Pipe Band and the Beach Cities Pipe Band, which was where the Drummond of Perth kilts (3still worn by the Band today) originated. The band was reformed from the sons of the old LA Scots and several members of the old LA Scots Junior Pipe Band. This linking of the old LA Scots and the new LA Scots exists even today with a good portion of the band having direct or family ties to the old group. When the band was reformed in 1990, it was placed under the direction of P/M Scott Roscoe, and D/S Tom Foley. The Band did well from the start. In 1991 the drum corps was placed under the direction of D/S Joe Foley, Tom Foley's son, who continued in this role through the 1995 season, when Duncan Millar became Drum Sergeant. The Band came under the direction of P/M Scott MacDonald in 1992. Continued improvement was the order of the day under Scott's leadership and the Band developed an international reputation for its music. The Band was one of the top four prizewinners in Grade Two from 1994 to 1997 at the World Pipe Band Championships held in Scotland. In 1997, the Band placed first, winning the Grade Two World Pipe Band Championships marking the first time an American band had won this honor. At the 1997 Pleasanton Highland Games, held over Labor Day weekend, the Band went officially into Grade One at the request of the Games' committee. This is the highest grade a band can attain, and one that only two other bands from the United States have been able to achieve since. Continuing in Grade One, following promotion to that level by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, the Band works hard to keep up a winning record in this most competitive field of bands. The Band has continued it's upward climb and has qualified for the Final Round at the Worlds placing as high as 11th on two occasions. Between 1998 and 2003, the LA Scots' Drum Corps was under the direction of D/S Carl Lenny. Carl is formerly of New Zealand Police Pipe Band and the World Champion Shotts and Dykehead Caledonian Pipe Band. In 2004 and 2005, the Drum Corps was under the leadership of D/S Andrew Hoinacki. Formerly of Chicago, Andrew played in the Band for one season as a corps drummer before becoming Drum Sergeant. D/S Andy Brubaker returned to the band at the end of 2005, taking over the corps. In spring of 2004, the reigns of the Band were passed to interim P/M Colin Armstrong. Nephew of P/M Scott MacDonald and grandson of P/M Ian MacDonald, Colin's piping and leadership pedigree is undeniable. He has guided the Band through the 2004 season into new aspects of musical development and his big-picture approach is already changing the face of the Band both on and off the field. During the offseason between 2004 and 2005, the Band made took steps toward continued success with the founding of the LA Scots Grade Four band. The nucleus of this band came from a merger with a band known as the San Clemente Scots. This group had already been utilizing instruction from various members of the LA Scots Grade One and so it was a natural transition for them to become part of the organization. Word spread quickly and additional members from local bands came on board to be part of the historic pipe band success associated with the LA Scots. In what seemed like no time at all, P/M Evan Mackay and D/S Joe Foley, were running weekly practices under the careful eye of P/M Scott MacDonald and with the assistance of some key members of the Grade One band. Success was immediate from the first time the Grade Four band set foot on the field. There is more history already in the making as the Band paves the way to include more bands at various grade levels during the coming seasons. The LA Scots have made many appearances off the competition field, from television's America's Funniest Home Videos to playing with Korn in December, 1998. The Band has also released one album, At the Beach, which is available on CD. Plans are underway to begin recording again sometime in the year 2005. -
Created: 03/23/2006 ::
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