There was a time I was heavily involved in the administration of the Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario. Bigtime involved. Vice-President of the Toronto Branch when I was 18, President at 19. Can you imagine! What a presumptuous little brat I must’ve been (or am, depending on who you ask).
I’d go to all the Annual General Meetings. I was an active member of what was the precursor to today’s Music Board, the “Advisory Council”. At 23 years old or so I can’t really imagine what wisdom I might’ve possessed to “advise”. But there you have it. There I was. The whole admin-activist thing wore me out. And I dropped out of all of it. Cold turkey. I can’t remember the last AGM I attended. Not a point of pride, that’s for sure, just a point of fact.
So here I am today. I plan on attending the AGM of the Niagara-Hamilton Branch of the PPBSO October 3rd. The N-H Branch is always a good night out. It’s well-organized, a great location, always a good programme.
I’m going, though, to present for consideration a rule change. Specifically, the elimination of the individually staged grade one MSR and Medley events (today we have an MSR at one contest and a medley at the other – like most places around the world) .
I’m suggesting – and hoping – that membership will go for a new Grade One pipe band event: the “Grade One Performance“ event where Grade One bands play both a medley and an MSR at all competitions.
How will it work? The band enters the field, performs their MSR, is given 5 minutes to tune and prepare in situ for the performance of their 5-7 minute medley, which is played following the alloted tune-up time. All this is carried out, dare I say “performed”, in the same location, same set of judges, same prize money. A lot of “same” here.
I am hoping this event change would set the stage for the evolution of a real “Performance” event, one where staging and music are given greater consideration and audiences are given their due.
First things first. It’s often said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I think this is the right one -though on the left foot, of course.
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