The vast majority of the hundreds of readers who responded to our poll on minor band contests are concerned about the lack of support these events are getting.
And they are calling on Grade 1 and Grade 2 bands – and the RSPBA – to do more to help. In answer to our question ‘Do Grade 1 & 2 bands have a duty to support the smaller competitions and Highland games?’ 46% answered, ‘Definitely; it’s not all about the majors’, and a further 32% agreed that, ‘It’s up to the RSPBA to change their rules; play a few minors or you don’t get to the majors.’ In other words, a total of 78% readers agreed that something needs to be done to support these contests.
The whole matter was raised initially by reader Andy Donaldson in an article we ran last week. Others weighed in with their opinions and then P/M Barry Donaldson of the City of Edinburgh Pipe Band gave the discussion a slightly different explanation and further insight. Read Andy’s article here and Barry’s here.
So where do we go from here? It is up to all bands to look to their responsibilities towards their local events and to try to have a presence there. Matters concerning the RSPBA should be noted and raised by interested parties at the AGM next March. The AGM is a very open forum where bands can debate, through the chair, any issue that concerns them. Minor contests, and the lack of support thereof, should be on the agenda in 2017 and only the bands can make it so. RSPBA officials are always quick to respond to their members’ wishes.
‘The top adult bands will always attract talent, so no feeder system for them, and there may even be a point where they can’t play all of their roster, or the P/M chooses not too, an analogy with football or rugby, where the squad system is emerging as opposed to one eleven or fifteen. I’ve been following Juvenile for about seven years now, with family involvement, and there have been significant changes in that time alone: Inveraray no longer at that level, maybe not needing a feeder now, and the emergence of Preston Lodge as a new name. The latter is a great success story and should be applauded.
‘I’ve watched drummers and pipers from the top juvenile bands go to several Grade 1 bands straight from school to Shotts, Power and FMM respectively. Who says they follow their tutor!, their choices governed by their style preferences, where they are based for work and college and where they got in.’
Games This Weekend
1 Donald MacPhee 2 Gordon McCready 3 Steven Gray 4 Gavin Ferguson 5 Alistair Henderson 6 Jamie Forrester 7 Cameron Drummond 8 Graham Drummond 9 Allan Russell 10 Gordon Bruce 11 Darach Urquhart 12 Derek Midgley 13 Calum Beaumont 14 Jonathan Greenlees 15 Michael Elder 16 Ashley McMichael.
1 Peter McCalister 2 Michael Elder 3 Allan Russell 4 Gordon McCready 5 Calum Beaumont 6 Martin Kessler 7 Alistair Henderson 8 Cameron Drummond 9 Jamie Forrester 10 Greig Canning 11 Darach Urquhart 12 Jonathan Greenlees 13 Derek Midgley 14 Gordon Bruce 15 Donald MacPhee
Other draws here: Roseneath Draw 2016. Results from the games as we get them.