Editor’s Notebook: Feedback from Judges/ Pipe Band Championships/ Metro Amateurs/ Angus Recital/ U&B and Oban Festival Dates

P/M Jimmy Banks MBE judges Ben Duncan at Ceres Games in 2019

The points raised in our discussion on accountability of judges are important. All pipers deserve to know why, after all their hard work, they did or did not make a prize list.

Senior adjudicators should be prepared to write crit sheets, even if they are reticent about writing articles. Not everyone has the required literary skill.

There is also this letter from New Zealander Graeme Glass: ‘I had such a great time going around some of the Games last year; it was a bucket list experience for me. I competed at five, Glenfinnan, Lochaber, Lonach, Braemar and Blairgowrie. I received only one judge’s report sheet, at Blairgowrie.

‘I know your article is with regard to detailed reports being written for publications but getting report sheets from judges is also important and gives one something to work on. In New Zealand at every competition the judges write a report for each competitor in every event. Maybe something worth considering?’

As Duncan Watson wrote, sheets are not always popular with competitors. Some don’t like what they read. Another point is that judges, even if they don’t write sheets, are always willing to discuss with competitors how they played. Hang about after Braemar and I guarantee you’ll get a good run down on your tune. The same goes for most other competitions.


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Major Championships

Two takeaways from the announcement yesterday of the completion of the 2024 major championship roster. The Europeans at Perth have clearly been built on the former minor contest; the British at Forres involve a local entrepreneur.

This shows the RSPBA have moved away from the old ‘council contract’ model. In the current economic climate, where our local authorities have been starved of cash, this can only be good news.

This broader outlook should make it much easier for RSPBA Chairman Kevin Reilly and his team to fill in the gaps for the next several years. Work should start now on 2025 and beyond.


Metro Amateurs

There was request for the listing of amateur pipers taking part in Saturday’s (Feb 17) Metro Cup piping in New Jersey. Here they are: Gillian Blaney, Alasdair Martin, Liam Horne, Joe Votta, Vincent Janoski, Steven Knox, Elizabeth Knox, Alexandra Knox, Ray Flanagan, Magnus Stone, Flora Stone, Abby Long, Evan Burlew, Alex Burlew


Lochaber Recital

Poster for Angus MacColl’s gig at Inverlochy on Friday:


Contest Dates

Piping Convenor John Angus Smith has confirmed that the Uist & Barra Professional competition will be held in the PIping Centre in Otago Street, Glasgow, on March 9 from 9pm. More details to follow.

Last year’s U&B winners, Finlay Johnston, Craig Sutherland and Angus MacColl

Iain Hurst of the Netherlorn PIping Society has confirmed that the Highlands & Islands Festival Piping will be on May 4 in Oban High School. Entry form to follow.


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