May 31, 2006

PPBSO judges meet for all-day professional development seminar

Nearly 30 adjudicators on the judges’ panel of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) convened in Campbellville, Ontario, on a sunny May 6 for that organization’s annual Judges’ Seminar, a day-long professional development workshop that considered numerous topics.

The discussion was strictly open and free-flowing throughout the day and final consensus was that that openness and transparency contributed to the building of ideas for the future.

Two sessions in particular, a section on the PPBSO’s consultative band judging system that was introduced last season, was led by Bob Worrall. Worrall presented a draft framework for a formal system, building from experiences and feedback in 2005. Discussions at the seminar created several additions to the proposal, which will now be refined by the PPBSO’s Music Board for consideration by the organization’s Executive committee.

Ken Eller led a session on the RSPBA’s Musical Appreciation & Presentation (MAP) pilot program for UK Grade 4 and Novice Juvenile contests at major championships beginning this season. Eller moderated a spirited and lively discussion on the potential impact of the MAP system on PPBSO judging and events, and how the organization should consider and react to changes.

Other sessions included a simulated Grade 1 Amateur March competition that used actual recordings from contests in previous years. Solo piping judges at the seminar assessed each player, and Lori Wilson-Gaudet facilitated a dynamic discussion. The section highlighted the ability to interpret the close performances differently.

PPBSO President, Ron Rollo, managed a session on rule and policy changes for the upcoming season to ensure that judges are prepared for the year.

Some judges traveled as far as from Florida and Michigan to attend the seminar.

Peter Aumonier managed an open plenary session to conclude the event where judges could raise any issues or concerns. There was strong feeling from those present that every PPBSO judge should attend at least one Judges’ Seminar every two years to maintain their solid standing on the panel – a matter that now returns to the PPBSO’s Music Board for discussion and recommendation on policy.


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