PPBSO membership to consider big changes at AGM
In addition to the usual reports and executive elections, the annual general meeting of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario on Saturday, November 22, at 1 pm in Milton, Ontario, some 21 motions from the membership will be tabled, including several that could result in substantial changes to competition format.
For band competition rules, a motion proposes, “Players in a lower grade band are permitted to play up in a higher grade band to a maximum of three times per season. Those lower grade players must be identified, prior to the commencement of the season as being on the higher grade bands ‘player development’ list band roster.”
Another motion suggests the adoption of a new Grade 1 “Premier Show” event: “All Grade 1 pipe band competitions will see each band perform both set and medley, in that order, with draw at performance pieces at the start line. Bands will be provided the option to use a tuning interlude that will not be adjudicated and will not exceed five minutes or face disqualification. The same set of judges will be used for the entire ‘Premier Show’ event with overall prize list determined by a combination of the eight sets of judges’ rankings (i.e., each section: MSR (2 piping, 1 drumming and 1 ensemble = 4) Medley (2 piping, 1 drumming and 1 ensemble = 4).”
Also on the table is a motion to extend the duration of Grade 1 medleys from five-to-seven minutes to six-to-eight minutes, and the Grade 2 medley requirement from own-choice to submit two medleys of five-to-seven minutes.
A motion to make the Grade 4 band competition requirement: “Grade 4 bands shall submit one medley of tunes of 3 to 5 minutes duration and one set consisting of one four-parted march, one two-parted strathspey and one two-parted reel.”
A change to the way band competitions are decided is proposed, with a move to an RSPBA-like even split of 25 per cent each between two piping, one ensemble and one drumming judge taking the place of the PPBSO’s current system in which each judge’s preference is ranked 1, 2, 3, 4, with the two piping judges’ ranks multiplied by three, ensemble multiplied by two and drumming multiplied by two, with final placings determined starting with the lowest total.
To accommodate larger band-sizes, there is a proposal to enlarge the competition circle: “The band competition inner circle radius be changed from 14 feet to 16 feet. The next circle to be six feet larger radius. The outside circle radius is an additional eight feet larger radius, where physically possible.”
Among the proposed changes to solo piping is the introduction of a “freestyle” competition in which a competitor plays between two and four minutes of “free choice tune selection.” The same motion calls for allowing competitors in March, Strathspey & Reel and Hornpipe & Jig events to perform the tunes in any order he/she desires.
Two motions propose altering how the PPBSO’s Champion Supreme aggregate awards are decided, one leaving it to the organization’s Music Board to come up with an alternative, while and another motion calls for making all contests but the North American Championships equal in weight.
Because the PPBSO does not have band memberships and instead calls for all competing participants to join the organization, individual members vote on various motions.
The annual general meeting is at the Milton Legion, 21 Charles Street, Milton, Ontario.