Posted September 14, 2012
Allyson Crowley-Duncan poses with
her five medals from a pipe band competition earlier
this month at the Edinboro University Highland Games in
If Shaker High School junior Allyson
Crowley-Duncan had to write a reflection on what she did over the
summer, it might turn into more of a novel.
Allyson, who is a member of the Scotia-Glenville
Pipe Band, participated in the World Pipe Band Championships in
Glasgow, Scotland in August. After competing in more than ten
competitions all over the northeast this summer, she and her fellow
pipe and drum band mates traveled across the pond to Scotland with
the opportunity to return world champions.
“In 2007 and 2009, the band finished in third
place,” Allyson said. “So, that’s around where we thought we would
But the band re-wrote history, claiming first
place and the title of World Pipe Band Champions in 2012. Along the
way, they became the first American band to finish first in their
division and the only American band out of right divisions to come
home with the title this year. To say it was a fulfilling summer for
Allyson is an understatement.
“It was unbelievable,” she said. “The words
‘Scotia-Glenville’ weren’t out of the announcer’s mouth before we
started screaming. My mom said she couldn’t find us in the crowd,
but after our band’s name was announced, all she could see was a
clump of kids jumping up in down.”
Allyson has always been close with music. She
plays a lot of classical instruments, but wanted to play something
that got her out into the community more. The bagpipes, not always
an instrument associated with young adults, was an instant hit for
“My mom got me started when I was a little girl
and my curiosity with the instrument grew from there,” she said.
“Being Celtic in heritage didn’t hurt either.”
While Allyson was in Scotland she had the chance
to visit three different castles, along with the Wallace Monument.
She said the experience was unlike anything she’s ever seen.
“Our cultures are similar (United States and
Scotland), but everything there just looked older and more
historical. It was all very pretty and I’d love to go back one day.”
Allyson has talked about possibly studying
abroad in college after she graduates in two years.
She will be moving on to another pipe band this
year, but the memories from this trip to Scotland with the
Scotia-Glenville Pipe and Drum Band will last forever.
“It was something I’ll never forget. It was a
good way to spend July and August!”