Minutes of Branch AGM in Charleston


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.

Nothing else.

Meeting closed at 11:53am.


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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Minutes of Branch AGM in Charleston

2016 Branch Meeting

The 2016 Southern Branch Meeting will be held on Sunday, September 18 at 9:30 at the Residence Inn in Mount Pleasant, SC.
Hotel address: 116 Isle of Palms Connector
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

In order to save the $200 meeting room fee – we will plan to meet in the lobby and then retire to a determined location on-site for our meeting.

The purpose of this meeting will be to present any new agenda items which may be submitted to the EUSPBA AGM in Baltimore in November. Any proposed agenda items may be submitted either in writing to myself (Branch Chair) (south@euspba.org; bill@sa.edu), the Branch Secretary, or presented IN PERSON at the meeting. Agenda items may be either approved for submission, amended or edited for submission, or may be “killed” by vote of those present.

We will also be presenting the slate of candidates for Branch offices, which will be voted on at a date to be determined prior to the AGM in Baltimore.

Hope to see some of you on the 18th!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2016 Branch Meeting



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.


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!

Bill Caudill
Chairman, Southern Branch EUSPBA

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on SUMMER NEWS/ ELECTIONS/ BRANCH MEETING



I apologize for the delay in getting some news out to you, but this website has been down for quite a few weeks due to some updates which were needed – and were not caught until some news posting was needed. Fortunately those have been rectified by our webmaster Tom Crawford and we are once again operable. Thank you Tom for your help and troubleshooting to find the problem! We’re baaaack…..

First off, let me say that it has been great seeing many of you already this season on the Southern Branch circuit. Since our last “news” there have been a few events in the Branch. First off, since our last, was the Dunedin Games – where branch band Atlanta challenged up and took 2nd place in the Grade II contest held there. Of course i’d be remiss in not mentioning the winners – the hometown crew at Dunedin – but this contest was important in that it was one of the first Grade II events held in the Branch in many years….and was also attended by the newly upgraded MacMillan Pipe Band of the Mid-Atlantic Branch. Let’s hope this is a foreboding of good thing to continue within the Branch. Way to go Dunedin folks!!

The Smoky Mountains Games in Maryville, Tennessee saw a day of mixed weather – some showers for the soloists….including young Tim Hinson who reportedly played a full piobaireachd in a complete downpour, but clearer conditions for the bands which attended. It is unfortunate that this event conflicts with the weekend of the Fair Hill Games in the Mid Atlantic Branch – which was attended by the Grandfather Mountain band. There was no Grade III competition at Maryville as a result….and the same held true the following weekend at Greenville – both having only one Grade III band attending and playing for comments only. It makes one wish that there could be some coordination between these bands so that viable contests could be held in all grades. Any ideas anyone?? Congratulations to John Rose for what was apparently another good event.

This past weekend was the third of the “late Spring” Games of our Branch at Greenville. Though band attendance was down a little over previous years, those 13 bands and many soloists present would no doubt attest to the great work done by Nick Williams and crew there. Special thanks too to Jimmy and Joyce McIntosh, who hosted special guest Robert Wallace from Glasgow for his first ever taste of Southern piping and drumming. Wallace, along with Sandy Jones, judged the Professional events held on the Sunday following the Games. This brought added prestige to the event as well as the opportunity for exposure for an outsider to some of the great things going on with playing in our Branch. Thanks for the opportunities…


Dunedin was able to survive what could have been a nearly-disastrous rain event (so I understand) and i’m sure that all understand what that can do to a Games! Loch Norman, however, the next event on the Circuit had the first rain-free weekend in recent memory with a great attendance of Branch bands. It seems that there is always a shower at Maryville and maybe the East Tennesseans are just accustomed to it? One of the points to be made here is that rain events can truly be disastrous for a Games. Few can afford rain insurance which is exorbitantly expensive, and so a rain event can truly wipe away a year’s financial surplus (as was the case with Scotland County last year) or force them to the point of having to make open solicitation just to keep viable (note Loch Norman’s appeal of the winter). The point i’m getting at is that we take chances in attending Games as solo players and bandsmen/women – but we would NOT have any opportunities to enjoy good music, the challenge of competition, and the associated friendship and fellowship if it were not for THE GAMES. It is imperative that we continue our attendance and support of these events – and once again I will say that if there is a competitive event within 150 miles of your band and your band is NOT there then there is something not right with that picture! Sure there are sometimes personnel issues, sickness, that “must do” parade, a big paying gig, or other conflicts which sometimes arise…..but think about it. Without the Games our individual members and bands would not have the opportunities to challenge themselves and support the very movement and cause which we sometimes claim (sometimes with breast-beating voracity) to champion – the appreciation and perpetuation of our art and Scottish music and culture in general. So….I hope that folks will indeed think about this – and come out to support the events which have been created to showcase us! And showcase it IS…..to those who complain about prize monies, travel funds, whether you are plyaing in front of the reviewing stand and being heard by Sir Angus MacPhartin and the rest of his feather wearing clan or not aren’t getting the picture. Piping and Drumming is the TOP expense item of EVERY Highland Games in the country – a fact echoed by the Council of Scottish Clans and Aasociations each year. If you’re just doing it for the money, then go play every Pumpkin Queen crowing and Turnip Festival you can find – and charge them a lot as a GOOD pipe band is worth it. BUT….if you want to challenge yourself to do something more – to help raise the standard of music, to create a true goal to work for, and to please a crowd who is SPECIFICALLY there in many cases to hear you then SUPPORT YOUR GAMES! GO….ENTER…..ATTEND….PLAY….SUPPORT!


The Branch Circuit will again come to life in July at Grandfather Mountain – traditionally one of the more popular solo competitions in the whole EUSPBA. As previously reported, there WILL be an EUSPBA PREMIER Professional event at Grandfather Mountain this year, however the judges are still TBA – as unfortunately the previously announced Bruce Gandy has a conflict. Nonetheless, there WILL be good playing and opportunities available in EVERY grade…..INCLUDING “OVER 50 EVENTS” – an opportunity which I hope some of our members will take advantage of this year. You said you wanted it……we created them…..now come on out! Entry deadlines are coming up soon….and they will be strictly enforced (y’all know Sally Warburton…. 😉 – so enter now: http://www.gmhg.org/pipinganddrumming2016.htm

A new band-only contest is being held in Raleigh on July 23 honoring the late Mike Murphy – a long time branch member and member of the Citadel, Charleston Police, and City of Washington bands. This event is an apprently an indoor event – with no Games, solos or other events associated with it. For further information and entry for visit: http://raleighpipeband.com/raleigh-indoor-pipe-band-competition/ It will be interesting to see how this inaugural event fares – particularly in that it is not associated with any other traditional “Games” events. BYOMP (Bring yer own meat pies!) 😉 Kudos to those trying to organize this “different” event for pipe bandsmen/women – on a weekend that used to be a favored event on the circuit….the old Virginia Games in Alexandria. And, good for honoring one of the Branch’s good guys who was taken from us much too early.

The Charleston Games will start their events “ON TIME” this year – or so it has been heard – thanks to the naming of a new Piping and Drumming Director. We are truly glad to hear that Peter Armstrong has agreed to come back on board as the event’s organizer this year after a few years of well-intended yet quite disorganized events. Peter will be sacrificing his own business time – as proprietor of High Country Scottish and Irish Shoppe – to run the events this year. THANK YOU PETER for stepping up to the plate! I’m sure this will renew the confidence of many in that event. Now….the big mystery…..IS Charleston actually changing their date for 2017 or not??? Keep appraised for news….. Entry forms at: www.charlestonscots.org “OVER 50″ EVENTS HERE TOO!!” Come on seniors…. 😉

Scotland County promises to be a blowout this year as opposed to the “almost rainout” of last year. Despite a substantive financial loss, the Games has agreed to try to “replay” what was missed last year by offering the BRANCH CHAMPIONSHIP BAND EVENTS FOR GRADE IV and V once again this year. The Games felt bad that those who attended were not offered the opportunities which they had hoped for, so have agreed to keep their upped prize monies for 2016 just as they had for 2015. Special Guest Gold Medalist this year is Mr. Donald MacPhee – the reknown reedmaker, former member of the Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band, and now fully qualified RSPBA and CPA QUALIFIED JUDGE! You’ll get a fair hearing and great appraisal from “Big Donald” and he will also appear in concert on Friday night before the Games. Special THANKS are in order to Mr. Thomas Hahn – who has agreed to step up and be the new Director of Piping and Drumming for the Games. Thomas has learned well from his hard-working and ever-dedicated parents John and Deb, and will no doubt be assisted by his great wife Caris who has also been a behind the scenes volunteer at many Branch events for years. We welcome Thomas to our team of Games organizers….and thank him for stepping up to the plate! “OVER 50” Events here too…. Entries will be open there within the week: www.schgnc.org


Okay…..just because you haven’t seen news (or lack therof) being spouted on some website on a daily basis doesn’t mean things haven’t been happening in our Branch! I am happy to report one of the most SIGNIFICANT developments in contests in our Branch in a number of years.

Earlier this year I was personally approached by a member of the Board of Directors of the Clan Donald Lands Trust – an organization which has had a dramatic impact on the preservation of Scottish heritage in Scotland – particularly on the Island of Skye with the development of the Clan Donald Center in Armadale, which is a world-class museum and visitor center as well as gardens. Some of you may also know that one of the Trust’s most important members were Americans – the late Ellice McDonald, Jr (CBE) and his late wife Rosa Laird McDonald – of Delaware. Their long-time commitment to the preservation of Scottish culture is known to many who are long-time members of this community.

One of the projects of the Clan Donald Trust of recent years has been the sponsorship of the Clan Donald Quiach piping competition held at Armadale Castle in Skye each year. An invited list of top competitors must choose from a list of tunes from the Donald MacDonald piobaireachd manuscripts for this competition. It has become a truly world-class compettiion/recital and an important one on the solo calendars in Scotland.

The Clan Donald Trust wished to do something for piping here in the USA – and in particular the South – an area which was very beloved to the McDonalds and one which they visited frequently as “guests of honor” at various Games and events. Through initial conversations which I had personally with the Trust, as well as with their own goals and aspirations in mind – a special event will be offered for 2016 honoring Ellice and Rosa McDonald.

As the Trust wanted specifically to do something for the top level in the South – particularly for pipe bands – a special event has been created for 2016 which will serve as the SOUTHERN BRANCH GRADE III BAND CHAMPIONSHIP. Thanks to negotiations between the Clan Donald Trust with Games President Norman Livermore at the Stone Mountain Highland Games THIS GAMES will serve as the Grade III Branch Band Championship. This will be a rotating championship event and award which will be rotated betwen Stone Mountain, Charleston, and Scotland County (the Branch’s Fall Games) over the coming years.

The Ellice and Rosa McDonald Award will be presented to the winning Grade III band at Stone Mountain this year. The award will be a $1000.00 Prize……awarded ON TOP of the prize monies already being awarded by the Stone Mountain Games. Winner take all! This will make this event the largest prize contest ever offered in the Southern Branch (to my knowledge…..anyone correct me if i’m wrong). So……i’m certain that there will be some good medleys to be heard at Stone Mountain this October – and someone will be walking off with a nice financial boost for their trip too! I also understand that the 15 slots for travel money have already been filled….so should be a great close to the Southern Branch Season there. It has been exciting to work with the Clan Donald Trust on this project and I hope that we will show that their investment is well-placed and a great way to honor two really great champions of the Scottish community.

If this inaugural event goes well, it is my hope that we may be able to secure a further commitment from the Trust which may help fund other Grade Championships or events in the future. Though I had discussed with the Trust the possibility of spreading their funding out among all places in that Grade – or perhaps doing the same for Grades IV and V, it was THEIR WISH to keep this as a winner-take-all opportunity. If nothing else, it sure does make it a good thing to strive for….and will no doubt mean there should be some good performances (and possibly some new bands) in appearance there due to this opportunity!

SO…..that’s the news from the South. I am happy to bring GOOD NEWS, even if it is a little later than some may have hoped for.

REMEMBER – THIS is the place for OFFICIAL BRANCH NEWS. I’ll post as needs warrant. Though I will be away for part of the summer – first with my family on a pleasure trip to Scotland, and then teaching at a summer school (Sandy Jones’ North American Academy of Piping….an organization and institution of which the Branch can be quite proud due to its contributions to the standards of play among players of ALL levels over 40+ years), I hope to cross paths with many of you during the summer. Know also that you may contact me at any time and I will return your inquiries or messages as soon as I possibly can. Thank you for your support….and let’s all have a GREAT Summer and Fall in the Branch! Play well……be nice……and SUPPORT YOUR GAMES!!

Bill Caudill
Chairman, Southern Branch EUSPBA

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on SPRING BRANCH NEWS

Branch News for The Voice

Folks, it seems that my report to THE VOICE was apparently not received by John Bottomley and published in the latest on-line issue.

This is the information which I DID send on August 28 to THE VOICE for publication in the latest issue:  *note most of the information is moot now, but since I was “called out” about it on a social media site, I thought I would set the record straight….and I never received any notification that it WASN’T received so assumed all was well…

Southern Branch Report

Though it is still hot in the South, things will be cooling down before too long and the Southern season will be wrapping up by mid-October.  In the meantime, there is a lot to be seen and heard prior to that time.

Our first upcoming Games of the Southern fall season will be Charleston on September 19 – with one of the highlights of that event being that the Grade III bands will be playing both the stated medley contest of the day as well as a special “MSR” contest as well.  It will be good to hear our Grade III bands playing their “other” selection on that day.  For further information, visit:  www.charlestonscots.org

Though it has been posted on our branch webpage (www.south.euspbabranch.org), and elsewhere, the Annual Branch AGM will be held on Sunday morning, September 20 at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, 1998 Riviera Drive, Mt. Pleasant, SC. The meeting will start promptly at 9 a.m.   Any items to be presented by the Branch at the AGM must be presented at this meeting, and will be discussed and voted upon at this time.  I look forward to your participation in this meeting.  You must be present or have a representative at the meeting to submit any potential agenda items you or your band may have.

Two weeks from Charleston, the Branch Band Championship will be held at the Scotland County Games (www.schgnc.org).  Also, on the Friday night before the Games, the annual “Worlds Great Pipers Concert Series” sponsored by the Games will feature Eight-time Glenfiddich Piping Championship Winner Willie McCallum in concert at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC.  This will be Willie’s first visit to the Southern U.S. and we hope to offer him a warm welcome – and I’m certain that many will be in attendance at his concert that evening.  Details found on the website above.

The Stone Mountain Games will mark the end of the Southern Branch’s season on October 17.  This event has traditionally been one of the largest in the South, and I look forward to seeing many of you there.  For further information, visit:  www.smhg.org

To all who are planning on competing at our Branch events, please make sure to get your entries in promptly to our Piping and Drumming directors.  I am hearing that the trends are leaning toward later and later registrations from competitors which creates an unnecessary strain on these folks who do so much for us in making our events happen.  Please register early…don’t wait til the last minute!

All the best to our Branch members, bands, and solo competitors in their late summer and early fall playing endeavors!

Bill Caudill

Chairman, Southern Branch



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Branch News for The Voice

Branch Nominating Committee Representative Needed

Dear Southern Branch Members,

I received the following e-mail just last evening from Jim Dillahey, VP of the EUSPBA, who has been selected as Chair of the Nominating Committee for officers in upcoming elections for 2015.  Each branch is to select a member (must be a member of the Association) to serve as a Branch Representative on the Nominating Committee.

We need to have a representative from the Branch for this Committee.  Instead of simply selecting someone who I feel would do the job well, i’d like to open this up for anyone who is interested in serving in this capacity.  Jim explains the requirements in his note.  I would preface this again by saying that anyone who is considered would need to be a member of the Association, and preferably have a good knowledge of individuals throughout our Branch as well as some knowledge of individuals further afield.

This committee membership is now OPEN for any interested parties.  Please e-mail me personally:  south@EUSPBA.org   if you are interested in this position.  Please note Jim’s e-mail below:

Dear Branch Chairs:

I am writing to let you know I have been appointed chairman of the 2015 nominating committee and to ask for your help in identifying one representative from each of your branches to serve with me.

This year, the following offices are up for election:

•         Recording Secretary (Sheldon Hamblin – Incumbent)

•         Treasurer (Matt Wood –  Incumbent)

•         Officer at Large (Helen Harlow – Incumbent)

The role of the Nominating Committee is addressed in SECTION 2(b) of the EUSPBA bylaws, which can be found online at http://www.euspba.org/resource/rule/bylaws2007.pdf:

“The Nominating Committee shall be responsible for nominating Individual Members and Honorary Life Members in good standing for election to the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee shall be appointed annually by the Executive Committee and shall consist of (1) member representing each Branch of the Association and no more than two (2) members representing the Executive Committee.”

“The Nominating Committee shall, at least forty-five (45) days prior to each scheduled Annual Meeting, furnish to the Executive Secretary written ballots to be mailed to the Individual Members and Member Bands, all in good standing, containing the names of the individuals nominated for election pursuant to Article V, Section 1.”

“In making nominations for the election of members of the Executive Committee, the Nominating Committee may nominate more individuals than the number of vacancies to be filled. The written ballots prepared by the Nominating Committee shall contain places for the Member Bands or Individuals, as the case may be, to indicate their preferences for the election of eligible Individual Members and Honorary Life Members not nominated for office by the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall conduct its responsibilities in accordance with these By-Laws and the Guidelines approved by the Executive Committee. Such Guidelines shall not, however, be in conflict with the By-Laws set forth herein.”

Please let me know the name of your branch’s representative no later than Friday, September 4th (the end of this business week), I apologize for the short notice. That will give us time to properly solicit nominations and prepare the ballots. I will do my best to minimize the time commitment (conducting business by e-mail when possible), but I would anticipate at least one group meeting in the next two weeks (probably by web conference/phone) that would last no more than one hour.

If you have any feedback, feel free to share it with me. I can be reached at Dillaheys@citadel.edu.

Thank you and best wishes for continued success this season!

Jim Dillahey

EUSPBA Vice President

Chairman, Nominating Committee



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Branch Nominating Committee Representative Needed

Southern Branch AGM – September 20, 2015

As has been the case/tradition for many years, the Southern Branch will hold their annual AGM on the Sunday morning following the Charleston Games. The meeting will be held at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, 1998 Riviera Drive, Mt. Pleasant, SC. The meeting will start promptly at 9 a.m.

As there are no elections to take place this year, the meeting will consist of a brief discusssion of any Branch concerns which may be presented, followed by the presentation of any items for presentation on the Branch’s behalf at the AGM in November. If you have an agenda item for consideration you must be there, or have someone in person to represent the item for you. At the meeting there is the option of 1) approving the item as/is for presentation, 2) modifying the item for consideration which must be done during this meeting, or 3) “killing” the item. Items which are approved for presentation at the AGM by the Southern Branch will be set at the conclusion of the meeting.

Per EUSPBA voting standard rules, a band received 7 votes and an individual receives 1 vote. Anyone who wishes to participate is welcome, however only individual members of the Association or those representing a member band are allowed to vote on any items brought up.

If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail: Southern@EUSPBA. org I hope to see some of you there and look forward to your involvement in YOUR association.

Bill Caudill
Southern Branch Chair

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Southern Branch AGM – September 20, 2015

Southern Branch Band Championship at the Scotland County Highland Games – October 3, 2015

The Southern Branch will be holding a first (in some years) Branch Championship for bands at the 2015 Scotland County Highland Games.  This is being done as an effort to gauge interest in future Branch Championships which in the future may be rotated from Games to Games or which may be set depending on the interest and desires of Branch bands.

The Scotland County Games were selected as they are: 1) close to the end of the Southern Branch “season” which currently runs until Stone Mountain in October (two weeks following this event – and which obviously has its own high status and importance in our circuit as the Branch’s largest band competition);  2)  the Scotland County Games has become a favorite among bands based on feedback received from participants, as well as offering other special piping and drumming related events held in conjunction with the Games (the Games’ annual Worlds Greatest Pipers Concert Series – which this year will feature Willie McCallum) AND this year the inauguration of one of the EUSPBA “PREMIER” Professional Piping Events which will be held on the Sunday following the Games; 3) upon approval of the Championship Contest designation by the EUSPBA Executive Committee, this Games had not already set their budget for the year so that an additional allotment of prize monies could be made available; and 4) this was an effort to provide a somewhat geographically favorable location for such an event which could be accessed easily enough by a majority of Branch bands.

The competition will be “regular” in that there will be no second contest, but rather the results of the day will determine the Branch Champion.  Odd-even day playing requirements will govern, as will regular EUSPBA band competition rules.

I would like to thank the Scotland County Highland Games for making available several hundred dollars in additional prize monies for this “Championship” event.  Entry forms are available online at the Games website:  www.schgnc.org  We look forward to the continued participation of those bands who have enjoyed this event in the past – as well as hopefully some new bands who may join us from both the Branch and beyond.  I’d like to extend a special invitation to some of our most southern Branch members in Florida to join us for this Championship event.

Bill Caudill
Chairman, Southern Branch EUSPBA

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Southern Branch Band Championship at the Scotland County Highland Games – October 3, 2015

Southern Branch To Offer “OVER 50” Piping Circuit

In an effort to re-involve, or further involve, former and current members the Southern Branch has received permission to create a “pilot program” for OVER 50 Pipers for the Summer and early Fall of 2015.  This program seeks to involve players who are over 50 years of age who have either stopped competing, or who may wish to play against their age-peers.

The OVER 50 Piping Circuit for 2015 will consist of THREE Games/Contests:  Grandfather Mountain in July,  Charleston in September, and Scotland County in October.  Events will be “unsanctioned” due to the lack of a current format for Over-50 players, but the hope is that this may perhaps lead other Games both in and out of our Branch to follow suit in offering Over-50 events and perhaps create this “Grade” for the future.

ANYONE OVER 50 MAY COMPETE IN THESE EVENTS.  Nonetheless, this is NOT designed to be an event for beginner and novice players, but rather for “senior players” who may have stopped competitive playing, or who wish to play against age-peers without the pressures of playing against younger and faster fingers!

Competitive events in the Over-50 Circuit for 2015 will consist of:

  1. Piobaireachd –   full tune – player’s own choice
  2. 2/4 March     –    4 parted tune – players own choice
  3. Strathspey and Reel  –  4 parted tunes – players own choice


  • Competitors must be registered members of EUSPBA or join the association on the day of competition.
  • Competitors must register and play in the Over-50 Events ONLY at the Games listed.  I.E.  You may not compete in current Amateur or Professional Grade AND ALSO PLAY in the Over-50 events.
  • ANY Over 50 Player may compete in these events regardless of current EUSPBA grading – however this is NOT designed to be an event for adult beginners – but rather for experienced players who are at least 50 years old or older.
  • Prizes will be awarded at each Games for places and overall “Over 50 Piper of the Day.”
  • A special award for the OVERALL “Over-50 Circuit Champion” will be made at the concluding event  (Scotland County, on October 3).  Players are encouraged to compete in ALL THREE events.
  • Registration for the Over-50 Events has been placed on the entry forms for Grandfather Mountain, Charleston, and Scotland County.  No field entries for the Over-50 Events will be allowed.

SUGGESTIONS: Here are some examples of the potential competitors we would like to see join us for these events:

  •  a “retired” competitor who has not played in some time in solo competition
  • anyone Over-50 who wishes to test their competitive mettle against their own age peers
  • previous non-competitors who are Over 50 and have the required tune selections for the competitions
  • a former competitor who is currently Over 50 but has not played competitively in some years
  • “retired” competitors from Professional, Amateur Grade I, or II competitions – or those who currently do not compete of roughly these grade/ability levels.

AGAIN….ANY OVER-50 PLAYER MAY ENTER, but this “open” event is designed for those who have had previous successes in playing and competing over the years but who may not currently be active in solo competitions.

WE HOPE TO SEE SOME NEW FACES FOR THIS CIRCUIT AND HOPE THAT WE WILL HAVE GOOD ENTRIES AND GOOD COMPETITIONS FOR ALL THREE EVENTS!   For any questions or concerns, please contact Branch Chairman Bill Caudill – southern@euspba.org


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Southern Branch To Offer “OVER 50” Piping Circuit

Willie McCallum in Concert October 2, 2015

The Southern Branch is pleased to welcome Mr. Willie McCallum as a guest judge and recitalist for the Scotland County Highland Games this year.  Following in the footsteps of  Angus MacColl, Bruce Gandy, and Matt MacIsaac, McCallum will be the fourth in the Games’ “Worlds’ Greatest Pipers” concert series.   McCallum will also be a guest judge for both solos and bands at the Scotland County Games on October 3.

McCallum is winner of both the Oban and Inverness Gold Medals, the Former Winners MSR and both Oban and Inverness multiple times, as well as the Bratach Gorm, the Silver Chanter, the Donald MacLeod Memorial and the Dan Reid Memorial each multiple times.  He has also won the Glenfiddich World Piping Championship an unprecedented 8 times!

As was the case with previous recitalist Angus MacColl, Mr. McCallum was selected in part due to historical ties with the region in which the SCHG is located – with many McCallums from his region of Argyll having settled within the Upper Cape Fear and Pee Dee River valleys of this old Highland settlement of the Carolinas.  This is Mr. McCallum’s first visit to this part of the Southern United States.

The Concert will take place on Friday evening, October 2, on the campus of St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, North Carolina in conjunction with the Scotland County Highland Games.  Admission at the door will be $10, with band discounts available.  For further information, contact Bill Caudill –   southern@euspba.org  OR visit the Games website:  www.schgnc.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Willie McCallum in Concert October 2, 2015