Evaluation of MAP competition is carried out 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

A COMPREHENSIVE evaluation was conducted during the month of October 2006 of the Musical Appreciation and Presentation (MAP) competition format which was introduced by the RSPBA at all five major championships for Grade 4 and Novice Juvenile pipe bands.

This was the first evaluation of its kind to be conducted by the RSPBA and achieved an overall response rate of approximately 60% which the National Council and Music Board found very encouraging.

The decisions taken by the Music Board and endorsed by the National Council are as follows: -

  1. The MAP competitions will continue in 2007 in the same format as for 2006 covering Grade 4A, 4B and Novice Juvenile.
  2. The requirements to play only 2-parted 2/4 tunes in the qualifying heats will be retained. It is likely, however that a third tune will be added to the playing requirements in 2008.
  3. The existing list of 14 2/4 tunes will also be retained for 2007 but the list will be reviewed and expanded in 2008.
  4. Changes in the playing requirements for 2008 and to the list of tunes will be  announced in the programme for the 2007 World Pipe Band Championships in order to provide bands will sufficient notice.
  5. There will be no specific requirements for bands to play 2/4 marches in the Final but there is nothing to prevent them from doing so.
  6. There is a clear desire for additional workshops and these will be arranged by the relevant RSPBA Branches.
  7. Many of the Grade 4 bands did not attend workshops and consequently they need to be reminded of the objectives of the MAP project.
  8. The existing process for determining the allocation of bands to the qualifying heats will be retained
  9. A consultative process for Adjudicators and seeding of bands in the Heats will not be introduced in 2007.
  10. The whole MAP project will be reviewed comprehensively at the end of 2008.

The 2006 Grade 2 European Champions Seven Towers Pipe Band with Pipe Major David Reid and Leading Tip Stephen

Purvis will be the guests along with neighbouring band Grade 2 Ulster Champions Cullybackey under Pipe Major Robert Cupples and Leading Tip Adrian Hoy at this week's 'Touch of Tartan' BBC Radio Ulster broadcast.

Airing at 7.30pm on Saturday December 23 and repeated the next day, Sunday December 24, following the 2 o'clock news, the new series of this popular show will be hosted as usual by Tommy Millar.

Bands in the show will include Grade 1 bands Field Marshal Montgomery, St.Laurence O'Toole, Ballycoan, Ballinderry Bridge, Bleary & District, Grade 2 Killeen and Ravara, as well as Grade 3 Battlehill and Annsborough.

A new piping and drumming school will be starting in January 2007 at Houston's Mill Ballymena.

The class will cater for everyone from Primary Seven and upwards and will be under the leadership of Pipe Major David Reid and Leading Tip Stephen Purvis from the Seven Towers Pipe Band.

This is a great opportunity for all learners to receive instruction from two of the top men in Grade 2.

For further details please contact Valerie Blake at Houston's Mill on 2586 2777.

Ulster Star