Published: October 31, 2009

EUSPBA may drop MAP-style program

A year after its implementation, the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association may discontinue its use of required tunes from a set list, similar to the RSPBA’s Musical Appreciation and Presentation (MAP) system, for Grade 4 and Grade 5 band competitions.
 
The organization’s Music Board has reportedly made a formal recommendation to discontinue the MAP-style program. The EUSPBA allows Grade 4 and Grade 5 bands at competitions to play one of three “March Sets,” either a Quick March Medley, a set of prescribed 2/4 marches or a set of 4/4 marches, also chosen from a set list of tunes.
 
Unlike the RSPBA, the EUSPBA does not put forward suggested piping or drumming scores, but stipulates that the music “shall not contain bridges or reprises. The music should be structured traditionally,” and “include a traditional attack of two three pace rolls, with the chanters sounding E on the seventh beat. There will be no time limits associated . . .”
 
According to a source close to the EUSPBA, “Nothing official has been done yet. I know several branches . . . are going to express their displeasure with MAP at the AGM next month.”
 
When asked for insight, EUSPBA President James Bell said only, “We’ll decide what direction we’ll take at the AGM in November.”.
 
The association’s annual general meeting is scheduled for November 14th in Albany, New York.
 
The EUSPBA requires that a Quick March Medley lasts between two minutes 45 seconds and four minutes 30 seconds, while the other two events are not timed. But with bands allowed to choose what they compete with at any contest, confusion has arisen.
 
At the Capital District Highland Games in Albany, New York, in September, a number of bands playing MAP-style march selections were mistakenly disqualified for not meeting the time parameters set out for a Quick March Medley. The mistake was not realized and addressed until after the results were announced.
 
Allegedly also on the table is a recommendation to reduce the requirement of EUSPBA adjudicators to attend a minimum of one seminar every three years. Previously, once every two years was mandatory.
 
The organization was the topic of conversation when it removed four judges from its panel in 2002 when they did not meet the seminar attendance requirement.
 
Other organizations, such as the RSPBA and PPBSO, have similar professional development requirements. The PPBSO does not remove people from its panel, but instead takes off judges from the list that it makes available to the public.

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