Volume XX Number 1 - July 2007

Sorry to be a little late with this issue, I was down south all last week and have had some Heavy Family Issues to deal with. Summer weather is really upon us, and for most of you that means high heat and humidity at the Games. While you're out baking your brains, make sure you: 1) Drink pleanty of water, and avoid the beer; 2) Wear a hat AND sunscreen to avoid skin cancer; and 3) Stay in the shade as much as possible - and your pipes as well. There's nothing worse than coming back to the band area and finding cracks in your stocks midway through games day.

So it's July, and Monterey is already done with. I have received a major complaint about how the solo comps were run there this year, and I certainly agree with the complainant. While not an officially sanctioned WUSPBA event, they ran under WUSPBA 'rules' and used WUSPBA scoring sheets. Hmmm - do I see something wrong here? While having first class judges, there was a total lack of stewards, and the piping chair was a disaster. Ennyhoo, the total lack of organisation on the part of the person running the solo comps was ridiculous, and more suitable to comic opera than a piping contest. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, PEOPLE!

NEW PRODUCT DEPARTMENT: a couple of new books - A PIOBAIREACHD COMPANION from Archie Cairns, a first rate rundown on thirty popular tunes, well thought out and executed, with an accompanying CD. Well though-out and executed, this is the perfect book for the beginning competitor who wants to hit the boards with good interpretations of the music. $37.95.

Also from Andrew Bonar, BONEY MUSIC, a collection of new music by the younger set in SFU, really great tunes, $24.95; also from SFU, a DVD of their 'LEGACY' video, probably the best pipe band documentary ever made, $32.95.

We're also now carrying custom bag covers from Mac The Pipes in Scotland - great machine embroidery with several striking designs available. Here's the one I just had made. Beautifully executed, these take about six weeks to get, they can be personalised, or feature your band, pipe maker, or sponsor with one of several designs on the body, and celtic interlace, flames, or banding on the stock collars. These intricate designs really set off a full-ivory or half-ivory pipe mounted in plain, not chased or engraved, metal. EMAIL or phone us at 510-569-1689 for more information. These aren't cheap, but the look is fantastic. We can do discounts for band orders.


USED PIPE FOR SALE - 2002 Ian D. Murray, full imitation ivory with engraved silver slides (thistle pattern) and Murray blackwood chanter, reeded and ready to play with soft case. $1500 plus shipping. EMAIL or phone us at 510-569-1689. I don't often do this, but a customer has asked me to sell these for him as his wife insists he doesn't need two sets - harrumph!

Here's a new tune - let me know what you think:

With Monterey's shift from August to July that leaves this area without any games until September - speaking of Pleasanton, we'll remind you, and keep reminding you, that our booth has moved to the Young California building, and we'll be right next to Tartan Thistle...already have the bazooka loaded,,,,we hope this will be a good move for us, and that you'll be tempted to buy more.....

BLACK PART SPEAKS (and does his best Captain Dan Tempest impersonation):

This here ol' pirate had been to six contests so far this year, and at each contest I've been asked by two or more members of the WUSPBA to "...Clean up the Adjudicator Certification Program, (ACP) MESS...."  Article VIX of the Bylaws concerning the Music Board, at paragraph 3.3 says, and I quote: "JUDGES:  Recommend to the Executive Committee a panel of approved band and solo event judges."  Paragraph 3.4 reads, "Perform other duties requested by the Executive Committee. "The Music Board is appointed by the Executive Committee, and is responsible to the Executive Committee.  So who decided that adopting the system used in Ontario Canada was OK to use out here in the Western United States?  The Executive Committee.  It may have been recommended by the Music Board to use the Canadian System, but it was the Executive Committee that made the final decision.  So to clean up the MESS, we need to start with the members of the Executive Committee.  Now, this ol' pirate is on the Executive Committee, but I seem to be the only member of the Executive Committee actually LISTENING to the membership.

So, we need to get members ELECTED to the Executive Committee that do what I do...LISTEN to the members.  Members of the Executive Committee include the Presidents of each of the Branches of the WUSPBA, the elected President, the elected Vice-President, the elected Executive Secretary,the Band Registrar, the Solo Registrar, and the Treasurer. 

Look at the person's background for each of these elected officers.  They're all mostly Grade III and Grade IV musicians.  I'm the only member of the group at the Professional Level, (I've been a professional piper since 1961) and the only member with over 50 years of experience competing at contests.  It's no wonder these inexperienced musicians, all of whom go to the annual ANAPBA meetings, are in SHOCK and AWE of the Canadians.  Its no wonder THEIR system was IMPOSED on us, rather than used perhaps as a model and adapted to fit the needs of the WUSPBA.  The MEMBERSHIP needs to get to the Annual General Meeting in Las Vegas this November 10th, and vote these people out of office, and vote in some truly competent elected officers.  Only then, will this MESS and a couple of others get fixed.  As much as this ol' pirate would like to "clean up the mess", I can't do it alone.  The membership must CLEAN IT UP TOGETHER.  I can sail up alongside, fire a few cannons, throw a grappling iron or two, give the order to board, swing on over on a line, but if'n the crew don't follow... the outcome won't be good.  

If the membership doesn't get to the AGM, and doesn't nominate new people for office and vote them into office, the membership will get more of what it already has.  The same elected officers will continue to do the same as they have been for years.  They will continue to listen to what is said at ANAPBA, and they will continue to IGNORE the membership of the WUSPBA, and this MESS, and others, will be with us FOREVER.  Its either that or...............ABANDON SHIP !!!   Ahrrgh !!!  

Ol' Black Part

(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)


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