August 31, 2004

Australia undergoing organizational upheaval

The Australian piping and drumming scene is experiencing what one insider calls “quietly turbulent times” as the Australian Pipe Band Association (APBA) undergoes significant change.

The New South Wales Pipe Band Association at its annual general meeting on August 21st unanimously voted not to be affiliated with the Australian Pipe Band Association (APBA), joining the Victoria state branch’s departure last month. Both organizations apparently plan to return to the stand-alone Victoria Highland Pipe Band Association (VHPBA).

According to sources, motions by the Victoria branch had been vetoed “at every turn” by elected officials from other states, creating disenchantment among branch members.

Together, the Victoria and NSW comprised almost two-thirds of the APBA’s membership and income, and the departure of the two branches is a significant blow to the APBA.

The VHPBA will reportedly focus on innovation, creating new solo contest structures that are in line with North America’s system of grades.

The VHPBA was formed in 1924 and has continued to exist after the APBA’s amalgamation of Australian organizations. At 80-years-old, the VHPBA is considered the world’s longest-running pipe band association.


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