This from a prominent Highland games organiser: ‘On the CPA judge/pupil pronouncements that have lately been made, has anyone raised the problems this causes for competition organisers?
‘How are games committees, expected to be able to attract decent player numbers, or to maintain their ‘local’ feel, when they may not be able to use local piping adjudicators because they then wouldn’t get local competitors?
‘How can they afford to import judges from afar with their associated travel and accommodation expenses? What a headache for organisers to have to consider the judge/pupil relationship.
‘What a bonus for visiting overseas competitors who won’t have local pipers to worry about.
‘What was so wrong with the CPA grading system where competitors’ results when judged by their tutor were just discarded?
‘Have there really been significant cases of blatant favouritism by judges of their pupils? Or is it in most cases just sour grapes by the disappointed?’
As readers will know, I have been on about this for many years. I would urge CPA officials to pay heed to what my correspondent writes. Please have a think about the effect some of your rules are having on contest promoters and how they could reduce the number of opportunities for your members to compete.
Still with the Games, this from Jean Cameron: ‘Can you publish a request as I am struggling to find the whereabouts of the Caithness Glass Chanter awarded to the senior pipe winner at the Northern Highland Games, probably in Caithness and Sutherland.
‘The last known winner was Stuart Samson about 1998. If it can be found we’d like to reinstate it to try to boost competitor numbers at the games. It was first called the Ackergill Tower Glass Chanter. Is there perhaps a list of rules or prizewinners for this trophy over the years.
‘I have exhausted the sources I know. I am wondering when German piper Martin Kessler was competing here and thought that maybe he could help. Any assistance you can give will be more than welcome.’
Over to our northern area pipers. Surely someone has knowledge of what sounds a very nice trophy. Email us at the usual address.
Entries are now open for the Highland and Island Festival piping to be held in Oban on April 29. Here’s the link for the entry form.
Considering this contest has not been held for three years, prizemoney looks pretty decent:
P/A Piob: 1 £250, 2 £200, 3 £150, 4 £100
P/A MSR: 1 £225, 2 £175, 3 £125, 4 £75
B Piob: 1 £200, 2 £150, 3 £100, 4 £50
C Piob: 1 £200, 2 £150, 3 £100, 4 £50
B MSR: 1 £175, 2 £125, 3 £75, 4 £25
C MSR: 1 £175, 2 £125, 3 £75, 4 £25
Dollar Band Contest
Three cheers for Dollar Academy and their enterprising pipe band. They have stepped into the breach left by the cancellation of the British Championships to hold an all-grades contest in the grounds of the school on May 20. The event is being run in conjunction with the Dundee, Perth and Angus Branch of the RSPBA.
Would it be so difficult now to declare this competition the ‘British’? In times of need the RSPBA needs some lateral thinking. Step away from the local authority promoter approach. The imperative is to hold a championship. If it’s small scale and easy to do, then needs must.
Come on bands, give the Dollar initiative your full support. Here’s the link for entries.
It was with sadness I learned of the passing of Sandy Jones. I only met him on a couple of occasions but having taught in the south east US for many years I can vouch for the excellence of his teaching and of the schools he ran.
Sandy’s legacy will live on in all the many hundreds of pupils he nurtured throughout his life. The EUSPBA Newsletter had this:
‘Born in Idaho in 1938, Sandy took to the pipes at an early age. Joining the United Sates Air Force, he served with the USAF Pipe Band holding the position of Pipe Major for eight years.
‘Along with John MacFadyen, Sandy founded the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming in Valle Crucis, NC in 1970. The school will be opening its door to students this summer for the 53rd time.
‘After his retirement from the Air Force, Sandy took on the position of piping director at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, a position he held until 2003. After his Citadel time, Sandy continued to be active as a piping teacher and adjudicator throughout North America.’