World Solo Drumming judges asked to work for free
The RSPBA has reportedly asked judges at the World Solo Drumming Championships and International Solo Tenor Drumming championships to “contribute” their £120 fee back to the organization so that it could better cover the cost of new furniture for its refurbished headquarters at 45 Washington Street.
Several sources confirmed reports that they received an email message with the request. It is not known how many, if any, of the 20 judges agreed to the offer and returned their compensation.
The association has also reportedly asked its branches for loans to help pay for the extensive refurbishment project, which started following a fire in March 2017 that damaged a section of the Victorian-era building. The renovations have reportedly exceeded budget.
The RSPBA provided an update on the renovation project at its last annual general meeting, as well as having a cash balance of more than £1-million.
About the request of judges to return their fee, one adjudicator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “I know the view was that each judge is only judging occasionally, however, officials are at every competition so it is not an inequitable process. Being asked to make a donation independently would have felt better.”
It is not known whether the same request was made of the many stewards and officials who worked at the drumming competition.
Junior competitors paid an entry fee of £5 to compete at the contest, while adult contestants had to send £15 with their entry. There were more than 100 drummers playing in the numerous events.
Prize money for adult competitors, including the 2019 World Solo Drumming Champion, was zero. Even the smallest solo piping competitions in the UK offer prize money for those in the “senior” events for pipers older than 18. Those 18 and younger do not receive cash prizes.
Andante Percussion, the title sponsors of the snare drumming contest, at one time presented a new snare drum to winners, but have since discontinued the practice.
At publication time, RSPBA chief executive Ian Embelton had not responded to a request for comment.
Pipe Bands Australia also reportedly took a loan from the Victorian Highland Pipe Band Association well into the six figures to defray losses after its treasurer embezzled more then AUD$180,000 from the PBA coffers.
Steven McWhirter: 2019 World Solo Pipe Band Drumming Champion
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Fire at RSPBA headquarters under control
March 10, 2017