January 31, 2008

ACPBA approves Fredericton Grade 2 application

Only two full days after the Grade 1 Fredericton Society of St. Andrew Pipe Band (FSSAPB) voted as a band to submit a formal request to the Grading Committee of the Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association (ACPBA), the band has officially been moved the Grade 2.

“The [Association] has reviewed the formal grading request submitted by the Fredericton Society of St. Andrew Pipe Band . . . at our scheduled executive meeting today,” said ACPBA President Scott Long. “The ACPBA Executive/Grading Committee believes and holds that it is in the best interest of our entire membership to relegate the FSSAPB Grade 1 to Grade 2 until further notice from the ACPBA.”

FSSAPB competed in Grade 1 in 2007 after being upgraded following the 2006 season in which it won, among other prizes, the Grade 2 event at the North American Championships. Citing personnel changes following the 2007 season, including the appointment of Gord Perry as pipe-major and Justin Gallant as leading-drummer, the band elected to seek a downgrade at a meeting on January 9, 2008.

Long added: “The ACPBA recognizes the FSSAPB and their entire organization as a key stakeholder and asset to our member based organization. Their efforts in furthering our art form with integrity are greatly appreciated. The ACPBA wishes all our members the best of luck in the upcoming 2008 season.”

FSSAPB finished fourth overall in a five-band Grade 1 contest at the 2007 North American Pipe Band Championships.


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  1. The band must have lost more than just the P/M and D/S, just look at the article on Matt Carter leaving, and I quote: My reasons for leaving are based on the departure of several key players from my ‘dream corps’ corps

  2. Grading is a nasty topic. Based on my personal experiences with grading both at the EUSPBA as well as the ANAPBA level, it is very difficult to walk the fine line between all the interested parties with all their self-serving biases. As Mr. Spock stated so elegantly The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

  3. Just curious, how many members of this band left OTHER than the P/M and D/S. IF there were significant changes in personnel b/c a significant number of pipers or drummers left then that’s different. But let’s say the P/M and L/D leaves and that’s it. Granted it takes b*lls to be a P/M in any level let alone grade 1 or 2, the loss of a P/M or D/S is a bullsh*t reason to allow a grade change unless significant personnel changed as well but I didn’t hear a number provided.

  4. Courageous move at any level. I say good for Fredricton and wish them all the best in the future. This has been a great band for years and that only happens with good decisions. This is one of those, and a hard one at that I am sure. On another note, loosing the P/M and L/D is HUGE there is no other reason needed. Very nice to see the association they are with make a quick decision that is in the best interest of the band. Good luck Fredricton !!

  5. Not my comment originally, but if you read a little closer it says loosing the P/M and the D/S. So now lets say SFU lost Terry Lee and Reid Maxwell, what would the fall out really be? Essentially you have lost the people that provide the musical uniqueness to the group. While I understand that someone can stand in there will still be a transition period and adjustments to the new preferences. Now when you consider that will occure both upfront and in the back you have to think that there will be ensemble issues falling out. So really loosing these two people will create a building phase for the band, making piping, drumming and ensemble issues therefore it would seem reasonable to me that the band may feel it is not able to compete at the same level, hence the re-grade. Good choice for FSSAPB, they will give themselves time to regroup and organize and probably come back stronger then ever.

  6. Imagine Jack Lee as P/M and Stephen McWhirter D/S of SFU. Still a truly talented top 2 Grade 1 band. I’d imagine Jack has a lot of influence in SFU’s musical uniqueness anyways. Typically losing the P/M and the D/S leads to other departures as well. I think the bands typically know where their competition level is, and if it proves they were wrong, they’d be upgraded the following year to their appropriate level. I’ve even heard that some associations reserve the right to upgrade a band after one contest where they prove they are clearly superior to all bands at that level and should be competing at the next higher level. Bands can lose credibility when requesting a lower grade and they clearly demonstrate throughout a season they should have been at the next higher grade.



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