Published: January 12, 2022

Global online CLASP contests to continue in addition to in-person events

With the success of its expansion into online contests, the Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP) has formally created a separate global “Live Online” competition league designed to complement its more familiar in-person competitions.

Initially, there will be three Live Online contests, with a separate Online League Table. In-person events in the UK are still to be announced and of course dependent on the ability to hold them.

“The Live Online competition format allows performers to compete live from the comfort of their own homes from anywhere in the world,” said Margaret Dunn, who manages CLASP as part of the National Piping Centre in Glasgow.

As the name of the new series suggests, contestants will compete by video live, rather than via uploaded recorded performances. They join the Zoom platform using a video device to capture their live performance for assessment by the judges. Members of CLASP will also be able to watch the competition performances as they take place, as with an in-person event.

2022 CLASP Live Online events:

  • February 5th
  • May 7th
  • November 12th

Aggregate winners would be announced in December, and Dunn said that CLASP will accommodate time zones.

CLASP was created in 2005 as a means for amateur pipers older than 18 to compete in the UK, which traditionally lumps all adults into a single “Open” category, the Competing Pipers Association grading adult players in Premier, A, B and C categories.

CLASP Director Margaret Dunn

CLASP has adopted what is ostensibly the system created and used in North America whereby amateur solo pipers and drummers are assigned to Grade 1, 2, 3, 4/5 levels based on their abilities. The difference is that, in the UK, pipers 18 and younger compete in “Junior” competitions, whereas in most of the rest of the world they compete head-to-head with adults, regardless of grade level.

Dunn confirmed that CLASP honours grade levels assigned by a North American competitor’s home association.

To compete in CLASP events, pipers need to be a member of the organization, which is priced at £40 and reduces to £10 if they join later in the year.

They’re also creating a series of £5 educational talks for members, beginning in February with Rhythmic Fingerwork author Jim McGillivray discussing technique. The talks will be available on-demand to facilitate all time zones.

Dunn added that only a few in-person CLASP contests are scheduled for 2022, the first planned for March 26th, pandemic allowing. If it occurs, it will be the first in-person CLASP competition in two years. Several Highland games in Scotland have agreed to run CLASP competitions alongside their regular slate of Open adult and junior contests.

 


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