Monday, November 15, 2010

NSW Seminar and State Solo Championships

It was with great pleasure that I was able to accept the recent invitation of the APBA (NSW Branch) and hold a seminar about bagpipe maintenance and sound and the 13th Nov 2010 and adjudicate at the State Solo Championships the following day.
The seminar was held at the Matisse/Derivan’s premises which was kindly loaned to the Association by Steven Patterson. The seminar was well attended and we covered many topics ranging from basic maintenance checks through to advanced tone enhancing techniques and products. Much of the material covered can found in “The Complete Pipers Handbook” and at the website at I hope there will be a chance to follow this up with a more practical seminar in the not too distant future. It seems that the seminar was well received.

The NSW state solo championships were held in the pristine grounds of Scots College on the shores of the Sydney Harbour. This is a great venue and the branch is very lucky to have access each year at no cost. This is obviously a great contribution by Scots College to the piping fraternity in that state. The venue had 10 marquees set up with an event in each. They also used the auditorium for some of the more senior events and a veranda for the Piobaireachd events.

I was thrilled to see three heats for the elementary finals. Each heat contained approximately 12 – 15 young pipers. I must say in some of the lower events many pipers let themselves down with poor performances of tunes that were too difficult, or missing repeated parts etc. The level of playing was very good overall with some very solid performances by some of the early stage pipers. It is always refreshing to see youngsters being well taught.

There were good numbers in each grade and I managed to adjudicate the elementary Marches, the elementary Air (final), Sub-Intermediate Strathspey and Reel, Intermediate Hornpipe and Jig and the Open Strathspey and Reel.

I was most impressed with the performances of Aaron O’Neill in Intermediate and Robert Gibb in Open. Both played at a very high level.
A most enjoyable weekend and I must thank the NSW branch and especially my hosts Sam and Liz Young for a wonderful weekend.

Brett Tidswell
National Principal of Piping


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