Published: February 29, 2008

Judges assigned to RSPBA championships

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) has delivered its assignments to its panel of adjudicators, and the list introduces several relatively new faces to the scene.

2008 RSPBA Judgingassignments for major championships. Click to expand.
Assigned to the World Pipe Band Championships’ closely watched Grade 1 Finals are Medley: Harry Stevenson, Andrew Wright (piping); Ciaran Mordaunt (drumming); and Alistair Aitken (ensemble). MSR: Iain MacLellan, Winston Pollock (piping); Willie Goodall (drumming); and Bob Shepherd (ensemble).

The Grade 1 qualifier contest will be judged by Ken Eller, Nat Russell (piping); Gordon Craig (drumming); and David Clark (ensemble). The last group will also judge the Grade 2 final.

The World’s is scheduled to be held on August 16, 2008, at Glasgow Green. The first RSPBA major is the Scottish Championships at Dumbraton, Scotland, on May 21st.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think the panel will be effected by this new band – If they play…..If anything Nat Russell will have the hardest job in judging a band that he has well known links with. That is no dig at the man, I’ve seen him operate – I’m sure his judging will be the same on the day. These gentlemen will do a fine job come the day and I for on am glad to see them and a lot of new faces all over the judging panel as opposed to the same old names cropping up.

  2. The Band Club, Sydney – for the last few years he’s been behind them. You only have to watch them practice prior to the Worlds – a great sight seeing Mr Russell in full flow…

  3. In relation to the All-Star Band, and Andrew’s comment: My guess would be that Andrew is referring to the fact that the two piping judges are not noted solo all stars, but rather, gentlemen who have shown their mettle as Pipe Majors of Grade 1 bands over countless years. It is also interesting to note, that John Fisher was last LD of the 78th Frasers, and I believe Ken Eller was still with them for John’s year. Ken is also friends with a number of members of the pipe section, and (I believe) Iain Speirs even played in the Clan under Ken’s leadership. Do I think such connections will amount to anyting in terms of Ken’s judgement of this band? Not at all. At the same time, Nat Russell was Pipe Major of the Victoria Police, whilst Robert Crozier played an integral role in the band’s sound.

  4. It is probably very difficult to name a grade 1 judge at the WPBC that doesn’t have some kind of a connection to a grade 1 band through friends/family, sponsorship/equipment, an old member of a band etc…

  5. Sorry, I should have clarified my post a bit more than I did. I didn’t mean to spark the controversy that most assumed, rather meant that it will genuinely be interesting to see two newer piping judges from outwith scotland and nothern ireland judging the qualifier. Might mean that we get a closer set of results than in previous years (i.e. snadden/ronaldson of 2006) and should hopefully mean that the foreign bands at least get a good listen. Will also prevent any scottish/irish bias debates! Also, it will be interesting to see the way that the all-star band are treated with respect to the fact that Nat Russell and Ken Eller are clearly close friends with a number of the members of the pipe corps. From what I know of these two guys I am sure that nobody will be able to question their integrity. However, will they be overly-conscious of placing the all-star band too high as a result? Hope that clarifies some of the remarks to my first post. Roll on the 2008 season. Andrew

  6. Ah my mistake, thanks Jamie. Got confused by the vicky police connection! Nonetheless, should be a panel that at least gives the foreign bands some hope. Cheers

  7. Andrew. Note your comment re ronaldson/snadden G1 qualifier 06. They might both be oldsters but they’ve got loads of experience. Which one was right! Their results were ok in 07! Look at MSR final & medley final outcome.

  8. Hmmmm, if you think regular 4 or 5 band gaps between two piping judges is a good set of results from a 14 band contest then fair enough! Personally, I still find that disappointing, though equally I am not stupid enough to expect that two judges will consistently agree. I’m not laying the blame with either Snadden or Ronaldson, but what happened in the 2006 qualifier was pretty shocking. However, this is only an example and it is unfair to label these two judges given that it goes on throughout the grades most of the time. Anyway, all I meant was that it should be a relatively fresh panel who I would expect will give every band a fair listen. Here’s hoping anyway. Cheers

  9. All very interesting, I’m sure. It is said that, in show business, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Bearing that in mind, all I would request is that anyone wishing to mention, or bring up, my name in future please take notice that my surname is not Snadden, Sneddon; or any other permutation of these letters except, of course, the correct one!

  10. Sorry, I should have clarified my post a bit more than I did. I didn’t mean to spark the controversy that most assumed, rather meant that it will genuinely be interesting to see two newer piping judges from outwith scotland and nothern ireland judging the qualifier. Might mean that we get a closer set of results than in previous years (i.e. snadden/ronaldson of 2006) and should hopefully mean that the foreign bands at least get a good listen. Will also prevent any scottish/irish bias debates! Also, it will be interesting to see the way that the all-star band are treated with respect to the fact that Nat Russell and Ken Eller are clearly close friends with a number of the members of the pipe corps. From what I know of these two guys I am sure that nobody will be able to question their integrity. However, will they be overly-conscious of placing the all-star band too high as a result? Hope that clarifies some of the remarks to my first post. Roll on the 2008 season. Andrew

  11. Ah my mistake, thanks Jamie. Got confused by the vicky police connection! Nonetheless, should be a panel that at least gives the foreign bands some hope. Cheers

  12. Hmmmm, if you think regular 4 or 5 band gaps between two piping judges is a good set of results from a 14 band contest then fair enough! Personally, I still find that disappointing, though equally I am not stupid enough to expect that two judges will consistently agree. I’m not laying the blame with either Snadden or Ronaldson, but what happened in the 2006 qualifier was pretty shocking. However, this is only an example and it is unfair to label these two judges given that it goes on throughout the grades most of the time. Anyway, all I meant was that it should be a relatively fresh panel who I would expect will give every band a fair listen. Here’s hoping anyway. Cheers

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