Published: January 31, 2006

ANAPBA Summit brings together pipe band associations

The seventh annual Summit of the Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations (ANAPBA) was held in Orlando, Florida, Jan. 27-29 with seven of the 10 member organizations sending at least one representative. The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) was again represented by its Chairman, Kevin Reilly. The Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association and Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association did not attend.

With most ANAPBA organizations now working under fairly unified rules and policies, most of the sessions for executives and music board members were more about updates and general discussion than determining new directions.

One of the most significant discussions centred around the Disney Company’s approach to the Alliance about potentially holding an “ANAPBA Champion of Champions” competition at Disney World in Orlando in the next few years. While at this point nothing more than investigatory, two representatives from Disney met with Summit attendees to discuss their organization and how such an event might work. Disney did not propose sponsoring the event, but did float the idea of Disney World being a venue for the competition and the company providing discount tickets to the theme park to competitors and their families.

The ANAPBA Presidents’ Committee discussed on Saturday further ideas about the possible Disney contest and, despite concerns about the financial aspects of the event, it was agreed in principle that the Disney World competition concept would be further developed. There was no discussion about including non-North American bands in the event.

The ANAPBA Music Board committee dedicated a morning to going over the RSPBA’s new Musical Appreciation & Presentation (MAP) system that it is implementing for Grade 4A, Grade 4B and Novice Juvenile bands competing at the association’s major championships, beginning in 2006. The committee held an hour-long conference call with RSPBA MAP committee representative, Bob Shepherd, who further highlighted the program and addressed questions. He confirmed that MAP events will be judged by only two adjudicators, one each from the piping and drumming sides, and that both would assess each band from a mainly ensemble perspective. He hinted that, depending on MAPs success in 2006, this new approach to judging could eventually be applied throughout the grades, and that his association is currently holding MAP training sessions for its judges.

The decision of the ANAPBA members was to monitor the success of the 2006 MAP pilot program, and also for ANAPBA associations to assist any of their Grade 4 bands planning to compete at a 2006 RSPBA Championship with their preparations. The RSPBA agreed to schedule a conference call with an RSPBA MAP committee representative for ANAPBA associations as a seminar for judges, administrators and other interested parties.

There was a frank and open question period with the RSPBA’s Kevin Reilly, who discussed the success of the addition of international representatives to his association’s judging panel and that it would continue to add non-UK judges as appropriate. He revealed that the RSPBA is currently scheduling its major championships for 2009. Reilly confirmed that the RSPBA has no current plans to limit the sizes of pipe- and drum-sections.

Various minor resolutions were also approved by the ANAPBA committees, and these will be made available on the ANAPBA Web site.

The 2007 ANAPBA Summit is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 5-7 in Las Vegas, hosted by the Western United States Pipe Band Association.

ANAPBA member associations comprise:

  • Alberta Society of Pipers and Drummers
  • Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association
  • British Columbia Pipers Association
  • Eastern United States Pipe Band Association
  • Midwest Pipe Band Association
  • Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario
  • Prairie Pipe Band Association of Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association
  • Southern United States Pipe Band Association
  • Western United States Pipe Band Association

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