Laura Romine breaks year-long piping silence at Northeast Florida games
Cove Springs, Florida – February 27, 2021 – Laura Romine of Jacksonville made piping and drumming history by becoming the first to break a year-long silence of live in-person public competition by sounding the first notes of “The Wee Spree” before judge Bill Caudill at the Northeast Florida Scottish Games & Festival on February 27th in Cove Springs.
While only five pipe bands competed, there were no obvious signs of smaller numbers, the City of Mt. Dora featuring 15 pipers as an example, and it was noted that the overall entry of bands and soloists was on par with previous years.
1st Rosie O’Grady’s
2nd City of Dunedin (Gr4)
Judges: John Bottomley, Jim Dillahey (piping); Bill Caudill (ensemble); Tom Kee (drumming)
1st Rosie O’Grady’s (Gr5)
3rd City of Mt. Dora
Judges: Bill Caudill, Jim Dillahey (piping); John Recknagel (ensemble); Tom Kee (drumming)
Also the vice-president of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, Caudill said in a report to EUSPBA officials: “I think our mindset has been changed for the future through all we have experienced during the worldwide pandemic as well as the changes that we are likely to see in years to come in the way in which we interact in large group settings.”
Caudill noted that only about 10% of attendees not involved in the piping and drumming events wore a protective mask, but competitors and judges followed protocols set out by the association.
“I’m pleased to say that the EUSPBA membership – our bands-people, the soloists who entered, and all of the camp followers – seemed to pay strict attention to the guidelines that our Executive Committee laid out a few weeks ago for events which may come which are in a similar situation as this event, i.e. being held before all guidelines and restrictions are lifted throughout the country. Masking and distancing were observed and followed by ‘our folks.’ There might have been a few ‘close quarters conversations’ and things like that, but for the most part, our folks followed the EUSPBA guidelines to the letter.”