October 31, 2000

Joint Committee on Piping Competitions Meets in Perth

Perth, Scotland – October 29, 2000 – The annual general meeting of the “Joint Committee” on solo piping competitions was held here today, with representatives attending from the Competing Pipers Association, the Piobaireachd Society and the major UK piping competitions.

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

Perhaps the most contentious issue raised was the results of the CPA’s members’ poll on judges. In 1999, all CPA members were asked to rate judges from a comprehensive list and return the form confidentially to the association.

According to the CPA, “The result is a list of all judges considered acceptable by the CPA. These judges would not have to subscribe to a list, or have their permission to be put onto a list solicited by the Joint Committee. The list would simply represent a pool of all judges from which the competitions promoters could confidently choose their judging panels.”

After a short discussion on the matter, it was proposed that the meeting be adjourned and further discussion postponed. While results of the CPA poll are not known, it is believed that several well-established judges have received an overall vote of no confidence from CPA members.

Also discussed at the meeting was the matter of teachers judging pupils in competition. The CPA has also recommended that judges submit a list of pupils to the competition committees at the beginning of the year, and allow the contests to select judges accordingly.

It is thought that both topics are a first for piping in the UK, and demonstrate a major initiative on the part of the CPA for competition reform.


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