June 23, 2005

CLASP solo circuit

What interesting news from Scotland about the launch of the new Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP). (And it’s a good thing they put “Solo” in the name, I’ll tell you.)

It’s the second time that I know of where the UK has taken a North American idea and applied it to their domain. (The first time was when the competitions in London started to use score-sheets, an almost unheard of practice in the UK until then.)

But instead of applying the amateur solo piping system used by many North American associations, CLASP will start things at Grade 3. That means no Grade 4 or Grade 5 levels of novices. You still have to be able to make a musical noise to compete in the UK.

How the Competing Pipers Association will integrate with CLASP, I don’t know, but I’m sure that I will hear and let everyone know the story when I do.

By avoiding novice categories for amateur pipers, is CLASP doing the right or wrong thing? My own belief is that Grade 5 events are not of sufficient quality to be held in public. These events should be replaced by Institute of Piping testing. But I’m interested to hear what others think about this and about CLASP in general.





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