October 31, 2005

(Updated) Scotland’s Joint Committee meets

Scotland’s Joint Committee for Judging met October 30 to discuss the coming year, and it was announced that the Northern Meeting would again take place at Aviemore in 2006, but, more significantly, next year’s event will be held on Thursday, August 31, and Friday, September 1, only one-week after the Argyllshire Gathering. Normally the two contests are two weeks apart, forcing most non-UK pipers to attend only one or the events. The Thursday-Friday timing is a departure from the usual Wednesday-Thursday schedule.

There had been some talk that the Northern Meeting would become a weekend competition, making it even more accessible to working pipers and judges, but that will not happen in 2006. Both the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting competitions were reportedly weekend events before the Second World War.

It was also decided that Bill Livingstone of Whitby, Ontario, would be added to the list of approved “Senior” judges. Livingstone formally retired from competition last season, with the Silver Star at the Northern Meeting being his final event.

The Committee keeps a list of approved judges for UK contests, with rankings in both piobaireachd and light music for each adjudicator. A Senior designation denotes eligibility to judge any event at any competition. The only other North American-born judge with Senior status for both light music and piobaireachd is Jim McGillivray. Judges on the list must be retired from active competition.

The Joint Committee comprises nine seats: three for the Competing Pipers Association; three representative judges; one each for the Northern Meeting and Argyllshire Gathering; and one for one of the the other major competitions at London, Skye, or the National Mod. A member of the Piobaireachd Society’s Music Committee may also attend in a non-voting capacity.

There was reportedly no representative from the Argyllshire Gathering at the meeting.

There was allegedly no discussion of the recent “Ban The B” movement that has gained rapid grass-roots support around the solo piping world.


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