May 31, 2003

PPBSO Approves 78th Frasers’ One-Medley Request

At a meeting on May 10, 2003, the executive committee of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) formally approved the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band’s application to reduce the medley requirement at competitions from two to one for the 2003 season.

Four competitions, Fort Erie, Kincardine, Fergus and Sarnia are impacted by the ruling. Fort Erie, Fergus and Sarnia are designated PPBSO “Champion Supreme” events. Because of the latter two contests coinciding with bands’ travel plans to Scotland, Grade 1 band attendance is questionable. The only other contest in 2003 that calls for a medley in Grade 1 is the North American Championship at Maxville, Ontario, and it simulates the format of the World Championship whereby bands submit only one selection and two MSRs.

Upon receiving the 78th Frasers’ application to reduce the medley requirement, the PPBSO executive passed the topic to the organization’s Music Board, which deliberated on the matter, made a recommendation, and sent it back to the executive committee. The PPBSO’s executive then decided to ask Ontario’s two other Grade 1 bands, the Toronto Police and Peel Regional Police, for their thoughts.

“The initiative to have the PPBSO amend the rules for Grade 1 medley requirements is surely something to be welcomed as being in the best interests of all Grade 1 bands under their umbrella,” said Bill Livingstone, 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe-Major. “Every Grade 1 band that competes in Ontario currently makes the ultimate goal of their season a successful performance at the World’s.”

After a band discussion the Toronto Police collectively decided that they would support the 78th Frasers’ request.

“The truth of the matter is that our band has on occasion made requests to the other Pipe-Majors at contests requesting to play medleys of our own choice on the day,” said Ian K. MacDonald, Toronto Police Pipe-Major. “Therefore, we voted and decided that we would not be opposed to the 78th’s request, providing they attend Maxville.”

The 78th Frasers have stated that they plan to return to Maxville, dropping their protest of the event.

The Peel Regional Police were reportedly against the 78th Frasers’ one-medley request.

“Our band is against their proposal of only submitting one medley and there are quite a number of reasons why,” said Peel Police Pipe-Major John Elliott. “It is difficult to be sympathetic to an organization that really does not fully support the [PPBSO] and their contests. If rules are going to be changed, the AGM is the place to do it, and not when you realize that your workload is too much to handle for the band between new competition tunes and concerts.”

The Fort Erie Highland Games will likely see a larger Grade 1 entry, with City of Washington and the 78th Highlanders (Halifax) planning to make the trip to compete against Ontario’s 78th Fraser Highlanders, Peel Regional Police, and Toronto Police.

The 78th Fraser Highlanders will debut their new concert, “Seanchaidh,” on May 16 in Springfield. Illinois, which will showcase over two hours of new material.


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