Ontario to trial mid-section critiques
The Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) will test-fly critiques of pipe band mid-sections at some of its outdoor pipe band competitions in the 2009 season after the organization’s Executive unanimously approved a proposal from the PPBSO’s Music Board.
While a mid-section judge will provide bands with a scoresheet, the assessment will have no bearing on the competition, and is only designed to provide feedback and constructive criticism during its pilot phase.
In addition, the pilot project is designed to allow the PPBSO’s Music Board to learn from the process, and perfect a system should the organization’s membership wish to adopt a formal program in band competitions, potentially with actual points counting towards results.
Several top bass- and tenor-drummers have volunteered to assess bands at PPBSO events this summer. The pilot project will focus mainly on Grades 3, 4 and 5.
Copies of scoresheets and non-impacting section rankings will be used by the organization for data collection and educational purposes.
The project was spearheaded by PPBSO Music Board member Tyler Fry, who assembled a committee of experienced mid-section players from around the world to develop the program. The group is now in working to create a mid-section scoresheet.
Over the last decade, the role of mid-sections has changed dramatically, resulting in substantial and controversial changes to pipe band music overall.
While the PPBSO is launching the pilot project, the UK’s Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association in March 2008 eliminated Best Bass-Section prizes at major championships.
The PPBSO is also working towards a formal accreditation program for adjudicators of solo bass and tenor competitions.