Volume XVIII Number 4 - October 2006

Sorry this number is late but some sonuvabitch cloned my bank card number and tried to empty my bank account - been dealing with Bunco America for quite a few days - second time this year. All kinds of things going on - from the end of the games season to Atomic tests in North Korea....Black Part is in high dudgeon over the WUSPBA Music Committee's refusal to put him on the A list for judging; kilt rosettes from Scotland FINALLY came in - it's only been a year, guys; and, in the Good News Department, piping student Zach Gose won the Br.IV 2/4 march comp at Loch Lomond on the 7th, playing my tune, 'Angus Hamilton.' Well done, Zach!

Black Part ventured to Ventura for the MacDonald competition on the 14th - and took second in the piobaireachd. Good work, John!

Vestiarium Scoticum Department: No, we're not going over the boring and inaccurate treatise by the Hay Allan brothers, we're just going to start a series on Highland Dress, the proper wearing of:

For the last twenty years or so, especially in the US and Canada. Highland Dress has been heavily influenced by pipe bands. This is not necessarily a good thing. First, it reduces the extent of what is considered 'correct highland wear' to the lowest common denominator, to wit: the cheapest availableis what's universally seen. Pipe Bands all look like clones of one another - black Argyll jackets and/or waistcoats, white popcorn hose, and glengarry hats (baseball caps off parade). No tweed, no coloured hose (except recently in a few instances), no balmorals, no variation to speak of. Now this is not to put down pipe bands, most of whom struggle to outfit and equip their members, but Highland Dress should not, now or ever, be judged by what is worn by pipe bands.

It has even been remarked in The Piping Times by Col. Davey Murray that the state of Highland Dress is at its lowest ever today, with the proliferation of baseball caps, kilt hose rolled down, and other sartorial blunders.

Outside of pipe bands in this country there is so much bullshit flying around, both at games and on internet forums, that for many it's virtually impossibe to discern any truth whatsoever ('...White hose should only be worn for evening wear....' is a great one). Even kiltmakers are clueless these days, and have reduced their tailoring options to just two styles: Argyll or Prince Charlie jackets ('Oh, but Iain, nothing else sells...' horse puckey). Most only offer three tweed colours, one or two hose colours, and, of course, only black ghillies for shoes. No brown ghillies for day wear, no buckle brogues for evening wear. No Fun. It's as if a Presbyterian pall had fallen over Scottish kilt wearers everywhere. The only way to get a Sherrifmuir, Montrose, Kenmore, or Regulation doublet is to pay through the nose to a Scottish tailor still willing to make these styles. There are options out there - EXPLORE THEM!

We'll have more in future issues; if you can, get hold of Charles MacKinnon of Dunakin's little gem called Tartans and Highland Dress - look it up on or It's full of ACCURATE information, and is miles better than that abomination called 'So You Want To Wear The Kilt?'



Ol' Black Part has reviewed the proposed bylaw and contest rule changes for the upcoming AGM of the WUSPBA, to be held November 10,11,and 12.  There is a problem with proposal #3.  The intent is that no adjudicator shall play in or with a BAND for a contest that they are acting as an adjudicator for.  That's just plain old common sense.  But the propsal reads:  NO BAND OR SOLO ADJUDICATOR SHALL BE ALLOWED TO COMPETE AT A VENUE THAT S/HE IS ADJUDICATING EXCEPT IN RARE CIRCUMSTANCES WITH PERMISSION FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OR RECOMMENDATION OF THE MUSIC BOARD.  In other words, if you are a piper or drummer you can't compete at the contest(s) you are judging.  But...lets take me for example:  I regularly compete in professional piping events and I am frequently asked to judge at the same VENUE. More specifically, for the past number of years I perform on Fridays in the professional piping events at Pleasanton.  I also judge solo piping events on Saturdays and on Sundays at Pleasanton. Pleasanton IS the SAME VENUE, but DIFFERENT CONTESTS.  Is the intent of this proposal to no longer allow this?  If not, then the language requires some clarification and cleaning up.  If this IS the intent of this proposal then it will eliminate me from either competeing or judging at the Pleasanton venue.  Again... IS THIS THE INTENT of this proposal?  If so, it is one directed very specifically at me, and one or two other professional pipers.  I, and these one or two others have worked extremely hard to complete the rigorous requirements of the Adjudicator Certification Program so we CAN judge events where there is no personal conflict of interest from competing in the professional class, and judging lower grade contests.  This proposal, would NOT allow us to do so.  WHY?  And more importantly, if this proposal as it is written is accepted, what was the point in going through the ACP at all?  This proposal, as written MUST be rejected.

In addition, this is a contest rule change affecting only solo contests that will be voted on and accepted or rejected by the BANDS.  Solo membership will have little or no say on this matter and that just simply is not right and extremely unfair.

Ol' Black Part AKA John Eric Partanen, Ph.D. WUSPBA member number 0193PP

(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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