Audience faces the music at Berwick Gathering, Australia

Published: February 29, 2012
(Page 1 of 1)

The Victorian Highland Pipe Band Association of Australia has just completed its first test trial in which bands are allowed to enter and take a formation very different from the familiar closed circle set up.

Several bands at the Berwick Gathering over the last weekend took advantage of the trial, including Moorabbin City and Hawthorn City, both from the Melbourne area. Moorabbin won the Grade 2 event.

Trial rules were passed through the VHPBA in 2011 stating that, in addition to a circle formation, bands could choose from several other options that allowed the competing band to face the judges and the audience, although judges were free to roam. Bands could form between two flags four metres from the outside of the centre of the circle, and march into the formation in various fashions.

While judges could move around bands facing the audience, all of them reportedly chose to listen only from the front.

In addition to the Berwick Gathering, the other trial event will be at the Ringwood Highland Gathering just before the Australian Pipe Band Championships at Ballarat over the Easter weekend.

 

The trial is reserved only for medley competitions. MSRs will maintain a tradition closed circle format. Leading up to Berwick, there was “significant consternation” about the experiment from traditionalists determined to see the closed circle approach maintained, according to one insider, who added that the audience-facing format was “not as hard as the naysayers made out before it was trialed . . . no breakdowns by lower-grade bands from fear of having to actually face the audience . . . the quality, and enjoyment, of the performance not hindered by the drones facing away from the audience.

Most Australia pipe band competitions call for bands to compete in both a medley and an MSR event on the same day, with the aggregate scores determining the overall winner in each grade.

The Victorian Highland Pipe Band Association is a branch of the Australian Pipe Band Association. Established in 1924, the VHPBA is purported to be the oldest pipe band association in the world.

GET THE MOBILE APP!
The new pipes|drums app offers the same publication with a streamlined experience. Get the latest news optimized for your smartphone.
Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play
THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
March 28, 1960Walter Douglas, MBE dies, Vancouver.
MOST RECENT POST
  • Quelle reprise
    Wed, 22 Mar 2017
    The now double-homage to the anniversary of the 78th Fraser Highlanders “Live In Ireland” concert in Ballymena in 1987 is much deserved and, evidently, attractive to many people who wanted to live or relive the event. That music w …
Read more »
UPCOMING EVENTS April 7, 2017Cincinnati Piping & Drumming Solo Competition & WorkshopSpringdale Nazarene Church, 11177 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45246

April 7, 2017Pipers Club AtlanticThe Old Triangle Alehouse 5136 Prince Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

May 18, 2017Prairie Piping InvitationalRegina, SK

May 19, 2017Saskatchewan Highland Gathering and Celtic FestivalVictoria Park, downtown Regina

May 20, 2017British Pipe Band ChampionshipsPaisley, Scotland

TIP OF THE DAY
Do not be afraid to recognize that you do not know as much as others. Even if you have played in non-competitive bands for your entire career, and have never had formal instruction, do not hesitate to try to ask others for help.
Lionel Tupman, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

FROM THE ARCHIVES