September 30, 2001

London Contest To Use Score Sheets

The Scottish Pipers Society of London’s (SPSL) annual competition scheduled to be held on November 3 in London, England, will be the first major contest in the United Kingdom to use formal score sheets for competitors.

The contest will also implement a new system for selecting competitors’ tunes in an attempt to make the process as objective as possible.

While score sheets have been standard practice in North American solo piping events for nearly 40 years, the system has been ignored or rejected in the UK, despite occasional recommendations from the Competing Pipers Association (CPA) to use them.

“I feel out of respect to the competitors they need to see how they fared in their event,” said Roger Huth, piping convener for the contest, and a well known soloist and judge. “The judges are the only ones in the room paying full attention to the player, so why not get their opinion first hand? As with the World Pipe Band Championships, one point might decide between the winner and the other one. The hopeless cases will also be exposed to the standard expected of them. Every other competition does it, why not solo piping?”

The London competitions will also implement a new system for selecting tunes submitted by competitors. An independent judge will choose the tunes not knowing who the contestant is. The system is designed eliminate any perception of favouratism.

One of the oldest and most important solo competitions in the world, the SPSL features the Bratach Gorm, one of the most coveted piobaireachd prizes available. The winner of the Bratach Gorm earns an invitation to the Glenfiddich Championships.


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