British Pipe Band Championships 2022 – A Spectator’s View

It was a relief to be able to attend the British Championships at Greenock last Saturday, the first time I have been anywhere near a live pipe band contest for more than two years.  The venue was perhaps appropriate for the first Major following the pandemic as Battery Park is on the Firth of Clyde, not far from where, on the ferry coming back from Cowal in 1930, the original…

Why There Can Be Anomalies in Pipe Band Competition Results

We continue our build up to the the 2022 pipe band season, the first in three years. This article was first published in Pipe Band Magazine ‘Judge’s Journal’ in November 2010 but is no less relevant twelve years on……. I feel I must respond on behalf of the RSPBA Adjudicators’ Panel to the email letter regarding the wide differences in the results of piping adjudicators in which the question was…

Why There Can Be Anomalies in Pipe Band Competition Results – Part 2

The circle formation for pipe band competitions has remained constant since the early days of the original SPBA.  The concept was based on the principle of the arena allowing bands space to enter and leave whilst also allowing spectators maximum opportunity to see and hear the performances, in effect from three sides of a roughly square arena.  The other principle was to allow bands to march into a circle to…

Pipe Band Workshop: What Makes a Good Performance in the Eyes and Ears of Judges?

As bands prepare for their first season in three years Piping Press will do everything it can help them refresh their knowledge and re-kindle their enthusiasm. This article, by former senior pipe band adjudicator and educator Alistair Aitken, first appeared in Pipe Band Magazine. Accepting that the primary focus of pipe band competition is on musical performance, it is reasonable to expect adjudicators to assess bands against the three main…

Pipe Band Workshop Part 1: The Pressure on Judges and What They are Looking For

As bands prepare for their first season in three years Piping Press will do everything it can help them refresh their knowledge and re-kindle their enthusiasm. This article, by former senior pipe band adjudicator and educator Alistair Aitken, first appeared in Pipe Band Magazine. it is likely that few people really understand the complexity of pipe band adjudication until they have experienced the demanding training all aspirants need to undertake. …