January 31, 2001

Joint Committee Meeting An Unprecedented Success

Scotland’s Joint Committee on solo piping met on January 6, 2001, to resume discussions after its meeting of October 29 was adjourned.

There are nine seats on the committee: three for the Competing Pipers Association, three for the Piobaireachd Society, and three for promoters of the major competitions (Oban, Inverness, London, Skye, and the National Mod).

The primary function of the meeting was to resume discussion of the CPA’s poll of its members for opinions on judges on the Piobaireachd Society, Association of Piping Adjudicators (APA) and other rosters.

While Piper & Drummer Online has not been able to confirm details, preliminary information indicates that resolution has been obtained on a new list of judges. It is also thought that as many as ten judges from the APA’s list will be invited to return to benches they have previously refused to sit on.

“The main part of the success of the meeting from CPA’s point of view is that the discussions fully included the opinions of CPA members,” said Colin MacLellan, President of the CPA. “We were very pleased with the discussions and are delighted at the outcomes of the meeting. We feel that new directions and attitudes have been taken that will serve piping well in the future.”

It is also thought that a new code of conduct for adjudicators will be drafted, which will include items such as conflict of interest when judging pupils, currently one of the most contentious issues in solo piping.

While results from the CPA’s poll have not been disclosed to its membership at large, Piper & Drummer Online has learned from various sources that several established judges received votes of no confidence. It is thought that almost all of these adjudicators will no longer be permitted to judge the major competitions.

Said one top solo piper: “If this is true, then it is a true breakthrough for solo piping. This may well be the first time that the views of the competitors themselves are being taken into serious consideration. Let’s hope that the blatantly biased judges out there are dealt with so that these events will be unquestionably the best possible.”


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