Published: March 31, 2011

Updated: PPBSO sets agenda for 2011 Judges’ Development Seminar workshop

The agenda for the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario’s 2011 Adjudicators” Development Seminar has been laid out, and nearly 40 accredited judges are expected to attend the March 26th full-day session in Milton, Ontario.

The 2011 seminar is coordinated by the Music Committee of the organization, with committee-member Bill Livingstone managing the project. As with past workshops, the 2011 seminar will take on a central theme, and this year’s focus is on communication, with various segments dedicated to examining and improving techniques for interacting with competitors.

Among the segments are “What we do, how we do it, how we communicate that, pitfalls, language, inoculating against easy cheap shots, and more,” “Score Sheets – the view from outside Canada,” and a panel discussion called “Score sheets and communication as issues arise in the context of judging ensemble.”

“Dealing with awkward situations; general judging policies” will be a segment on disputes and confusion that can arise between competitors and judges, and attempt to workshop potential solutions.

“The adjudicator’s seminar on March 26th is shaping up to be an informative day, and one that is likely to produce some fresh insight – and some fun, too. The theme of the seminar is communication: what judges do is produce a result, but they also communicate a great deal of information, some of it on the score sheet and much of it countless other ways. We’ll explore best practices for the use of the score sheet, pitfalls, being understood, avoiding pitfalls, structuring sheets, use of language and so on.

“Various well known judges will present topics ranging from the use of score sheets, as seen from within and outside of Ontario, differences between band sheets and solo sheets, as well as how to treat different grades appropriately. Also on the agenda is the ensemble challenge, and how other competitive musical organizations deal with this issue. Dealing with awkward situations in competition situations can be a problem, and there’ll be a presentation and discussion about these and how to handle them.

“We’ll be brought up to date on the experiment with the consultative judging process. A panel of four well known piping and drumming adjudicators will tackle score sheets in the context of judging ensemble.

“All of the non verbal cues that people give off will be explored, and we’ll talk about what’s okay and what’s not.

“A general panel of all presenters will complete the day with panelists fielding questions about everything that a judge has to deal with, .either face-to-face or behind-the-back. There will be role playing, with attendees taking the part of competitors, disgruntled or otherwise, confronting, or maybe schmoozing the judge. We’ll try to learn how to deal with these cases too.”

While most of the day will be committed to improving communications, two sessions will review recent PPBSO rule changes to ensure judges are clear on amendments, an analysis and discussion of the PPBSO’s consultative pipe band judging system, and a segment entitled “Ensemble Judging From a Non-Pipe Band Viewpoint: ¬†Looking In by Looking Out,” that will take a comparative look at pipe band ensemble drawing on examples of the world of competitive orchestras, jazz and show bands, choirs and British brass bands.

The seminar will conclude with a panel by all presenters on “confronting the beer tent discussion, dealing with cheap shots, the new policy of open discussion of the pre- and post-consultation placing, role-playing and disgruntled competitors.”

The PPBSO expects its accredited judges to attend at least one professional development seminar every two years to maintain their standing on the organization’s published list of adjudicators.

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