January 31, 2002

ANAPBA Summit Tables Numerous Issues

The 2002 Summit of the Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations (ANAPBA) held here at the Delta Airport Hotel saw an active first day of occasionally lively discussions, ranging from the standardization of judging examinations, to “distance learning” projects, to the feasibility of a North American alternative to the World Pipe Band Championships.

With some 30 representatives from 10 member pipe bands present, the large meeting room was filled, and had an undeniably tense atmosphere. Dialogue at times bordered on acrimonious, especially when the subject of a new ANAPBA championship was tabled.

While there appeared to be consensus that a new contest was a good idea, there was debate over what form it would take and where it might be held. A November 2003 event in Hawaii was suggested by one attendee, the thinking being that it might attract Australian and New Zealand bands.

Bob Allen, president of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario, updated the group on his discussions with the Glengarry Highland Games at Maxville, Ontario, which currently holds copyright to the “North American Championship” title. The Maxville committee is apparently receptive to developing an incentive for ANAPBA involvement in the event.

“If we are who we claim we are, maybe it’s time we stand up and be counted,” said Reid Maxwell, vice president of the BC Pipers Association. “Why don’t we just run our own World Pipe Band Championship here?”

There was discussion also of the true purpose of the alliance, and whether it should have jurisdiction over, or simply make recommendations to, member associations. Consensus seemed to be drawn that the primary role of ANAPBA is to provide input to members associations’ music boards, and for the associations themselves to decide what they want to do.

“The fact that we do things differently from association to association is a good thing,” said Georgeanne Hoel of the Prairie Pipe Band Association of Manitoba.

A report on “distance learning” – potential teaching methods using the Internet and other technology – was given by Iain MacDonald of the Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association. While most agreed that the concept holds much potential and that it should continue to be investigated, there was a realization that substantial funding or sponsorship would have to be obtained.

“Even if this event does nothing more than get associations talking with each other, it’s well worth it,” said one attendee.

The ANAPBA Summit concludes on January 13.


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