The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association
45 Washington Street, Glasgow, G3 8AZ | Telephone +44(0)141 221 5414 | Fax +44(0)141 221 1561

 

 

 

Next Event

Annual General Meeting

12th March 2016

Trades Hall of Glasgow

09:30 for 10:00 Start


2016 Information

Annual Fees UK Bands

Annual Fees Non UK Bands

Prescribed Tunes

2016 Grading Changes

Playing Requirements

Calendar

Adjudicators

Links to more 2016 info will be added as it becomes available.


Latest Magazine

Jan 2016
Edition Out Now

Oct 2016 Magazine Cover - Steven McWhirter

For more information and free digital back editions click here

 

Welcome to The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, the heart and home of Pipe Bands world wide. The RSPBA is the recognised Centre of Excellence for the promotion and development of Pipe Band Music internationally.  Its services and facilities include:

  • education, training and certification in Piping, Drumming, Drum Majoring and Pipe Band Adjudication;
  • an annual Summer School
  • an Academy of Pipe Band Musicianship;
  • setting standards of Pipe Band competition performance;
  • organising the World, Scottish, British, UK and European Pipe Band Championships as well as the World Solo Drumming Championships;
  • publishing the official summaries of the results of the 5 Major Championships and the results of other Pipe Band competitions run under RSPBA rules

The RSPBA liaises closely with affiliated Pipe Band Associations world wide.

Headquarters News
with Ian Embelton, Chief Executive

WORLD SOLO DRUMMING 2015
FIVE IN A ROW FOR STEVEN

17th October 2015

The final RSPBA events of 2015 took place on Saturday 17th October at the Glasgow Caledonian University.

The annual Andante sponsored World Solo Drumming event as well as the International Solo Tenor competition drew large entries with 184 snare drummers and 44 tenor drummers travelling from all over the World.

RSPBA President George Ussher opened the prize giving with the announcement of another 5 years of sponsorship for the event by Andante Drums from Northern Ireland. We would like to extend our thanks to Nigel Hodgen and his team at Andante for their continued support.

A huge thanks to RSPBA photographer Peter Hazzard for all his pictures on the day, Peter captured many competitors throughout the day as well as the prizes and those galleries will be uploaded over the coming days.

A huge thanks to RSPBA photographer Peter Hazzard for all his pictures on the day, Peter captured many competitors throughout the day as well as the prizes and those galleries can be found below.

Click Here for the gallery of prize winners.

Click Here for the gallery of the day.

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The Adult event was won by Steven McWhirter (Inveraray and District - Scotland). Steven claimed his fifth Adult title after previous wins in 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Steven won the event by 10 points winning both the MSR and Hornpipe and Jig events with 5 first places from a possible 6.  Second place again went to Michael McKenna (St Laurence O'Toole - Eire) with Jake Joergensen (Scottish Power) finishing in third place.

2015 WSD Winner

The Juvenile 1 March event won by Lachlan Kyle (North Lanarkshire Schools). Juvenile 2 March event was won by Josh Horan (Carrigaline - Eire). Juvenile 3 MSR event was won by Chloe Taylor (MacKenzie Caledonian). Juvenile 4 MSR event was won by Richard Black (Tullylagan) and Juvenile 5 MSR event was won by Matthew Wenlock (Cullybackey) who took his third World title.

All 5 World Solo Drumming Champions pictured below

2012 WSD Winners

Full summaries of the World Solo Drumming event can be found by clicking here.

Being held on the same day and in the same venue was the International Juvenile Solo Tenor drumming event.

The Juvenile 1 March event won by Kerr McQuillan (Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia) for the fourth successive year, Kerr who also took a 4th placing in the Section 1 Snare Drumming. Juvenile 2 March event was won by Rhiannon McAleese (North Lanarkshire Schools). Juvenile 3 MSR event was won by Jamie Easton (Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia). Juvenile 4 MSR event was won by Lucy Carroll (West Lothian Schools) and Juvenile 5 MSR event was won by Lauren Thomson (Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia).

All 5 International Juvenile Solo Drumming champions are pictured below

2015 IJST Winners

Full summaries for the tenor events are available by clicking here.

Ian Embelton
Chief Executive

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015
SHOTTS BRING WORLD TITLE BACK TO SCOTLAND

15th August 2015

The 2015 championship season came to a close with the 69th World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow. After two days of competition and four performances, sixteen adjudicators crowned Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia from Scotland Grade 1 World Champions.

Split over two days for the third consecutive season, 2015 saw the continuation of the Friday and Saturday event. Grade 1 bands had Friday to themselves with the heats split over two arenas playing MSR and Medley. Almost 5000 people came through the gates to see the Grade 1 qualifiers and enjoyed the sunshine, free seating in the stands and a fully licensed venue. Glasgow Life again offered a Global web stream of the main arena qualifier and attracted over 35,000 visits throughout the day.

Saturday brought approximately 40,000 people through the gates to see 208 other bands join the 12 Grade 1 finalists from Friday and 69 drum majors compete across the grades to be crowned World Champions. The weather remained mostly dry through the morning with a few showers in the afternoon.

As this was the final championship of the season the Champion of Champion titles were also announced stretching our finale to after 8pm.

Thanks to RSPBA Photographer Peter Hazzard we again have hundreds of pictures from Friday and Saturday.

Click here for the gallery of prize winners.

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Click here for the Friday Grade 1 Qualifier.

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Click here for the Saturday Pictures.

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Our Twitter feed grew to almost 6000 followers and with so many qualification results and announcements it was sometimes challenging but twitter continues to be a great way of getting the results of every drum major; best drum corps and band results as they are read out and interacting with our growing following.

The Drum Major events were won by Brian Wilson from Lomond and Clyde in the Adult grade, Gibb Fraser from Coalburn IOR in the Juvenile grade and Jamie Cupples from Killeen (Northern Ireland) in the Junior grade. Junior Champion of Champions went to Lana Gibson from Major Sinclair Memorial, Juvenile Champion of Champions went to Emma Barr from Field Marshal Montgomery and Adult Champion of Champions went to Lauren Hannah from Drumlough.

DM Brian Wilson

Pipe Major Ryan Canning led his Shotts and Dykehead band his first championship title as Pipe Major and Shotts sixteenth World Championship taking first place in both MSR and Medley events. Leading Drummer Stephen Creighton led his St Laurence O'Toole corps to the overall World Drumming title taking first place in both MSR and Medley events whilst clinching back to back Grade 1 Champion of Champions drumming titles.


Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia - World Champions

St Laurence O'Toole - World Champions

St Laurence O'Toole took the runners-up spot on a Combined Ensemble Preference, finishing 3 points behind Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia. Inveraray and District, Field Marshal Montgomery, Simon Fraser University (Canada) and Scottish Power completed the Grade 1 prize list.

The other World Champions on the day were:

Grade 2 Band - Johnstone
Grade 2 Drumming - Bleary and District

Grade 3A Band - Annsborough
Grade 3A Drumming - Annsborough

Grade 3B Band - Colmcille
Grade 3B Drumming - Prestonpans RBL

Grade Juvenile Band - Dollar Academy
Grade Juvenile Drumming - Dollar Academy

Grade 4A Band - Major Sinclair Memorial
Grade 4A Drumming - Marlacoo and District

Grade 4B Band - Portavogie
Grade 4B Drumming - McDonald Memorial

Grade Novice Band - George Watson's College
Grade Novice Drumming - George Watson's College

2015 Champion of Champions

Junior DM - Lana Gibson - Major Sinclair Memorial

Juvenile DM - Emma Barr - Field Marshal Montgomery

Adult DM - Lauren Hanna - Drumlough

Grade Novice Drumming - George Watson's College

Grade Novice Band - Dollar Academy

Grade 4B Drumming - Lanark and District

Grade 4B Band - Lanark and District

Grade 4A Drumming - Marlacoo and District

Grade 4A Band - Marlacoo and District

Grade Juvenile Band - Dollar Academy

Grade Juvenile Drumming - George Watson's College

Grade 3B Drumming - Upper Crossgare

Grade 3B Band - Colmcille

Grade 3A Drumming - City of Discovery

Grade 3A Band - Isle of Islay

Grade 2 Drumming - Buchan Peterson

Grade 2 Band - Bleary and District

Grade 1 Drumming - St Laurence O'Toole - Eire

Grade 1 Band - Field Marshal Montgomery

Complete summaries of the event can be found by clicking here for bands or clicking here for drum majors.

Ian Embelton
Chief Executive

SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015
SLOT TAKE DOUBLE VICTORY

25th July 2015

The 2015 championship season continued with the Scottish Championships at Levengrove Park, Dumbarton.

Sunny weather brought an estimated 27,000 spectators along to see 117 bands and 48 drum majors compete for the title of Scottish champion in their respective grades.

Thanks to RSPBA Photographer Peter Hazzard we have another couple of excellent galleries below.

Click here for the gallery of prize winners.

Click here for the gallery throughout the day.

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The Drum Major events were won by Brian Wilson from Lomond and Clyde in the Adult grade, Gibb Fraser from Coalburn IOR in the Juvenile grade winning his first Juvenile title after moving up from Junior and Abigail Wenlock from Cullybackey followed up her European victory in June winning the Junior grade.

DM Brian Wilson

The Grade 1 title went to St Laurence O'Toole from Eire, this was the first victory for Pipe Major Alen Tully since taking over the leadership of the band in the 2014 season. The band from Dublin had more cause for celebration as the 2014 Grade 1 Drumming Champion of Champions under Leading Drummer Stephen Creighton took the Grade 1 drumming title.


St Laurence O'Toole - Scottish Champions

St Laurence O'Toole - Scottish Champions

Field Marshal Montgomery took the runners-up spot finishing 6 points behind St Laurence O'Toole. Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia, Scottish Power, Inveraray and District and Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band completed the Grade 1 prize list.

The other Scottish Champions on the day were:

Grade 2 Band - Bleary and District
Grade 2 Drumming - Johnstone

Grade 3A Band - Closkelt
Grade 3A Drumming - Ballybriest

Grade 3B Band - Colmcille
Grade 3B Drumming - Upper Crossgare

Grade Juvenile Band - Dollar Academy
Grade Juvenile Drumming - George Watson's College

Grade 4A Band - Marlacoo and District
Marlacoo and District

Grade 4B Band - Lanark and District
Grade 4B Drumming - Lanark and District

Grade Novice Band - Dollar Academy
Grade Novice Drumming - Dollar Academy

Complete summaries of the event can be found by clicking here for bands or clicking here for drum majors.

The championship season concludes with the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th August.

Ian Embelton
Chief Executive

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015
FIELD MARSHAL KEEP ON WINNING

27th June 2015

The 2015 championship season continued at Forres, Moray where spectators once again came in their thousands to witness the European Championships.

99 bands and 39 Drum Majors made the trip to Forres for the final year of the three-year deal to hold the European Championships.

Before the bands arrived, Chief Executive Ian Embelton and Chairman Gordon Hamill were in Forres on Friday to sign a new 3 year deal keeping the European Championships in Moray until 2018.

The Board of Directors sincerely apologise to the Adult Drum Majors for the incorrect announcement that was made on the park. This will be corrected at the Scottish Championships on 25th July.

Thanks to RSPBA Photographer Peter Hazzard we have another huge gallery of pictures of the prize winners and the event.

Click here for the gallery of prize winners. This gallery currently excludes Adult Drum Majors, again we apologise for the error, we will add the gallery after the correct presentation at the Scottish Championships.

Click here for the gallery throughout the day.

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The Adult Drum Major title was won by Alicia Dickson Hamilton from Matt Boyd Memorial, this was Alicia's first championship victory since her Scottish title in 2013.

Zoe McDowell from Aughintober won the Juvenile grade, winning her first Juvenile title after stepping up from the Junior grade for this season with a clean sweep in 2014.

Abigail Wenlockand from Cullybackey won the Junior grade, her first ever championship.

DM Alicia Dickson

The Grade 1 title went to Field Marshal Montgomery on an Ensemble Preference, Field Marshal continue an amazing run winning 12 of the last 13 championships. The Grade 1 drumming title went to St Laurence O'Toole from Eire under Leading Drummer Stephen Creighton.


Field Marshal Montgomery - European Champions

St Laurence O'Toole - European Champions

Shotts and Dykehead again took the runners-up spot, they finished on equal points to Field Marshal losing on Ensemble Preference. St Laurence O'Toole (Eire), Scottish Power, Inveraray and District and Peoples Ford - Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia completed the Grade 1 prize list.

The other European Champions on the day were:

Grade 2 Band - Johnstone
Grade 2 Drumming - Buchan Peterson

Grade 3A Band - City of Discovery
Grade 3A Drumming - City of Discovery

Grade 3B Band - Portlethen and District
Grade 3B Drumming - Wallacestone and District

Grade Juvenile Band - Dollar Academy
Grade Juvenile Drumming - George Watson's College

Grade 4A Band - Methil and District
Grade 4A Drumming - Denny and Dunipace Gleneagles

Grade 4B Band - Lanark and District
Grade 4B Drumming - Lanark and District

Grade Novice Band - Dollar Academy
Grade Novice Drumming - George Watons's College

Complete summaries of the event can be found by clicking here for bands or clicking here for drum majors.

Ian Embelton
Chief Executive

UK CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015
FIELD MARSHAL - 2015 UK CHAMPIONS

13th June 2015

The United Kingdom Championships held in Belfast, Northern Ireland marked the 2nd major championship of the 2015 season.

92 bands and 42 Drum Majors made the trip to Belfast for the second year of the event held at the fabulous Stormont venue.

After missing the British Championships we're delighted to welcome back RSPBA Photographer Peter Hazzard we will have a another gallery of pictures coming this week.

Click here for the gallery of prize winners.

Click here for the gallery throughout the day.

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Our Twitter feed attracted its 5000th follower and was again very popular during the results service. We will also be retweeting any images of prize winning bands, so if you have an image to share please mention @RSPBAHQ and we will retweet any we get.

The Drum Majors events provided a clean sweep for the Northern Ireland branch members with DM Paula Braiden from Cullybackey lifting the Adult grade for the second year running, Lauren Abraham from Ballybriest winning the Juvenile grade and Beth Preston from Bessbrook Crimson Arrow winning the Junior grade. Lauren makes it two championships in a row after both winning the British title in May.

DM Paula Braiden

The Grade 1 title also went to Northern Ireland with Field Marshal Montgomery led by Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE claiming their 2nd title of the 2015 season. The Grade 1 drumming title went to Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band under Leading Drummer Eric Ward, the corps also taking their 2nd title of the 2015 season.


Field Marshal Montgomery - British Champions

St Laurence O'Toole - British Champions

Shotts and Dykehead had their best result since 2009 taking the runners-up spot finishing 4 points behind Field Marshal Montgomery. Inveraray and District, St Laurence O'Toole (Eire), Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band and Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia completed the Grade 1 prize list.

The other UK Champions on the day were:

Grade 2 Band - Bleary and District
Grade 2 Drumming - Buchan Peterson

Grade 3A Band - Isle of Islay
Grade 3A Drumming - Aughintober

Grade 3B Band - Upper Crossgare
Grade 3B Drumming - Upper Crossgare

Grade Juvenile Band - Dollor Academy
Grade Juvenile Drumming - George Watson's College

Grade 4A Band - Marlcoo and District
Grade 4A Drumming - Cleland Memorial

Grade 4B Band - Royal Burgh of Stirling
Grade 4B Drumming - Royal Burgh of Stirling

Grade Novice Band - Stirling and District Schools
Grade Novice Drumming - Ulster-Scots Agency

Complete summaries of the event can be found by clicking here for bands or clicking here for drum majors.

Ian Embelton
Chief Executive

BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015
FIELD MARSHAL - 2015 BRITISH CHAMPIONS

31st May 2015

The 2015 major championships got underway at Bathgate, West Lothian. For the third year running we had glorious sunshine at the event bringing in thousands of spectators to watch almost 4000 pipers, drummers and drum majors compete. This was the third and final year of the Championships in Bathgate and for 2015 they moved to the larger facilities up at Balbardie Park of Peace.

124 bands and 33 Drum Majors made the trip to Bathgate for the British Championships.

Thanks to Alan Binnie from West Lothian College who stood in for our RSPBA Photographer on the day. Alan has given us over 100 images from the day which you can browse below.

Click here for the gallery.

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Our Twitter feed has now grown to almost 5,000 followers and was again very popular. We provided updates throughout the day on qualification results, every drum major; best drum corps and band results as they were announced. We will also be retweeting any images of prize winning bands, so if you have an image to share please mention @RSPBAHQ and we will retweet any we get.

The Drum Majors events saw DM Liam Renton from Inveraray and District winning the Adult grade, Lauren Abraham from Ballybriest winning the Juvenile grade and Kathy Hunter from Manorcunningham (Eire) winning the Junior grade.

DM Liam Renton

The Grade 1 title went to Northern Ireland's Field Marshal Montgomery led by Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE claiming their 7th consecutive British Championship title. The Grade 1 drumming title went to Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band under Leading Drummer Eric Ward.


Field Marshal Montgomery - British Champions

Greater Glasgow Police - British Drumming Champions

Inveraray and District took the runners-up spot finishing 5 points behind Field Marshal Montgomery. Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia, St Laurence O'Toole (Eire), Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band and local favourites Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia completed the Grade 1 prize list.

The other British Champions on the day were:

Grade 2 Band - Bleary and District
Grade 2 Drumming - Buchan Peterson

Grade 3A Band - Isle of Islay
Grade 3A Drumming - Ballybriest

Grade 3B Band - Portlethen and District
Grade 3B Drumming - Upper Crossgare

Grade Juvenile Band - Dollar Academy
Grade Juvenile Drumming - George Watson's College

Grade 4A Band - Arbroath Royal British Legion
Grade 4A Drumming - Denny and Dunipace Gleneagles

Grade 4B Band - Lanark and District
Grade 4B Drumming - Lanark and District

Grade Novice Band - Dollar Academy
Grade Novice Drumming - Dollar Academy

Complete summaries of the event can be found by clicking here for bands or clicking here for drum majors.

Ian Embelton
Chief Executive

2016 REGRADINGS

16th January 2016

The Music Board met on Saturday 16th January and approved the following grading changes for the 2016 season. These were approved at the meeting by the Board of Directors.

By Request

College of Piping Pipes and Drums - Re-graded by request from Grade 4B to Grade 3B.

Scotch College (Melbourne) Australia - Re-graded by request from Grade Juvenile to Grade Novice Juvenile A.

Carnoustie and District Pipe Band - Re-graded by request from Grade 4A to Grade 3B.

Kelty and Blairadam Pipe Band - Re-graded by request from Grade Novice Juvenile B to Grade 4B.

Bruce Cargill
RSPBA Music Board

2016 REGRADINGS
AND NOVICE JUVENILE SPLIT

22nd September 2015

The Music Board met on Saturday 19th September and approved the following grading changes for the 2016 season. These changes are subject to approval from the Board of Directors.

Upgrades

Grade 4B to 4A
Portavogie and District
Royal Burgh of Stirling
Carnoustie and District
McDonald Memorial
Lanark and District
Dunbar RBL

Grade 4A to 3B
Methil and District
Marlacoo
Major Sinclair Memorial
St Patricks Brandon - Eire
Arbroath RBL

Grade 3B to 3A
Colmcille
Upper Crossgare
Portlethan and District
Lewis

Grade 3A to 2
Isle of Islay
Cityof Discovery
Closkelt
Annsborough

Grade 2 to 1
Bleary and District

Downgrades

Grade 3A to 4A
Cowal

Grade 3B to 4A
Tweedvale
Kirkcudbright and District
Penicuik and district

Grade 3B to 4B
Newtongrange Pipe Band

Grade 4A to 4B
Stoney of Destiny
Camelon
RAF Pipes and Drums - Central Scotland

Novice Juvenile Split for 2016

The Novice Juvenile split is approx. 50% of the bands that competed over the last 2 years in each grade plus Novice juvenile B has all other Novice Juvenile bands that are currently registered with the RSPBA so if any of them decide to compete they will know what the playing requirements are for Major championships.

Novice Juvenile A
Brisbane Boys' College Pipe Band - Australia
Dollar Academy
Dunoon Grammar School
Erskine Stewarts Melville Schools
George Heriot's School
George Watson's College - Novice
Kintyre Schools
Knox Grammar School (1) - Australia
North Lanarkshire Schools
Northwest Junior - U.S.A.
Oban High School
Peoples Ford - Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia
Robert Malcolm Memorial - Canada
Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School
Stirling and District Schools

Novice Juvenile B
1st Troon Boys Brigade
Bucksburn and District Juniors
City of Edinburgh Schools Pipe Band
Craigmount High School
Davidson's Main & District Junior
Dumbarton and District
Edinburgh and District Juvenile
George Heriot's School Junior
George Watson's College - Junior
Guilford and Glencoe District Juvenile - U.S.A.
Hawkesbury Nepean Valley - Australia
Inverclyde Juvenile
James Gillespie's High School
Kelty and Blairadam
Kirkcaldy High School
Knightswood C. A. Juvenile
Knox Grammar School (2) - Australia
Lathallan School
Lochalsh Junior
Lochgelly High School
Lord Selkirk RFM - Canada
Mackenzie Caledonian Juvenile
Methil and District
Milngavie
North Lanarkshire Schools Development
Paisley
Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band
Robert Gordons' College Pipes and Drums
Royal Burgh of Annan Juvenile
Scots College - New Zealand
Sgoil Lionacleit
St Benedict's College Pipe Band - South Africa
St John's College - Zimbabwe
Stamperland
Stow Borders Pipe Band
The High School of Glasgow
The Pipes and Drums of Saint Kentigern College - New Zealand
Torphichen and Bathgate
Turriff and District
Ulster-Scots Agency Juvenile
West Fife Schools
West Lothian Schools
Wester Ross Schools

Bruce Cargill
RSPBA Music Board

RSPBA LAUNCHES
NOVICE JUVENILE PIPE BAND FUND

12th August 2015

A new fund to assist RSPBA Novice Juvenile and Juvenile Pipe Bands has been launched.

The National Juvenile Pipe Band Fund will be administered by the RSPBA. It follows a detailed proposal put to the Association's Board of Directors by Robert Wallace, the Editor of Pipe Band Magazine, and has been generously supported in the first instance by Mr James Cameron Stuart, a former piper with the Vale of Atholl and Kilsyth Pipe Bands.

A substantial cheque from Mr Stuart for the NJPBF has been lodged with the RSPBA's bank and will be audited separately from the Association's mainstream funding.

Read the full article by clicking here.

If anyone, or any band, would like to contribute to the fund they can do so via the donation button below. All transactions are secured via Paypal.

Ian Embelton
Chief Executive

RSPBA TWITTER FEED
SOME OF YOUR MENTIONS

WORK WITHIN THE
RSPBA ADJUDICATORS PANEL

24th April 2015

The roll of the adjudicator can often be a thankless task. Nevertheless they are very much a necessary part of our competing circuit within the RSPBA calendar. The panel provides adjudicators for approx 60 UK contest venues annually and numerous overseas events upon request. This translates into almost a thousand competition performances at major championships and almost 2000 performances at minor contests and regional championships. Rain, hail or shine there is always a band waiting at the line for a critique to help them on their journey to the highest level they can successfully achieve.

The success and growth in the art of piping, drumming and drum majoring within pipe bands has meant that grading and restructuring is a constant and ongoing project. In conjunction with the Board of Directors, the music board and various educational arms of the organization, the adjudicators panel strive to meet the demands and expectations of the competitors, the audience, the administrators and often the media in delivering a hopefully professional service and product to the customer whether they be inside and outside the circle.

Performance Analysis

Results often fuel debate and dissatisfaction as well as celebration for those competing in the events. Placing multiple performances in order of merit in what could be described as a somewhat subjective art form, is no mean feat. Especially when we live in a digital world of instant aural and video recall reliving the assessed moments of a musical performance. The adjudicator lives with no such luxury when it comes to live performances. He gets one chance to hear it and one chance to write it with only a pen and reputation to support the final outcome. To help improve and keep abreast of musical and administrative changes the panel run annual training workshops to help cope with the growing demands and refresh musical critique skills. To this end an Adjudicators development Group has been formed to coordinate and circulate professional development and training across a full spectrum of topics within pipe band music and adjudication. As well as monitoring and mentoring adjudicators it also has a remit to ensure continuity and preparation of our new recruits and future adjudicators meeting the standards and experience criteria in conjunction with the management group.

Looking back over any competing season certain anomalies are often flagged up when judges take a differing view of a particular performance whilst judging a pipe band competition. This often sparks great debate amongst competitors and enthusiasts as to which judge they most agree with. Its inevitable that differing views will crop up in assessing any type of art form nevertheless a monitored overview is carried out to ensure that these anomalies are scrutinised and see if there is a logical reason for this or if we can learn from that particular situation in question. Different tastes and perspectives will always muddy the waters when trying to achieve absolute consistent order of merit from a group of adjudicators. However that does not prevent us from trying to achieve the almost impossible.

During our monitoring sessions several positive findings and observations were uncovered during analysis. It can be observed that a slightly lower success rate was achieved at the major contests although still achieving reasonably well in the high percentages. It was also observed that more than half of the anomalies occur in grade 4. Suggesting that larger entries and lower grade performances present a greater challenge to the panel.

Here are some of the statistics when viewing consistency of placing

Minor contests

  • Piping marks within 6 placings 99.3%
  • Piping marks within 5 placings 98.0%
  • Piping marks within 4 placings 95.7%
  • Piping marks within 3 placings 92.0%

Major Championships

  • Piping marks within 6 placings 94.5%
  • Piping marks within 5 placings 92.5%
  • Piping marks within 4 placings 87.9%
  • Piping marks within 3 placings 80.0%

Training Projects

The current adjudicators approved list of adjudicators boasts a membership of 26 unattached Piping, 5 attached piping, 4 attached piping overseas, 11 drumming unattached, 4 drumming attached, 2 overseas drumming and 8 drum majors unattached. Totaling a current membership of 60 RSPBA Adjudicators. Within the current membership 10 are listed as approved ensemble adjudicators.

A course is currently under way training an additional 6 ensemble adjudicators which should be the end of the 2015 season.

The next piping and drumming new intake adjudicator training course will commence in May 2015.

The 2015 Adjudicator Information Meetings were held at regional centres on the following dates.

Glasgow - Sunday 29th March
N Ireland - Saturday 21st March
Glasgow - Sunday 12th April

Robert Mathieson
Adjudicator Secretary

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