News from Pipe Bands Australia: Officials, Judges Chosen, President’s Awards and Bursary Winner

We have just concluded our biennial conference of Pipe Bands Australia. All members of the national management committee were re-elected: President Chris Earl, Secretary Steve Patterson, Treasurer Tim Bodey, Committee Tony Bidgood and James Cowie

The current principals of college were also re-elected viz. Piping: Brett Tidswell, Drumming: Dean Hall, Drill and Dress: Tony Bidgood, Rules and Administration: Jamie Forsyth. The Principal Ensemble position, in which Brett has been acting since early this year, has been filled by Rob Bennett.

Pipe Bands Australia have re-elected Brett Tidswell as Principal of Piping (l), Dean Hall as Princpal of Drumming and Chris Earl (r) as President

Also attached are memos on adjudicators for our 2020 championships, new scholarship and commendations.

Judges

International adjudicators Mark Faloon, Gordon Parkes, Brian Swatilla and Brian Wilson have been announced for the 2020 Australian Pipe Band Championships in Maryborough, Victoria, on 4 and 5 April. 

Brian Switalla is on duty at the 2020 Australian Championships

The championship will be a major celebration in the Diamond Jubilee year of Pipe Bands Australia and sees the nation’s showcase event return to Maryborough with the town’s Highland Society as host for a second time. The inaugural championships were promoted by the Society in 1961. 

Adjudicators for 2020 were announced by Maryborough Highland Society at the conference. The Society in collaboration with Pipe Bands Australia and its Victorian branch approached leading international judges last year as planning commenced for the 2020 event. The Society requested their inclusion on the PBA list for selection of adjudicators. 



Mark Faloon was last year appointed principal of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch School. Mark is a renowned Piper, Tutor, Pipe Major and a former member of Field Marshal Montgomery having won every major title with the band. Mark is also a Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Adjudicator holding all the RSPBA qualifications having recently achieved his Pipe Band Musicianship qualifications. 

Drumming adjudicator Gordon Parkes

Gordon Parkes was leading drummer of Field Marshal Montgomery from 1981 to 1998. During that time FMM with his brother Richard as pipe major, began its rise to being one of the most acclaimed bands in the world winning the first of many major championships, including the Worlds, on multiple occasions. 

Brian Swatilla is a two-time world champion bagpiper from New Zealand, a former member of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band and a former piper with the Canterbury Caledonian Pipe Band. 

Brian Wilson MBE is a former world champion and Australian champion drum major from Northern Ireland. 

D/M adjudicator is former World Champion Brian Wilson MBE

All are members of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association adjudication panel and Pipe Bands Australia has invited branches to host the adjudicators for workshops and seminars across Australia following the championships. 

Bursary

Emmanuel College Highlanders bagpiper Rebecca Capon is the inaugural recipient of the annual $1500 Peter Cook Memorial Scholarship encouraging advancement of Australian solo pipers. 

The scholarship was announced at today’s biennial conference of Pipe Bands Australia. PBA and the Victorian Highland Pipe Band Association are jointly administering the scholarship fund following a bequest from the Cook Estate. Peter Cook was a PBA life member and Victorian secretary at the time of his tragic death in the week of the 2014 Australian Pipe Band Championships. 

Rebecca commenced her piping career as an eight-year-old in country Queensland and has since gained experienced twice in Scotland and is now a member of the successful Grade Two band Emmanuel College Highlanders. This year Rebecca also completed her Australian Pipe Band College intermediate certificate. 



She says she aspires ‘to be a proficient piper that knows every detail of my bagpipes and fully understand my instrument in every condition – I want to be one with my bagpipes. I aspire not only to perform and compete on the top stages but also to love and enjoy bagpipes and share my passion with fellow bagpipers and the general community alike. I aspire to continue to work hard and reap the rewards bagpipes offer’. 

Rebecca’s goals for 2020 are to complete her Advanced Certificate, continue lessons in Australia and Scotland, compete at major solo piping events. Highly commended in the 2019 scholarship round are Matthew Rutley (Brisbane Boys’ College) and Joal Solak (Derwent Scottish). 

Commendations

The 2019 Pipe Bands Australia President’s Commendations were announced by Chris Earl at the conference in Melbourne. The commendations were introduced last year and recognise achievement by bands and members, acting as inspiration for the Australian pipe band movement. 

The 2019 Pipe Bands Australia President’s Commendations were announced by Chris Earl at the conference in Melbourne. The commendations were introduced last year and recognise achievement by bands and members, acting as inspiration for the Australian pipe band movement. 

This year’s recipients are: 
SCOTCH COLLEGE MELBOURNE – On becoming the first Australian juvenile band to win a major international championship – the 2019 European Championships 
HAILEYBURY – On representing Australia in competition and performance in Britain during its 2019 tour. 
KNOX GRAMMAR – On representing Australia in competition and performance in Britain during its 2019 tour. 
PLC SYDNEY – On representing Australia in competition and performance in Britain during its 2019 tour. 
RU BROWN SOCIETY – For its organisation and promotion of the 2019 Australian Solo Piping Championships. 
SCOTCH COLLEGE ADELAIDE – On representing Australia in competition and performance in Britain during its 2019 tour. 



TASMANIA POLICE – On celebrating its 50th year and representing Australia in the 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. 
ST ANDREW’S CALEDONIAN – On its 2019 goodwill performance tour of Scotland 
MACKAY AND DISTRICT PIPE BAND – For its promotion of Scottish culture organising the Mackay Scottish Bluewater Fling. 
TOOWOOMBA CALEDONIAN SOCIETY PIPE BAND – For its community engagement and promotion of Scottish culture though regular Ceilidhs and multicultural festival appearances. 
DAVID STULPNER AND JOSH KERRICH – Scotch College Perth – For their initiative in organising solo piping and drumming events. 
RICHARD WILSON, CHRIS SWAN AND ATHOL CHALMERS – For their contributions as members of the PBA structural review panel. 


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