March 31, 2003

Four Judges Removed From EUSPBA Panel

Four judges on the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association’s (EUSPBA) panel have been removed after their failure to attend at least one of the organization’s professional development seminars over the last 24 months.

Piping judges Mike Cusack, Mike Green and Peter Kent, and drumming judge Hugh Cameron, have been dismissed in accordance with the EUSPBA’s requirement to attend at least one seminar every two years. The EUSPBA’s policy has been in place for over 13 years, according to president Albert McMullin.

“Mike Cusack, Mike Green, Peter Kent and Hugh Cameron were in fact removed from our panel after their failure to attend last November’s seminar,” McMullin stated. “Each of them received a letter outlining what they needed to do to be re-instated.”

Cusack, the United States’ most accomplished solo piper as a winner of both Highland Society of London Gold Medals and the Clasp at the Northern Meeting, and Green, Pipe-Major of City of Washington, the EUSPBA’s only Grade 1 band and a recognized soloist, have been informed by the EUSPBA that they can rejoin the panel if they attend special seminars in the early summer. Re-instatement offers to Kent, a City of Washington piper and professional solo player, and Cameron, a resident of Ontario and a judge with and member of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO), have been made also.

“Rules are rules, I guess,” said one insider speaking on condition of anonymity, “but when an association removes four of its most qualified judges in order to adhere to rules, it maybe goes beyond simply proving a point. It’s maybe a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Then again, is it fair to judges who diligently attend these seminars to have a blind eye turned to those who don’t?”

Other organizations, such as the PPBSO and the British Columbia Pipers Association (BCPA) hold regular development seminars for judges, but take a relatively flexible approach to requiring members of their panels attend. Neither has a policy or rule in place that would formally remove a judge after failure to be present at seminars.

“The removal policy has not always been enforced, but…the policy has not changed in over 13 years,” McMullin continued. “This policy was not enacted against anyone; it was enacted for our judges.”


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