Thank you for excusing the rather late posting of these minutes. Andrea Jones was very kind to provide me a copy of her notes, which have only been slightly edited below for clarity and continuity.
We had a very nice gathering poolside at the Residence Inn Mount Pleasant on the morning after the Charleston Games, with the largest attendance in years and 17 bands represented by the time the meeting closed. One disappointment is that there were no additional candidates who came forward to run for any of the branch offices for 2017-18. In addition, the Branch Secretary was absent due to work commitments and the Branch Treasurer (whose duties have been stripped due to the current funding procedures of the Association) was also excused due to making airport deliveries for judges of the weekend’s events. On a side note, thanks to Peter Armstrong for bringing the Charleston Games back on-par through his very able directorship of the Piping and Drumming events. Andrea Jones, Pipe Major of the Loch Norman Pipe Band, very graciously agreed to take minutes of the meeting. Thank you Andrea! The minutes are as follows per Andrea’s submission:
Meeting held at Residence Inn Mt. Pleasant, SC. Meeting brought to order at 9:30am.
In attendance: Bill Caudill, Jim Dillahey, Eric MacNeill, Bobby Minnear, Jerry Finegan, Ian MacKenzie, Andrea Jones, Tom Crawford, Josh Collins, Martina Murphy. Bands represented: Atlanta 3, Atlanta 4, North Georgia, Dunedin 2, Dunedin 4, Dunedin High School 3, Dunedin High School 4, Dunedin Middle School 5, Loch Norman, Charleston 4, Charleston 5, St. Andrews University, Wake and District 4, Wake and District 5, Wake and District 3, Citadel 4, Citadel 5.
Chairman Caudill opened the meeting with an overview of current Branch incentives, beginning with the Over 50 Solo event pilot program, discussion enused:
1. 50 and over competition. Keep it. Options of 2/4 two parts? 4 parts? Write letter to other games to encourage them to participate.
2. Opening Ceremonies-Brutal for Bands. Stand in the sun. Maybe develop a format for the Bands to come in, play, and move off. Try to work with the Games to come up with a plan for the Bands to not stand around.
-rebuttal: A lot of pomp and circumstance. People want to see the Bands and Clans, etc. We cannot dictate to Games…
-Suggest a model of speakers and then bring the Bands in. Bands are on and off.
-Be considerate of the heat and instruments.
Make a proposal to standardize Opening Ceremonies in the South.
Proposal seconded. Motion passed.
– No other candidates for Office for 2017-18 outside of incumbent Chairman Caudill.
– No nominations for any other offices by announced deadline or at this meeting.
– No treasurer position due to running everything through EUSPBA. Most Branches eliminating the position.
-Al McMullin would like to either run and work together, or run against current Branch President. This communicated to current Chair. Intent to eventually split back to a Florida Branch. He can run or be offered an Officer at Large position. Voice wanted in the different directions and regions of the Branch. Current chair will contact Al with suggestion and input or decision.
-There is no “co” position at this time. Suggested Al run for Secretary if he wants to “help”. No complaints have been heard to suggest that Florida wants to break away from the Southern Branch.
After further contact, Al McMullin declined to run for either of the Branch positions, but is running as a write-in candidate for EUSPBA President
Chairman Caudill to serve by acclimation, and will either make selections or take volunteers for Secretary position as well as name other at-large officers to insure coverage of the Branch’s geographical area. This to happen prior to the new year 2017.
4. Branch Monitor coordinator is concerned that there is not enough communication with Florida area. Suggestion that they also need to get more monitors. Branch Chair to communicate with Games organizers to insure that proper monitoring is taking place.
-Sanctioning packet needs to be revamped. Will be discussed and brought up at the AGM.
5. EUSPBA has a continuous calendar now. Must keep up. We no longer have an “off” season. We need to evolve. Most Bands have a void from Greenville to Charleston. The void will allow our bands to travel overseas and up north. Discussion ensued.
-Mid-season regrading for Bands in Florida this year. Maybe it should no longer happen in December but should be continuous throughout the year. For Bands and Soloists.
-What do the Bands think of having 3 “major” competitions for the Season?
-Encourage Bands to travel more throughout the region. Both for Florida to come up here and encourage our Bands to go down there.
For more on this, please see the Branch website for a update soon on the “re-envisioning” of our contest calendar from the current January through October model within our Branch.
6. Proposal of a Branch Advisory committee. Discussion ensued on branch seats.
Long term controversy regarding Officers at Large in the Association. EUSPBA rules state that officer at large positions are appointed and not elected.
7. AGM Agenda items:
A: gather agenda items for AGM
1. -First ever Concert format contest held in our Branch.
Thoughts on competition: Echo and location, lack of information ahead of time regarding stage/conditions, location of the judges in the audience, should they be together or allowed to sit wherever they want? Precedence is that judges are usually together. Point made that it needs to be consistent. Try to insure more acoustically friendly venues for any future events.
-Discussion ensued on having more of these “concert” formats outdoors.
Send proposal saying that Southern Branch would like the rules and regulations to be examined by EUSPBA to be for pipe band competitions in concert format. (See Bill’s notes for exact wording).
2. Proposal made by Jerry and Bobby on Instructor rules. Playing members of lower grade bands have the benefit of playing in a higher grade band. Discussion ensued on the Instructor rule. Problems for players. Flying in players to compete.
-Proposal: allow players to play in multiple bands. See Jerry’s written proposal to be sent to Bill.
Examples given. Allowing more people to play in Bands will help the Bands.
On the other hand…it was brought to attention that what happens when you play in several Bands? Can you give each Band the time and energy that they need? Higher level Bands could end up eating lower level bands. Other side…people are committed to their local Band, but also want to play in the higher grade band. Won’t want to leave their local Band.
-it is worth discussing on a higher level.
Jerry will send example to Bill to bring it up at the AGM.
Proposal seconded. Motion passed.
3. Discussion ensued on MSR playing in Grade 4 as well as the rather poor average standard of Grade IV bands in the Branch at this time – references made to the previous day’s contest.
4. Another agenda item: judging sheets for solos. Giving a rating 0 to 4.
-Discussion ensued. Language can be ambiguous.
-talked about points given. Gives a better indication of who is ahead. Analogy used: batting average.
Positive attributes and Negative attributes to this.
Proposal wordage decided on. See Bill’s notes. Item added to Branch Agenda items.
5. Proposal made to consider letting lower grade bands challenge up. Games do not have to allow it, but Bands should have the option.
Proposal: Eliminate the restriction of allowing Bands to challenge up. See Bill’s notes.
Proposal Seconded. Motion passed.
Discussion ensued to promote a drumming contest. Possibly helping Games to promote drumming. Maybe the judge can give a workshop after competition.
Comment – Money is there in the EUSPBA to run events but people are needed to do them.
Summary Comments/ Follow Up:
Bill will contact Al. Bill will also submit voted-on agenda items to EC for addition to AGM Agenda.
Should elections be held? No nominees? Acclamation?
Official Website to be primary source of communication within the branch. Tom Crawford asked to remain as Branch webmaster for official site. Need to be more involved on Social Media to help the membership keep up with the happenings, but without politics. Desire to create an OFFICIAL Branch social media presence.
Meeting closed at 11:53am.
AGM AGENDA ITEMS:
1) The Southern Branch requests that the Music Board examine the rules and regulations for pipe band competitions and how they relate to, or differ from, “concert format.” We request that rules and guidelines for such “concert formation” contests be provided for the upcoming season.
2) The Southern Branch requests that the Music Board explore the option of putting “qualitative analysis” relative to grade level back on all scoresheets.
3) The Southern Branch proposes that the current prohibition on lower grade band contest challenges be eliminated and such challenges allowed.
4) The Southern Branch proposes that there be a proposed format created for opening ceremonies for Games events which will be more band-friendly.
5) Finegan/Minnear Proposal which was received later than other items and was submitted just as received for consideration at the AGM. Proposal is as follows:
Allow players to play in multiple bands – 1 year trial
Over the last several decades there has been an ever increasing trend for larger bands in the upper grades coupled with a rise in the overall skill level of players, which has also resulted in the draining of the lower grade bands as players move to higher grade bands where they can continue their personal growth and be challenged musically. The move to higher grade bands is a natural and healthy progression for up and coming players. This proposal seeks to 1) maximize the sharing of knowledge and experience from higher grade bands with lower grade bands and 2) find a balance between a musician’s personal growth and maintaining the viability of that musician’s local/home band.
1. Musicians would only be allowed to play in one band per grade
2. Musicians would NOT be allowed to play in multiple bands within the same umbrella organization.
Bands within the same organization would use the current Instructor rule.
3. No band can have more than a 25% overlap of rosters with another band.
4. The Instructor rule will still be in effect
These proposals will be submitted and spoken for on behalf of the Branch by Chairman Caudill in Baltimore.