Trailing Drones
June 28, 2015

Harry: whozit judges, chanter banter, Biggar’s better

It’s been a while since I checked in with my dear readers. Since the New Year Harry’s been all over the place, namely in the south of France in the spring after a few weeks in Panama, and then over to the Auld Country to take in a few championships. Harry’s also been fair stuck into the YouChubes and hanging over the fence at the circle like a coo needin’ a good drink, or maybe like a band member needin’ a good drink.

Harry thinks the RSPBA might be on the drink with the judging assignments. When are they going to catch on that close relatives should not be judging family members? How would you feel if you lost out on a job because the decision-maker was the father of the guy he hired? Pretty much every international music association has rules that prevent close relatives from judging family members, but not the RSPBA, or for that matter any pipe band association except the one in Ontario (check rule B-9.1), which figured out about 20 years ago that nepotism – or the perception of it, which is just as bad – should be stopped . Now, Harry’s not making any assertions about actual results, other than to say it looks terrible for all concerned, and offers an avenue for those wanting to pick at results. And guess what, dear readers? Everyone else in the competitive world has that sorted out: brass bands, choirs, music festivals, cattle shows and dairy festivals. It’s about time the pipe bands sorted that, too. Just like teachers giving prizes to pupils, it’s unfair to the competitors when a relative on the pen gives the nod to them. The competitor might well have deserved the prize from any competent judge, but everyone rolls their eyes. It’s not fair to those who earned it. Maybe Harry’s summer project will be to draft “The RSPBA Family Tree” showing which adjudicators are linked by family to which players in which bands, so that everyone can “judge accordingly.” Sounds like a right wee laugh for a Friday night in with the Mrs.

It’s been a few years since the North American Championships had close to 60 bands, but this year Maxville’s numbers are up to 57, including 10 in Grade 2. Unfortunately, only four in Grade 1, with the usual attrition due to the Svengali-like trance that the World Championships puts most of the top-grade bands in. I wonder if the Glengarry Highland Games will see . . .





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