January 05, 2022

ANAPBA 2022 Summit goes online

The nine member-organizations of the Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations – known by most as ANAPBA – will meet on January 28-30 for the first time since 2019. 

The meeting had been planned to take place in-person at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, as something of a nostalgic look back to the alliance’s first meeting in 1999, but was moved to online in the wake of the surge in the Omicron coronavirus variant, as well as the tightened purse strings of associations having to muddle through two years of lost competition revenues and fewer paid memberships.

ANAPBA was set up with the goal of better aligning the then 10 recognized associations in the continent, the largest geographical region of pipers and drummers in the world.

Among the accomplishments the alliance lists are a greater awareness of happenings in other parts of North America and the world, a focus on standard music and judging requirements, and that “North American bands and soloists are able to travel to other jurisdictions without fear of encountering vastly different playing requirements.”

With the dissolution of the Southern United States Pipe Band Association, there are now nine associations in ANAPBA. The president and music committee/board head of each organization attends the summits:

  • Alberta Society of Pipers and Drummers – President Jacquie Troy, Music Board Chair Cam Keating
  • Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association – President Dan Knee, Music Board Chair Roderick MacLean
  • British Columbia Pipers’ Association – President Graham Davidson, Music Board Chair René Cusson
  • Eastern United States Pipe Band Association – President Jim Dillahey, Music Board Chair Nick Hudson
  • Midwest Pipe Band Association – President Jim Sim, Music Board Chair Tom Weithers 
  • Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario – President Michael Grey, Music Committee Chair Jim McGillivray
  • Prairie Pipe Band Association of Manitoba – President Gale Walker, Music Board Chair Liam Speirs
  • Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association – President Wayne Rempel, Music Board Chair Iain MacDonald
  • Western United States Pipe Band Association – President Jeff Mann, Music Board Chair Ken Sutherland

Mann is the chair of ANAPBA and he is credited by many for having the vision to create the alliance. “We are expecting most of the associations to attend,” he said. “We are finalizing the agenda, however, the majority of discussion will be focused on soloists and bands dealing with COVID.  We are looking at the new drum cadences and how that will fit into each association. We will also be looking financial development for pipe band associations, and outreach programs for new members.”

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s Music Board Convener Malcolm Brown-Scott will attend to provide a report on his group’s activities. Past ANAPBA summits have seen the RSPBA make agreements on items like closer communications regarding judges lists and certification, band rosters and grading, contest rules, and other areas of common interest.

At the 2006 summit, the RSPBA committed to honouring gradings of ANAPBA member pipe bands, and refrain from altering a North American band’s grade either before or after it competes in the UK. Since then, it has regularly upgraded and downgraded American and Canadian bands.

The minutes and photos from previous ANAPBA summits are available here.

Australia many years ago established Pipe Bands Australia as a body that brings together its six state pipe band associations, comprising representatives from associations – or branches – in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. Each state association provides two delegates to elect Pipe Bands Australia officials. There is no association in the Northern Territory. Pipe Bands Australia describes itself as “the peak national body for the governance of pipe bands in Australia in addition to the governance of ongoing tuition, education and national competitions.”



RSPBA Signs Accord With ANAPBA




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