October 2010


Seems like every year the weather surprises us...this year is no different. After one of the coldest summers in recent memory, we are now 'blessed' with 90-degree days. Oy. Good for the grape vines, but not for me....and now it's the END of the month and winter is upon us - sorry this is so late but things have been busy since I joined a gym and am working at losing some of this weight five days a week....

Ennyhoo, spent a very nice day at the Seaside Games in Ventura last weekend, renewed old friendships with the Clan Fraser people, and many thanks to David Fraser for his hospitality. Played the Micky Dees for several people, even Glenny T had a blow...great comments from all.

John Dally of Vashon Island stopped by the other day(s) and had a great visit - hope to see him again in January.

JUST IN OCT 25TH: THE MUCH HERALDED LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL COMPETITION SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 2011 HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF FUNDING AND OTHER REASONS THAT WILL BE MADE CLEAR SHORTLY. In the immortal words of Ozzie Reid: 'A piper will never pay more than fifty cents for anything other than beer and even then he's borrowed it from a drummer....' Much brouhaha was made of this VAUNTED event which has come to naught.

Ten proposed rule and bylaws changes for the WUSPBA AGM.  (Its gonna be a long meeting again....sigh)  Here be ol' Black Part's views and recommendations:

Proposal #1:  Adds the option of bands able to hire a TenorDrum Instructor as well as a Piping and Snare Drumming Instructor.  Pretty Good idea but call it a Tenor/Bass Drum Instructor because that's what it'll be.  Vote YES !

Proposal #2:  Changes the way solo points are compiled for determination of who are the association and branch champions.  Not required. The existing way works well.  Don't fix something that isn't broken.  Vote NO !

Proposal # 3:  We tried this concept a few years back.  We had a contest in Las Vegas.  It nearly bankrupted the association.  And we raised dues and fees so we could have the contest, but still it nearly put us in the hole.  With no way to fund such a contest without raising dues and fees again, this is a very bad idea.  Vote NO !

Proposal #4:  This one strikes directly at the ol' pirate himself, along with a few other highly qualified and competent members of our association. On occassion, a Professional piper or drummer, and even a Grade I piper or drummer, competes at a contest, and may be asked to judge a lower grade contest.  There is no "Conflict of Interest" here as some would have you believe.  Now what makes more sense  would be a proposal that prohibts and instructor from adjudicating his or her own students, or bands.  This proposal has been submitted by a snare drummer who feels he is not asked frequently enough to adjudicate, and believes this will enhance his prospects of being hired to do so.  Doubtful that this will happen.  This proposal is being supported by a close friend, and an officer of the association who is a non-musician; never competed; and will never be an adjudicator.  Vote NO!

Proposal #5:  This is a language change only and perhaps a good one.  Vote YES !

Proposal #6:  The Music Board should be comprised of our most talented musicians, and the chairperson should be elected.  This also requires quarterly meetings of the Music Board and Reports, and an annual presentation at the AGM.  In other words, members of this board had better really know their stuff, and be prepared to work.  What a change this'll be.  Vote Yes !

Proposal #7:  Do we really actually have solo "sandbaggers" ?  And who's going to identify and regrade these so called "sandbaggers"?  Vote NO !

Proposal #8:  Recorded Music for lower grade drumming contests is OK, so long as ALL the lower grade contests and competitors use recorded music. This proposal requires some revisions, and if not revised, vote NO !

Proposal #9:  This ol' pirate can hear the "howls of protest" already.  $100.00 after one band transfer!  Well, the band registrar is sometimes hit with as many as 70 or so transfers 30 days before a contest.  70 persons or more transfering back and forth, willy nilly, and carefree.  The $100.00 will maybe stop some of the this.  70 transfewrs, and then some back again.  Come ON!  Vote Yes !

Proposal #10:  Well this all makes a little sense but what if a Grade IV Band has an MSR and wants to challenge up into a Grade III contest?  "Will NOT" means that band CAN NOT, and why are you playing an MSR anyway?  This discourages a Grade IV band from trying to maove up.  Change this in some way to encourage Grade IV bands to move up.  Take out the "WILL NOT" language.  This ain't the Military!!!!  As to the make up of bands: A Grade I and Grade II band should have at least 8 pipers, 3 snares, 2 tenors, and a Bass.  Grade III and IV shoul;d have 6 pipers, 2 snares, and a Bass.  Grade V bands should be encouraged to have more than 5 pipers, 2 snares, and a Bass.  Make the changes, and vote YES !

So thar ya be mates!  See ya at the AGM!   Hold yer Broadsides 'til then!  Wait 'til ya sees the whites of me eyes!   Ahrrrrgh!  

    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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