News and Notices
Wednesday May 11th, 2022
The push is on to have all bands learn the new massed band drum cadences by Georgetown. These new scores were created to make massed band performances more accessible to developing drummers and have been adopted by all North American pipe band associations as of autumn 2021.
To this end, we are offering three online workshops with expert instructors who will teach the scores to any and all who would like help.
Note that all pipers and drummers are welcome (members or not) from anywhere in the world!
Wednesday May 18 2022
7:00 pm (EDT)
Instructor: Reagan Jones
Tuesday May 24 2022
7:00 pm (EDT)
Instructor: Jamie Alfred
Thursday May 26 2022
7:30 pm (EDT)
Instructor: Brian McCue
All drummers welcome, no matter the skill level!
You can also take advantage of videos of all snare, bass and tenor scores demonstrated here.
The actual scores can be found at the above link or here.
We’re all looking forward to it all coming together at Georgetown to start the season!
Tuesday May 10th, 2022
Early sign-ups to the PPBSO’s summer school, Summerblast!, were eligible for entry to a draw to win free 2022 registration. The draw has been made and the lucky winner is Lou Lanaro of Barrie, Ontario!
Summerblast! is set to go Monday, July 4 through to Friday, July 8, 2022. There are four hours of online classes each day with two hours in the morning and the remainder in the afternoon. All sessions begin at 10:00 am (EDT).
The cost of the school is unchanged from 2021: $350 CAD for the full week. With a PPBSO member discount of $70, the cost for PPBSO members is $280 CAD.
Wednesday April 27th, 2022
The Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario’s annual summer school, SummerBlast!, is all set to go July 4-8, 2022. You can find out more information on the school here.
Last year’s students were surveyed and 92% of those who responded to the survey (a large majority of the school) said they would attend another summer school if it was easily accessible – meaning: online!
So SummerBlast! is back – online – and with great instructors and special features including exclusive evening social events and prizes! Generous sponsors in the piping and drumming world have again stepped up to support educational initiatives like the PPBSO’s summer school. Stay tuned for more info connected to what’s on offer!
But of special note today is the early bird deadline to register. It is fast-approaching. Anyone registering on or before April 30 is eligible for the draw to win their registration free: their money back!
Time’s ticking. Register now!
Tuesday April 26th, 2022
We would like to take this opportunity, on National Volunteer Week to thank a VERY long list of incredible individuals who are part of our community. Already in 2022, across all our branches, hundreds if not thousands of hours have been logged by board members, committee members and at-large volunteers to ensure online contests took place, that the partnerships with the highland games continued and that the next generation was excited to learn new chunes!
The pipe band community exists because we all put personal time and effort into it, and for that, we are grateful.
Thank you to all our volunteers!
Monday April 25th, 2022
The PPBSO’s Board of Directors has approved the creation of perpetual trophies for overall season winners of each Championship Supreme category for both bands and soloists. These perpetual, or “challenge”, trophies will be retained by each contest category winner for one year and returned to The Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario with the winner’s name engraved.
“We’re looking for ways to further enhance the prestige of a Championship Supreme win while helping mark our history in the retention of a permanent record of champions,” said Michael Grey, PPBSO, President.
To kick off the initiative the first trophy has been established, “The William Livingstone Claret Jug” for the overall season winner in the performance of professional piobaireachd. Bill was presented the cup at a gathering this past weekend to mark his recent 80th Birthday.
“‘The Championship Supreme’ trophy program offers interested businesses, bands and individuals a way to promote or pay tribute to an individual, family, band or firm,” added Grey.
Those interested in creating a trophy in any one of the available categories should contact the PPBSO’s administrator.
Grade 2 Pipe Band
Grade 3 Pipe Band
Grade 4 Pipe Band
Grade 5 Pipe Band
Grade 1 Light Music
Grade 2 Light Music
Intermediate Amateur Piobaireachd
Grade 3 Light Music
Junior Amateur Piobaireachd
Grade 4 Light Music
Grade 5 Light Music
Professional Snare Drumming
Grade 2 Snare Drumming
Grade 3 Snare Drumming
Grade 4 Snare Drumming
Grade 5 Snare Drumming
Grade 1 Tenor
Grade 2 Tenor
Grade 4 Tenor
Grade 5 Tenor
Professional Drum Major
Amateur Drum Major
A note that all trophy sponsorships are subject to approval by the Board of Directors of the PPBSO.
Friday April 22nd, 2022
With the Central Canadian Championships set to get underway at Georgetown Highland Games on Saturday, June 11, the PPBSO is ramping up many related administrative activities. As most will know, the PPBSO office onsite at each games – “the tent” – is always a hub of activity. [a reminder that the deadline to enter Georgetown is May 21, 2022].
There is an opportunity for interested Ontario high school students who are looking for fun and interesting ways to complete their “community involvement hours” requirement to graduate. The PPBSO is looking for interested students to provide customer service support on each of our games days to our members and the public.
Students will work closely with, and be guided by, our administrator in fulfilling activities necessary for the successful management of each day’s events.
Interested students can email Sharon Duthart, PPBSO Adminstrator, directly for more information.
Tuesday April 19th, 2022
The History & Archives committee of The Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario has recently digitized approximately 35 hours of VHS videotape. The recordings come from a box found in the storage facility used by the PPBSO to house society documents, files and equipment. The intention is to ensure, over time, that digitized files are made available to all members.
Among the first recordings to be made available is the grade one pipe band contest from the July 30, 1988 Glengarry Highland Games at Maxville, Ontario. The whole of the nine-band grade one contest is now available on the PPBSO’s youtube channel.
The contest at that time was especially noteworthy due in part to the large nine-band entry. On top of that, three continents were represented with bands from as far away as New Zealand and Scotland. In addition, the 1988 Maxville grade one contest was the first to feature the participation of a reigning world champion pipe band (the 78th Fraser Highlanders).
Enthusiasts will enjoy seeing and hearing pipers and drummers making music of not-so-long-ago and comparing sounds then with now. Among the many things of note in this series is the novel performance introduction presented by the Scotsaire Pipe Band.
The contest can be viewed on the PPBSO channel or here, by clicking the links of each band and following the order of play as it happened on the day:
- Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band (St Catherines, Ontario)
- Canterbury Caledonian Pipe Band (Christchurch, New Zealand)
- 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band (Toronto)
- Scotsaire Pipe Band (Windsor, Ontario)
- Toronto Police Pipe Band
- Parlin & District Pipe Band (New Jersey, USA)
- Toronto & District Caledonia Pipe Band
- Victoria Park Pipe Band (Regina, Saskatchewan)
- Vale of Atholl Pipe Band (Perth, Scotland)
Final overall results that day:
- 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band
- Vale of Atholl Pipe Band
- Toronto & District Caledonia Pipe Band
- Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band
- Toronto Police Pipe Band
- Scotsaire Pipe Band
Best drum corps: 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band
Members can expect to see more recordings from a cross-section of grades to be published over the coming weeks and months!
Sunday April 10th, 2022
The Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario yesterday presented its annual professional development seminar for piping and drumming judges. Like last year’s, the meeting was staged using the Zoom video platform. 120 judges from around the world registered to participate with representatives from 14 world-wide associations joining in with their PPBSO colleagues.
The day covered off a number of core piping and drumming elements including approaches to judging solo and band competitions in addition to an in-depth discussion around the judging of pipe band “ensemble”. Guest presenters for the event included: John Cairns, Mike Cole, Andrew Elliott, Jack Lee, Terry Lee, Eric MacNeill, Stevie McQuillan, Steven McWhirter, Jim Kilpatrick, Johnny Rowe, Doug Stronach and Dr Jack Taylor.
Alberta Society of Pipers & Drummers
Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association
British Columbia Pipers’ Association
Eastern United States Pipe Band Association
Irish Pipe Band Association
Midwest Pipe Band Association
Pipe Bands Australia
Pipe Bands Association of South Africa
Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario
Prairie Pipe Band Association of Manitoba
Royal New Zealand Pipe Bands’ Association
Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association
Saskatchewan Pipe Band Association
Solo Piping Judges Association (Scotland)
Western United States Pipe Band Association
The seminar required significant preparation with particular thanks to Hugh Cameron, Kate Dudek and Jim McGillivray, Chair, PPBSO Music Committee for their efforts in organizing the day’s sessions.