onwards, will be held over two days with all grades competing in heats, the top six in each going forward to a final. In Grade 1 bands will submit two march, strathspey and reel sets and TWO medleys (at present only one is required) and finalists will play different music from the heats. Approximately 15 will perform in each heat before the final on the second day. All told this should be much fairer than the current G1 system with its early morning qualifier.We are sure the new set up will encourage even more overseas bands to make the journey to Glasgow. Not only will they have a better chance of making it through to their respective final, but if they don’t, they can enjoy the atmosphere and make a point of hearing the top bands play.
T In the solos, the heats system will
be employed at this year’s Oban and Inverness Silver Medals. Again, this will be much fairer than the old set up, allowing all pipers graded B or B+ a chance to compete at the two major gatherings. This brings us to the anomaly of the Gold Medal. Numbers will be restricted to 25 this year leaving around five players in limbo – too good for Silver; not good enough for Gold. Unless there are call offs these
pipers, all fine players, will be denied a platform. Promoters need to address themselves to this injustice forthwith.
HE heat is on as they say. The World Pipe Band Championships, from 2013
Pressure should be applied by the new President of the Competing Pipers Association. He would do well to make this his most immediate concern.Two Gold Medal heats of 15 at the Argyllshire Gathering and at the Northern Meeting should not be too difficult to arrange, six from each advancing to a final of 12. That way we could be sure the best performance gets the medal. Too many in the recent past have
gone to pipers playing in the last half dozen or so slots.We are not saying that those recipients did not deserve them; nor are we being critical of the judges.What we are saying is that no one should be expected to sit all day and then accurately compare a tune from 9am with a tune at 5pm, yet that is what we ask of our judges every year at the two most important solo events in the calendar. Why else would pipers, when they see the playing order, talk of a ‘good draw’ or a ‘bad draw’? They know that if they are in the top half of the contest (before lunch) the chances of them making the list are far less than if drawn to perform around 4pm. Confidence sags. Conversely those on late feel they
have a real chance, gird their loins and sally forth knowing that a good tune could carry the day. This is an unsatisfactory state of
affairs which promoters have within their power to change.They’ve done it for the Silver, now, like this summer’s Olympians, its time for them to go for Gold.