Hope all of you are enjoying a pleasant summer. The Fall Games season will soon be upon us, and there are some important items which Southern Branch members should be aware of. I’d like to share some news and agenda items:
Since our last news here there have been two major events within the Branch. First off was the Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games contest which was well attended. Grandfather Mountain hosted one of the EUSPBA PREMIER events this year, which was billed as the Ed Neigh Memorial. The Piobaireachd event was won by Nick Hudson, while the MM/SS/RR event was won by Dan Lyden. Special note should be made of the attendance of John Angus Smith, last year’s Oban Gold Medallist who happened to be in the USA at the time. In another highlight, the Amateur Grade I Piobaireachd contest was won by Andrew Hutton of Ontario, a student of Ed Neigh, who was playing on Ed’s pipe that day. A very moving tribute was paid to Ed Neigh at the end of the day by friends, competitors, and acquaintances.
Two weeks following Grandfather Mountain, on a weekend that years past would have seen the old Virginia Games in Alexandria, the Mike Murphy Memorial Indoor Contest was held by the Wake and District band organization which was also well attended. Congratulations to winners Wake and District in Grade III, Charleston Pipes and Drums in Grade IV, and Jamestown Pipe Band in Grade V. This contest featured a “concert” formation format which was a first in this Branch (to my knowledge). The concept of “concert formation” is a relatively new one – having only been experimented with some years ago at the EUSPBA Grade III and II Championships held at Capital District in New York. The Executive Committee and Music Board hope to soon develop some guidelines for such contests for future information.
Special congratulations are in order for Branch Member band City of Dunedin for their Grade II band’s winning the North American Championship in Maxville, Ontario on July 30. Though the Dunedin bands have gone from strength to strength over the years, special congratulations should go to P/M Iain Donaldson as well as L/D Eric MacNeill for the work they have done in the relatively short time they have been in residence within our Branch borders – and for the results that they have shown through their dedication and teaching expertise. Congratulations on behalf of the Southern Branch!!
There are three major events left on the Southern Branch Calendar for 2016:
CHARLESTON Scottish Games on Saturday, September 17. For entry information, please go to: www.charlestonscots.org
SCOTLAND COUNTY Scottish Games on October 1. ** this band contest will be the 2016 Branch Championship for Grades IV and V. For entry form, go to: www.schgnc.org
Members may be interested to know that this year’s SCHG “Worlds Greatest Pipers Series” recitalist and Guest Judge will be Gold Medalist and famed reedmaker Donald MacPhee. Donald is a former long-time member of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band as well as a fully certified CPA and RSPBA judge. Visit the EUSPBA website calendar for further information on Donald’s Friday night concert.
STONE MOUNTAIN Scottish Games on October 15-16. **this band contest will be the 2016 Branch Championship for Grade III, with an extra award for the winner made possible through a grant made in honor of the late Ellice and Rosa McDonald by the Clan Donald Lands Trust Foundation. Entry form found at: www.smhg.org
The Executive Committee of the EUSPBA has charged the various Branch Chairs to serve as the Nominating Committee for Main Body Elections. This year there are four slots open for election. They are as follows:
President (Incumbent Daniel Cole) interested in running again
· Vice President (Incumbent Jim Dillahey) interested in running again
· Recording Secretary (Incumbent Betsy Bethel-McFarland) interested in running again
· Officer at Large (Incumbent Wayne Holscott) Wayne is not running this year
If any Branch Members are interested in running for any of these potentially vacant positions, PLEASE CONTACT ME AT: south@EUSPBA.org to submit your name, and tell what position you may have interest in running for. NOMINATIONS WILL CLOSE on MONDAY AUGUST 15 for Main Body positions. No late nominations will be accepted.
BRANCH ANNUAL MEETING AND ELECTIONS
This year’s Branch AGM will be held on the Sunday morning following the Charleston Games (as in many past years). A location is being arranged and information will be forthcoming. Meeting time will be 9 a.m. Any items to be put forth from the Branch for consideration at the AGM should be submitted at this time. If you are unable to attend the Branch AGM, please submit any proposed agenda items to: south@EUSPBA.org so that they be submitted for consideration. It will be most helpful to have any potential agenda items submitted ahead of the meeting so that they can be added to the agenda. Please submit any potential agenda items NO LATER than SEPTEMBER 10 so that they may be disseminated and prepared for discussion. Remember that the Branch can not decide anything….we merely can either decide to submit to the Executive Committee for consideration at the AGM or we can “kill” items which we do not feel worthy of pursuit (or which are already covered in the EUSPBA rulebook and policy manual). There is already ONE item which has been “kicked back” to the Branch for submission at the AGM – as it was a rule question for consideration made directly by a member to the EC. That item and any others submitted prior to the submission deadline will be considered at the Branch AGM.
Also, per EUSPBA guidelines, it is another year for Branch Elections. In previous years, there have been three elected slots: Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. Since current EUSPBA policies have “eliminated” the position of Treasurer – with any fund used by branches being delegated directly from the Association Treasurer, other Branches are eliminating this position for election. Though unfortunate, we will follow suit. Both the Chairman’s position as well as the Secretary’s position can be up for election.
As Branch Chairs are serving as the nominating committees at present, I would invite any interested parties to submit their names and the position they may be interested in running for to: south@EUSPBA.org NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 1 if you would like to be considered for one of these positions. No late nominations will be considered. The slate of candidates will be approved at the Branch AGM and elections will be held electronically per the last Branch election process.
Though it was (traditionally) the Southern Branch’s “turn” to host/hold the EUSPBA AGM, the Executive Committee decided to once again return to Baltimore, Maryland as the venue for the 2016 EUSPBA AGM. For those who have never attended an AGM it is an interesting process to watch, listen to, and participate in. Plans are for a EUSPBA PREMIER Drumming competition once again this year as well as a good ceilidh with door prizes and lots of good music. Check the main EUSPBA webpage www.euspba.org for full details and reservation information.
I wish you all a wonderful remainder of the summer! Best of luck in your late summer and fall piping and drumming pursuits, and I look forward to seeing and greeting many of you around the Games!
Chairman, Southern Branch EUSPBA