EUSPBA carries over band memberships to 2021
Declaring it “the most solvent association in the world,” the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association has informed member band’s status will automatically carry over to 2021, and bands that let their membership lapse in 2020 or altogether new member bands will enjoy a reduction in dues of 50%.
Band memberships are typically US$175-200, depending on when in the year they join. With no pipe band competitions in the northern hemisphere in 2020, bands have not seen the typical return on their association memberships.
The EUSPBA was the first world association to offer online solo competitions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, pipers and drummers paying entry fees for the opportunity to keep their skills sharp against their peers.
“Our solo members have been well served during this time,” the message reads. “However, this still leaves our member bands in a difficult way. During the last few years, the EUSPBA Executive Committee has made decisions, while not universally praised, that made the EUSPBA the most solvent association in the world. This COVID tainted 2020 is no different. The decision to have a virtual Annual General Meeting and Judges’ Seminar has added to the financial well-being of the EUSPBA. Unlike at least one of our sister associations, we don’t have to plead for dues money to hold off fiscal disaster.”
“Unlike at least one of our sister associations, we don’t have to plead for dues money to hold off fiscal disaster.” – EUSPBA
The message evidently refers to the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, which recently pressured bands to renew their memberships to allow it “to continue to function as an organization.” The RSPBA’s worst nightmare came true with the 2020 competition season’s shutdown, which depended on paying down considerable debt racked up to pay for the £1.2 million renovation of its headquarters post-renovation had a value impairment to only £500,000. The renovation finished at almost the same time that the coronavirus hit.
The waiving of EUSPBA band dues precedes the association’s online annual general meeting on December 5th and online vote for officers running until November 13th. President Jim Dillahey is currently standing unopposed for re-election, and the Vice-Presidency is a contest between Tom Burnham, Bill Caudill and Marc Dubois.
Dillahey recently made his support for Burnham known in a public Facebook post, saying, “I don’t usually wade into the political realm when it comes to the EUSPBA. Every candidate I’m sure has the Association’s best interest at heart. But I would like to try and persuade you to vote for Tom Burnham for EUSPBA Vice President. He has been on every monthly meeting as a member of your Executive Committee and engaged in every major decision we have made over the last several years.”
Also up for grabs are the Recording Secretary and Officer-at-Large roles.
“We are doing well financially due to foresight on behalf of the Executive Committee over the last three years,” Dillahey said. “We have cut costs and put ourselves in a stable financial position for years to come.”
The EUSPBA quickly adjusted its rules to accommodate online solo events, with sanctioning and continuity for the numerous contests scheduled until the end of 2020. The rules stipulate accredited judges, standardizing of video uploads and live steaming and scoresheets.