P.E.I. bagpipers place 1st and 4th at piping event in Scotland
'We were hoping to sort of make our mark and we kind of surpassed that, so it's pretty cool'
One band claimed the top prize in its grade-four category. The other, which competed at the grade-two level, placed fourth in the competition. The grades categories are based on ability, with grade one being the most advanced, and grade five being entry level.
"None of us really knew what to expect, so I think there was a lot of shock and happiness ... we were hoping to sort of make our mark and we kind of surpassed that, so it's pretty cool," said Kylie MacHattie, pipe major for the winning band. She's also an instructor at the piping college. Her husband, James, also participated in the competition.
"Our goal was just to go out and put out our best performance and that's really what we did."
'Worked so hard to get here'
The Bridge of Allan, one of Scotland's premier's highland games, takes place north of Glasgow on the outskirts of Stirling and it attracts thousands of people.
"I was really quite pleased with how it went. It was such a step up from the day before," said pipe major James MacHattie, also director of education at the college. His band placed fourth in its competition.
The competition repertoire for both bands were selected last September, so competitors have been getting ready for these events for about eleven months, he explained.
"These people have worked so hard to get here and to be the best that they can and to get the recognition for it yesterday ... just to see that joy and satisfaction of a job well done," said James MacHattie.
A husband and wife duo
As husband and wife, the MacHattie's say it's pretty unique to get to do this together.
"It's wonderful too because we can provide support to each other through the ups and downs," James MacHattie said.
When his wife's band came out on top in their category on Sunday, MacHattie explained, "Boy, I was ... I think one of the proudest husbands in the world that day."
Heading to the world championships
Next weekend, they'll compete again, this time at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow. They are the only bands representing Prince Edward Island in the competition.
"It's pretty neat to bring groups across here and show them outside of Atlantic Canada how big the piping and drumming and pipe band scene is in the world, and you know, it's a world thing but in some ways it's a small community in just the way that everybody comes together," said Kylie MacHattie.
The MacHattie's will stay in Scotland after the worlds to compete in solo competitions, but the band heads home next Monday.
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