February 28, 2011

ANAPBA to reconvene at Salt Lake City Summit

After four years of relative inactivity, a summit of Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations members will meet February 18-20 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to restart discussions primarily focusing on comparing “best practices,” consolidation of rules and communications with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

The last ANAPBA was in 2007, and since then only occasional discussions between the 10 member associations have occurred. The original intent of the alliance is to foster “a culture of cooperation among member associations; communication and sharing of information, providing a forum for the study and discussion of issues; making and receiving recommendations from member associations, regarding education, adjudication, administration, communication, competition and other related issues.”

Apparently seven member associations have committed to attending: the Alberta Society of Pipers & Drummers; the British Columbia Pipers Association; the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association; the Midwest Pipe Band Association; the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario; the Southern United States Pipe Band Association; and the Western United States Pipe Band Association.

“I think we need to discuss once again making the different associations more uniform again in what the band and solo playing requirements are,” said Jim Sim, president of the MWPBA. “The requirements have drifted apart since the last ANAPBA Summit.”

Among the items on a draft agenda are examining a process for submitting certified band rosters and grading recommendations to the RSPBA for North American bands aspiring to compete at RSPBA events and creating a process to “rebuild RSPBA’s confidence in North American associations’ ability to grade bands according to a world standard.”

A discussion on potential ways to deal with the decline of Highland games in North America as competition venues is likely to occur at the summit, after most member associations have experienced difficulties in maintaining existing competitions and attracting new ones run by third-parties.

Other administrative and competition-related items are also likely to be on the agenda, most pertaining to policies on ANAPBA membership and consolidation of contest requirements and adjudicator accreditation.

“I am also looking forward to a discussion on what we can do to keep bands and games afloat in these difficult economic times,” Sim added.  “It is a good idea to learn from each other and to promote knowledge and communication between the different associations.   We all have our own unique problems but collectively we can help each other.”

Representatives from the Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association, the Prairie Pipe Band Association of Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association apparently have not committed to attending the 2011 ANAPBA summit.

The Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations was formed in 1999.


  1. Its good to see the alliance start up again. Communication being the key for any healthy relationship/culture, the A.N.A.P.B.A. has the potential to be extremely beneficial for both pipe bands and highland games. I think it would be wonderful (and much needed) to see a similar consortium set up for the betterment and prosperity of highland games and celtic festivals.

  2. Good to see Jim’s comments about music requirements between associations. There was nearly a significant divergence of requirements between the EUSPBA and MWPBA that would have taken effect this year had things not changed. Would have been tough on lower grade bands in one association within striking distance of contests in the other. And there was suprisingly little conversation/chatter/awareness of it amongst bands.



Forgotten Password?