December 23, 2014

World associations to convene at ANAPBA Summit

ANAPBA_LogoThe RSPBA, Pipe Bands Australia, Scottish Pipe Band Association of South America and, possibly, the Royal New Zealand Pipe Band Association will join the nine-member Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations (ANAPBA) in Kansas City, Missouri, January 9-11, during the annual Winter Storm Weekend.

It is the first ANAPBA Summit in four years, the last meeting being in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February 2011.

Most representatives will attend in-person, and according to ANAPBA Chair Jeff Mann, who is also President of the Western United States Pipe Band Association, “a variety of topics” will be discussed, specifically:

  • U.S. border issues
  • Mini-MSR
  • Grade 4 and Grade 5 vs. Grade 4A and Grade 4B
  • Several minor contest rules

A recent US Customs & Border Protection crackdown on piping and drumming adjudicators from other countries coming to judge in the United States has resulted in many games committees and associations in the US scrambling either to button down paperwork or find domestic judges. At least one adjudicator has reportedly been banned outright from entering the United States for any reason.

The Mini-MSR discussion will be about the possible introduction of a March, Strathspey & Reel comprising two-parted tunes for lower grade bands, rather than the traditional minimum of four-parts for each.

The agenda item on Grade 4 and Grade 5 pertains to the thought that, in North America a popular Grade 5 category exists, while the RSPBA divides Grade 4 into two halves, with no Grade 5 category. Grade 5 bands, without special dispensation, are unable to compete in RSPBA events.

Mann said that Brigadier David Alfrey from the Edinburgh Tattoo will make a presentation to the group.

In 2009-’10 a Las Vegas Invitational Pipe Band Championship was planned with the cooperation of ANAPBA and Mann’s management. Bands were to be brought in from around the world, but the event was abruptly scuttled, with the 2008 recession blamed for its demise.

Started in 1998 with an aim “to advance the development and quality of pipers, drummers, and pipe bands across North America, ANAPBA consists of:

  • Alberta Society of Pipers & Drummers
  • Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association
  • British Columbia Pipers Association
  • Eastern United States Pipe Band Association
  • Midwest Pipe Band Association
  • Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario
  • Prairie Pipe Band Association of Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association
  • Western United States Pipe Band Association

The subject of the RSPBA regrading non-RSPBA-member bands apparently is not on the agenda. RSPBA Chair Kevin Reilly, at a previous ANAPBA Summit assured the North American associations that it would stop regrading bands, and practice grading reciprocity. Since that time, the RSPBA has frequently regraded non-member bands, most recently the EUSPBA-member Stuart Highlanders of Massachusetts.


  1. Wonderful. Or is this another association executive boon doggle? I’m a member of one of these associations that look like they are flying in for this and this is the first I have even heard of this happening. Some thing is not right with that. Mean time my dues and expenses go up up up.

  2. I sincerely hope that extensive clear minutes are taken at this meeting.
    Several years ago I attended an ANAPBA meeting, where a reciprocal agreement was reached about attendance at adjudicators meetings put on by the various piping associations. It was agreed that if you attended one of the various meetings, it would suffice and other meetings would not be necessary.
    If one looks at only North America one would have to take in ,I believe, 9 adjudicator’s meetings if one had to attend each jurisdiction, which of course is impossible.
    It seems that the minutes of the meeting that I attended have not been followed, or have been lost.
    I urge that this is not repeated.
    Reay Mackay



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