RSPBA Announce Judges for 2022 Majors as Season Preparation Gathers Pace

RSPBA Headquarters in Glasgow have today announced the adjudicators for all grades for the 2022 major pipe band championships. They are as follows:

In parallel to the announcement, RSPBA Chief Executive Ian Embelton has spoken at length to Piping Press about the ongoing preparations for the season and he revealed that his iconic results announcements, a fixture at championships for the past 20 years, will once again fill the air at the conclusion of this summer’s majors.

Mr Embelton, who had hoped to retire this year, will be staying on at Washington Street until a replacement is found for his demanding job.

In a wide ranging interview he also:

  • Appealed to all bands to get their entries in for the first major at Greenock on May 21. NOTE: entries close next Wednesday, April 6.
  • Announced the Association is financially sound with £150,000 in the bank in government covid ‘bounce back’ funding – as yet largely unused.

Mr Embelton: ‘The important thing is that on May 21 we are going to have a Championship. Last time, in 2019, we had 125 bands for the British but that would be unrealistic this time. I am hoping we will get close to 100 bands and that no one misses the deadline!

‘Whatever the numbers, I am comfortable that we are going to have a good championship. It is very important that we do. Everyone is desperate to get back. No one could have predicted the pandemic. We have survived a very difficult period in our history.’

Mr Embelton announced that four highly respected adjudicators had retired recently after reaching retiral age: Harry Stevenson, Ciaran Mordaunt, Sandy Steele and Gordon Craig. He said there were ten new student judges currently undergoing training with the next training weekend later this month.

He added: ‘The gentlemen who have retired were all highly respected adjudicators and their experience and knowledge will be missed by everyone. However, we are well ahead with our current training programme and bands can look forward to several new faces in the near future – all of whom will have gone through our rigourous training and assessment procedures.’

RSPBA Chief Executive Ian Embelton praised the work of the Association’s volunteer stewards. Here he stands among the judge’s tents and other equipment in storage at Washington Street HQ. Hours of work has had to be done by the stewards sorting, painting and honing various pieces of equipment in readiness for the new season

Turning to RSPBA finances he went on: ‘We have had no income for the past two years but our accounts at the end of our financial year showed that we were still in credit. Nevertheless, to protect the Association we took advantage of the government’s ‘Bounce Back’ loan scheme.

‘£150,000 is there should we need it. Out intention is to use as little as possible and this summer’s Championships will provide us with a full income stream. 2022 is all about recovery.

‘The good news is that the promoters are desperate to go ahead. They’ve had two blank years and at Inverclyde, for example, they are using the British Championships to launch their summer outdoor activities.

‘In closing I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who is working so hard towards the new season. Our Board of Directors and everyone at Headquarters are looking forward to welcoming bands and enthusiasts to the first major in almost three years.’

  • Note that the best way to get to the British is by train to Fort Matilda. Band bus parking will be available at the park but public parking is limited. For more details on the the 2022 season, playing requirements, dates etc. go to the RSPBA website.

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