Published: January 31, 2006

CLASP amateur contests to be held in U.S.

Glasgow’s National Piping Centre has informed Piper & Drummer Online that the first North American event for its Competition League for Amateur Pipers(CLASP) will be held on February 25 in the Babylon area of New York.

According to CLASP organizer Margaret Houlihan, events will be held for Grade 1 to Grade 4 amateur pipers aged 18 years and older. Those entering for the Grade 4 event will receive a deduction on the CLASP membership fee since the CLASP circuit does not currently offer Grade 4 events at other venues. Those intending to compete in the Grade 1, 2 and 3 levels will have to become CLASP members.

“The CLASP events are mainly U.K.-based, but we have had interest from North America and now have some North American members who have traveled [to Scotland] to play at some events,” says Houlihan.

Houlihan stressed that the American CLASP contests are not intended to detract from the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA) circuit.

“[We] merely offer this single event as an additional event which we were invited to stage on the recommendation that there may be a number of pipers in that area who would welcome the opportunity to join CLASP so that they may at some future point compete in events here in Scotland,” Houlihan says.

The New York CLASP are being co-organized with Eric Stein, a former Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA) executive and who manages the well known Metro Cup professional competition.

Launched in June 2005, the CLASP circuit has been generally well received in the U.K., which previously had no formal solo competition system for either professional or amateur pipers. CLASP is the first organized multi-event solo piping system in Scotland’s history.

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