The April 1, 2018 edition of Pipe Band Magazine is now available as a free download courtesy of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.
Articles include a report on the recent AGM which saw Vice Chairman John Hughes installed as Chairman. John takes over from Gordon Hamill after his seven distinguished years at the RSPBA helm.
A feature on changes at the World Solo Drumming states: ‘……There are several subtle rule changes, and more of them later, but the biggest immediate change in the rules is that previous year finalists will no longer get a bye to the semi-final. That might be considered a real loss to the elite players, wherever they hail from, as they will have to either pre-qualify much earlier in the year or take their chances in a busy qualifier on finals day. The ‘go early’ to qualify outcomes will include submitting ‘sets’ earlier in the year……’
Allan Hamilton has some trenchant views on the size of pipe bands….‘On the subject of drummers this is where one gets into very hot water as we have been seeing many, many drummers on the field of play for a long time. At the risk of pushing this article off the rails and inviting much criticism, there has been a view among pipers that what we have now are drum bands rather than pipe bands. Perhaps there has been an element of blackmail by leading tips…..’
Nick Hudson from the US has some interesting proposals regarding concert pipe band competition…..‘The Bretons have staged ‘concert-format’ contests for decades. The bagad concept itself was modelled after Scottish pipe bands as there were no prior-existing large ensembles for playing Breton music. Many of the instruments, as well as the instrumental techniques employed in the bagad, come straight from Scotland. Although the resultant product is different, the means employed are quite similar. If we do go in for a concert format competition in the Scottish pipe band world, it would be wise to take cues from Brittany…..’
There are also the usual features from SPBA branches and the Obituary column.