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The online petition to bring back the Best Bass-Section awards that were dropped from major championships by the RSPBA has been delivered in person to Ian Embelton, executive officer of the Association. The petition, which comprised 688 signatures, was presented to Embelton just after the World Pipe Band Championships by a group of mid-section drummers, including players former House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead, St. Laurence O’Toole and ScottishPower.
According to Scott Currie, who spearheaded the creation of the online petition, Embelton received the document and said that he would present it to the RSPBA National Council at their next meeting. Embelton was joined by RSPBA President George Ussher. Both Embelton and Ussher advised the party to make representations to their respective Music Board representatives about the matter, since that body was responsible for the proposal initially.
“I informed Mr. Embelton of the desire of myself and others to hopefully sit down and discuss the re-instatement of Best Bass-Section awards in the future,” Currie said.
He added, “I am grateful to everyone who took the time to sign the petition. The document is now in the hands of the RSPBA Chief Executive, who has assured us that it will be presented for discussion at the next National Council meeting. While the petition was essential for informing the RSPBA of the gauge of opposition to the abolition of the awards, I believe that it must be accompanied by notifications of objection and requests for re-instatement to our Music Board representatives. I strongly urge every band that supports re-instatement of the awards to formally notify their Music Board representatives at the earliest opportunity. Nothing would make me happier than to see the history of our Best Bass Sections re-instated at the RSPBA AGM next spring.”
Reasons for the elimination of the award were not clear, but it is generally believed that it is an attempt to shorten the time that awards ceremonies take at the end of championships. Without the Bass-Section prizes, the 2008 World Pipe Band Championships’ march-past awards ceremony did not end until approximately 7:30 pm.