Adjudicators meet in Ontario to develop and trade ideas, stay in tune with trends
Published: May 15, 2010
More than 30 accredited judges from the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario, as well as several from as far afield as New Brunswick, met in Milton, Ontario, for the organization's annual all-day professional development seminar with an objective to stay current on piping and drumming trends, trade ideas and develop new concepts.
A highlight of the day was the guest appearance by the mid-section and several pipers from the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band, who accepted an invitation to demonstrate how the band approaches the assembly of bass and tenor scores. The discussion was led by the band's mid-section lead, Kyle Heaney.
The group broke down various aspects of their work, with and without the accompaniment of pipes and even snare drumming, so that the section could be heard in isolation or in different contexts.
The mid-section session of the professional development seminar was a continuation of the PPBSO's efforts to stay in tune with rapidly changing trends, complementing the organization's move towards bass and tenor accreditation of judges, and a continuing trial of mid-section band judging for comments only.
Bass-drummer Kahlil Cappuccino of Ottawa led a discussion of the mid-section accreditation program and pilot judging efforts, which are to continue in the 2010 season. A lively discussion ensued regarding the potential benefits and pitfalls of actual implementation of mid-section judging counting towards the overall band result.
PPBSO Music Board member Andrew Berthoff led two discussions, one on dealing with challenging judging situations when the rules don't clarify an issue, the other a session updating adjudicators on new rules enacted for the 2010 season.
Bob Worrall, also a PPBSO Music Board member, presented and moderated two sessions to conclude the day. Worrall led a discussion on the unique challenges of judging lower-grade band competitions, with an emphasis on providing constructive and informed feedback.
The final session of the day was on the PPBSO's consultative judging process for pipe band competitions, which has been further formalized for 2010. Worrall summarized the new unified approach for the 15-minute post-contest discussion between pipe band judges, and went over the system with all attending.
Those attending the seminar, which all PPBSO judges are expected to attend at least every two years to remain on the organization's published list, were:
Dave Coleman (New Brunswick)
Scott Williams (Nova Scotia)
The seminar conflicted with concerts by both the 78th Fraser Highlanders and the Toronto Police, which reduced numbers slightly.
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Don't be afraid to modify or undercut holes to improve chanter intonation. It may seem extreme, but there would scarcely be a Grade 1 band that hasn't partaken in a spot of chanter renovation to beneficial effect.