January - February 2010


Since there isn't a lot going on this time of year, and there has been a lot going on with me, I thought I'd double up on the column for these two months - okay, so I'm lazy...I'll be heading down to SB on the 13th for Ma's 90th birthday, quite a milestone if I may say, so I won't be going down to The Boat that weekend, and will have to rely on the Auld Pirate to provide the scoop from Long Beach. We also remember those we've lost over the past year, especially Greig Sharp and Chip Robinson, both of whom left us far too soon....

Big news: We received the first set of JWM pipes and they are a phenomenal bagpipe. Workmanship - flawless; tone - seamless; balance - perfect. Next to my MacDougall this is the finest-sounding bagpipe I've heard in a LONG time. Needless to say, the customer is ecstatic and is probably playing them as I type at are some pix:

We'll try to get a sound file of these up soon on the JWM page, once I figure out how to do that! In addition, here are some detail pix from the JWM page showing the threaded mounts, ferrules, and ringcaps on a stainless/imitation ivory set:

We're currently readying four sets of wood (roughing and boring) so we can have shorter production time on orders. As it is, we still plan to produce only two sets per month, with currently a two month wait for non-silver mounted pipes.

I've been asked to provide prizes for two competitions upcoming in March: the Back Bay Solo Comp in Massachusetts on March 27th and on the same day the Harry Moore Memorial Solo Comp in Riverside, Ca. sponsored by the UCR band. The prize for the Back Bay Grade 1 Piobaireachd is a silver sgian dhubh, and the Harry Moore comp is getting a Cowal practice chanter.

A REMINDER: we have the new SFU 'Affirmation' live concert CD in stock, as well as Monarch roo hide bags, and the Cairngorm music book series is back in as well.




Well the contests at the Queen Mary have come and gone.  Congratulations to Scott MacDonald and the L. A. Scots for another well run set of contests.

The Southern Branch of the WUSPBA had its Annual General Meeting on Saturday afternoon after the band contests. This meeting was well attended and featured the FIRST EVER Absentee Ballots being counted in the WUSPBA.  So now no one can ever say that there is no such thing as an absentee ballot in the WUSPBA.  'Ol Black Part was re-elected as President, and Jennefer Febre, P/M of the Pasadena Scots was re-elected as Treasurer.  The remaining championship plaques for 2008 and 2009 were handed out.  The 2010 championship plaques will be awarded again this year at the Tartan Ball hosted by the Camerons Pipe Band of San Diego on November 20th.  Check with the Camerons and the WUSPBA website under the Southern Branch for additional information on this event as it becomes available.  The possibility of increasing the numberof small contest within the Southern Branch was the number one topic.  This only takes a band, or perhaps two bands getting togather to host these contests.  the more contests we have, the better. So.....Let's have a few more says I.  Ahrrrgh!

Input for a logo for the Southern Branch is requested.  Now this ol' pirate had a suggestion:  The Drum and Cross Drones on a Black background.  But since ever'thing goes tae a vote, it's up tae the crew tae come up with a few more ideas!  Send 'em in by Costa Mesa or it'll be the Drum and Cross Drones fer us. 

Now fer the really BIG news!   There has been a committee formed up by the Executive Committee of the WUSPBA to come up with a way to have absentee balloting for the entire association.  I think this is following the lead taken by the Southern Branch if'n ya asks me.  This worked well for us, but I can hear the objections already:  How do we discuss the changes to the bylaws and contest rules?  Well you don't discuss them at the AGM, you discuss them before the AGM, using the internet.  That way the nauseating discussions don't take up all the time at the AGM, and the AGM can be devoted to workshops and more piping and drumming and other fun stuff.  The way this 'ol pirate see it, the proposed changes could be posted any time on an open forum on the internet where opinions and comments could be made by every member band, soloist, and contest sponsor.  Suggested changes to the proposed changes could be made and commented on by every member, and final drafts of the changes prepared say 6 to 8 weeks before the AGM, and then posted in an absentee ballot form on the WUSPBA website for everyone to download, cast their votes and send in.  Each ballot would need to be signed and be accompanied by the member's WUSPBA registration number so the votes could be certified.  In a similar fashion voting for the officers could be conducted with candidates actually being well known to the membership before the AGM, and even internet campaignes being run.  When this happens, the membership then becomes involved and the WUSPBA can then truly become one run by the membership and for the membership, and not like we still have, where decisions are made behind closed doors by "special interest" groups and individuals.

So did they ask 'Ol Black Part to be on the committee? ...... No Siree!  Heaven forbid I be asked to participate even though I've been the principal activist for this in the WUSPBA for the past 10 years or so.  Even least it is finally being given serious consideration, which warms this 'ol pirate's heart.

Upcoming contest....most of 'em in the Southern Branch....Aahrrrgh.....The Arizona Highland Games in Phoenix AZ; The Harry Moore Memorial Contests and Workshops in Riverside and the Bakersfield Scottish Games both in March; The Sacramento Games and the Las Vegas Highland Games in April; followed by the Costa Mesa Contests at the end of May; and the San Diego Highland Games in June.  So practice hard....and play nice....Black Part's Orders.   

(The management of Cuillinn Craft takes NO responsibility for any editorial statements made by John Eric Partanen PhD. Any and all comments should be directed to BLACK PART)


back to Notes