PP Ed’s Blog: Band Circles/ WSD in US/ Singapore BB/ Alasdair Henderson

Well done to Mike Grey for highlighting the band circle issue on his recent blog. Readers will know this is a particular hobby horse of mine.

Mike writes: ‘I came across a pic today, courtesy of Barry Ewen. Here is a photo (thank you, Barry) of the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band – near the beginning of the vintage of my membership – competing in a crescent-shaped stance. This was 1984.

‘A performance configuration like, say, a crescent shape is a simple and respectful recognition of the audience.

‘It allows every playing band member easy and unimpeded sight of the bandmaster (aka Pipe Major)

‘It enables the sounds of the band to be more broadly released and it makes the pressing of pleats less of a priority for band members.



‘I understand that it’s (currently) against the rules in many jurisdictions but flexible performance configs are permitted in Ontario. 

‘Why do bands in Ontario opt to perform in an old-school back-to-the-crowd way when they can stand, really, any way they choose? 

‘Circle? U-shaped? Triangle with right legs in the air? It’s all permissible.’

Read the full story here.


The RSPBA are to hold one of their qualifiers for the World Solo Drumming in the United States. 

It will take place at the popular Metro Cup event held each year in New Jersey.

John Hughes RSPBA Chairman: ‘We are pleased to announce that………the RSPBA will also be holding an International Qualifying event at the Metro Cup event in Newark, New Jersey, USA, on 15th and 16th February 2019. 

‘This event embraces the international context of pipe bands and offers an opportunity for players on the international scene to secure a qualifying place in the semi-finals of the 2019 Adult World Solo Drumming Championship. 

‘We are delighted to be working with the organising committee of the Metro Cup to present this opportunity for the very first time in the history of the event.’

Get more details here.



Re the mention of Barry Ewen above, Barry was my group leader at the Boys Brigade camp in Scarborough in 1964, almost 55 years ago.

A superb piper he emigrated to Canada I think firstly to Nova Scotia. 

Barry in his 78th days

Best regards to you Barry and thanks for the picture and the memories.


Still with the BB, I thought two of our students at the Northern Winter School,  would appreciate this short article and picture.

It’s from 1983 when the Singapore BB pipe band travelled to Australia as part of their celebrations of the BB Centenary.

It reads: ‘The Singapore Boys’ Brigade is organising s band tour to Australia for the first time….

‘A 46-member contingent will attend the 8th Pan-Australian Camp in Canberra from Dec 30 to Jan 10 as part of the centenary celebration.

Instructors and the lady students from Singapore at last month’s NWS

‘The purpose is to promote and strengthen friendship and mutual understanding between members of the Boys’ Brigade in Singapore and Australia.’

The BB is a tremendous force for good in this fraught world of ours and I hope it continues to prosper in both countries.


Gold Medallist and Inveraray P/Sgt Alasdair Henderson is in Brittany this weekend judging, teaching and doing a recital.

Here’s the poster and link:


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