April 30, 2010

New RSPBA contest a tune-up for European

New pipe band competitions in Scotland that encompass all grades don’t appear frequently, and ones that incorporate a full four-judge panel are even less likely, but a competition has been added to the RSPBA Rota on July 24th, intended to be a tune-up for bands competing at the European Championship the following week.

Organized by the Stirlingshire Branch of the RSPBA, the competition will be held in Airth, Scotland, near Stirling, and will offer events for all grades, with Grade 1 having a full panel of two piping, one ensemble and one drumming judge – unusual for a non-championship. Most small contests only provide one piping and one drumming judge.

The two-judge system at small competitions some feel is a primary reason for top bands not to compete at the events, the thinking being that too much power is placed with a single judge.

The competition will also offer an MSR for Grade 4, which allows Grade 4A bands to better prepare for their event at the European Championship at Belfast.

Entry forms are available from the RSPBA’s website and prize money ranges from £175 for first in Grade 1 to £10 for fourth in Grade 4.


  1. It’s good to see a new contest getting off the ground and good luck to them. However, if it’s going to be a success, they really need to rethink the prize money – £10 for 4th place in Grade 4? A quick look at half a dozen other ‘small’ contests on the RSPBA website found that the lowest being offered to anyone else for 4th place in G4 was £100.

  2. It’s £10 in the separate G4 MSR contest – it isn’t that in the main G4 contest. Other contests are running a 1st place prize only for G4 MSR. Sometimes we’re not overly blessed with prize money, and have to make do with what we have! I knew that the comment in the article on the prize money would elicit this kind of response – that’s not what it’s all about, and hopefully will not put of bands entering.

  3. A simple reply correcting the mistake would have done just fine, rather than the vociferous one that you’ve felt the need to post but thanks for clearing it up anyway. Good luck with the contest.



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