Bill Caudill elected EUSPBA president at online AGM
Bill Caudill of North Carolina was elected to a two-year term president of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association at the world’s largest piping and drumming organization’s annual general meeting on the morning of December 3rd.
Caudill ran against Derek Cooper of Pennsylvania in a vote that was reportedly close.
The EUSPBA is one of few piping and drumming associations worldwide that places a term-limit on any executive officer or board member, the president role restricted to a maximum of two two-year terms
Caudill replaces incumbent Jim Dillahey, president for the last five years, inheriting the role as vice-president of the organization when then-President Dan Cole stepped down for personal reasons. Dillahey went on to be elected president twice.
The EUSPBA adopted a term-limit for the presidency in 1974 after the 10-year run of first president Duncan McCaskill.
Bill Caudill has served with the association in various capacities for the last 22 years and is its current vice-president. He was a piping instructor with the North American Academy of Piping & Drumming and has been a certified EUSPBA judge since 1996, as well as a solo competitor, bandsman, pipe-major, branch chair, Music Board member, and Highland games organizer.
“I believe that our membership has experienced a decline in the value of their membership over the past few years, with many of our client-members simply perceiving membership in the EUSPBA as a requirement . . . to compete in solo competitions,” Caudill said previously in a platform statement. “Bands are much the same way. We have seen declining membership for roughly the past decade, and that is not simply a result of the recent pandemic. When we see declining numbers of bands and individual competitors, and Amateur Under-18 competitions where there are only a small handful of players, there are obviously issues that need to be addressed. We need to be encouraging an ‘each one teach one’ mentality and provide all assistance, incentives, and encouragement possible toward educating and nurturing tomorrow’s pipers and drummers, building from the ‘bottom up’ as well as supporting and encouraging those who are now at our highest levels of musicianship.”
Joe McGonigal of New Jersey was elected vice-president and Massachusetts’ Scotty Fletcher is the organization’s new officer-at-large.
Approximately 80 EUSPBA members attended the online meeting, but the organization has allowed advance and proxy voting for many years.
The association’s presidency has been uncontested for the last four election cycles, and Caudill has said that he wanted to change that to allow more members to have a choice.
“My motivation in running for office centers around the feedback I have gotten from many of our members regarding the perceived value of their membership, the fact that I’d like to be able to give back in a meaningful way to the Association of which I am a product, the fact that I feel that I have some ideas and contributions to make which can help make our association a more valued entity to its membership, and most importantly to give a choice to our membership instead of having yet another uncontested election,” he added.
The EUSPBA covers a massive geography and numbers approximately 1,300 individual and band paying members.