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