April 24, 2023

Ontario judges get in the groove at Adjudicators’ Seminar

PPBSO piping judges ponder ponder performances at the 2023 Adjudicators’ Seminar.

The Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario held its annual Adjudicators’ Seminar at the Toronto Police College on Saturday, April 22nd. Around 40 accredited judges attended the event, the first in-person Judges’ Seminar since 2019.

The piping portion of the day consisted of seminars covering the judging of piobaireachd, solo light music and band piping. John Cairns handled the piobaireachd session, Jim McGillivray managed solo light music, and Peter Aumonier presented the band piping session. The drumming contingent spent the morning working alongside bass and tenor drummers, with veterans Hugh Cameron and Greg Dinsdale taking the reins.

Much listening was done during the day as presenters played performances, and had attendees adjudicate them. Attendees then exchanged ideas on why they made the decisions they did.

“The best part of these seminars is the chance judges are given to exchange ideas, discuss ‘what ifs’ and generally learn how other people do the job.” – Jim McGillivray

The day was capped off by a superb out-of-the-box ensemble presentation by Greg Dinsdale, one of Ontario’s RSPBA judges. Dinsdale used numerous recordings of not only pipe bands, but non-pipe band ensembles, to illustrate his concepts around playing in “the groove” and the general failure of even the top pipe bands to do this.

John cairns leads a piobaireachd session.

The event was organized by the PPBSO’s Music Committee. Chair Jim McGillivray was pleased with the content of the seminar and the response of attendees.

“Judging can be a very solitary thing and at least once a year we get our adjudicators together to talk about what they do,” said McGillivray. “The best part of these seminars is the chance judges are given to exchange ideas, discuss ‘what ifs’ and generally learn how other people do the job. Judges are enthusiastic in these discussions, and that’s really what this seminar is about.”

Judges’ seminars were held online during the pandemic and some future seminars may be held online. “The online seminars are very inclusive,” said McGillivray. “Both online and in-person seminars have their advantages. I suspect we’ll see both in future.”

PPBSO judges are required to attend at least one professional development seminar every two years in order to remain in good standing on the organization’s accredited list.

Attending the event:

  • Peter Aumonier
  • Andrew Berthoff
  • Andrea Boyd
  • Tyler Bridge
  • Ross Brown
  • John Cairns
  • Hugh Cameron
  • Alan Clark
  • Terry Cleland
  • Brad Davidson
  • Paul DeBoth
  • Greg Dinsdale
  • Kate Dudek
  • John Elliott
  • Amy Garson
  • Kyle Heaney
  • Michael Hunter
  • Charlie MacDonald
  • Hector MacDonald
  • Ian K. MacDonald
  • Michael MacDonald
  • Norman MacDonald
  • Matt MacIsaac
  • Glenna Mackay-Johnstone
  • Brian McCue
  • Jim McGillivray
  • Sean McKeown
  • Ellen Mole
  • Johnny Rowe
  • Elizabeth Sheridan
  • Peter Sinclair
  • Craig Stewart
  • Doug Stronach
  • Iain Symington
  • Glenn Walpole
  • Heather Wiens
  • Brian Williamson





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