Trailing Drones
December 31, 2006

Trailing Drones Jan 06

by Harry Tung

From the ashes of the Robert Malcolm Memorial II mess I hear
that there’s an effort afoot to resurrect the old Triumph
band, which tried to merge a few years ago with the
Sir John A. MacDonald band, all in British Columbia. My
sources tell me that no members of the RMM2 have joined the
Maple Ridge band despite the “partnership.” If the Triumph
Street thing comes off it will be led by David Hilder, who ran

Reports are that two of the UK’s top Juvenile bands – George
Watson’s College
and Kintyre Schools – may be travelling
to Ontario to compete. George Watson’s looks fairly sure, with the
band looking at playing in Grade 3 at Chatham and Kincardine games.
Since Vale of Atholl competed at Maxville and Montreal in
1988 only a handful of UK bands have made the trip to North
America, so maybe this is the start of a trend.

You know that recital that the great Donald MacPherson did
in Glasgow last August? Well, it looks like it will of course be
merchandised, with the College of Piping putting it out on DVD in
the spring.

Speaking of merchandising, the RSPBA has not yet announced
how it will deal with the issue of
performers’ legal rights
when it comes to the CDs and DVDs of
the World Pipe Band Championships. This much is sure: there
is a legal precedent for having to compensate anyone who performs
on a commercial recording. Compensation does not have to be money;
it could simply be an agreement to channel funds back into a cause,
like a charity or a fund to bring in more international judges. The
eyes and expectations of the piping and drumming world are on this
case for some resolution.

Chagrin abounds in the recording side of the arts. Those old
“World’s Greatest Pipers” CDs that Lismor Recordings
put out in the 1990s are now being distributed on Apple’s iTunes
service. But apparently there is no agreement with the artists or
their estates as to how they will be compensated, if at all. I
understand that some of the featured pipers might be banding
together to launch a possible class-action suit to deal with the

Question: with the Alliance of North American Pipe Band
‘ annual summit coming up in late-January, is there
anything left to resolve? Seems like this august effort has
achieved its core goals, like reciprocity, parallel rules, and
judging equanimity. Harry will watch this one closely, since it
seems like ANAPBA is now moving to a new phase. My sources tell me
that associations are looking back on the first phase satisfied
that much has been accomplished, but wondering if there much
substantial still to do, other than keeping things

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