Good results

I swear that the last week was the busiest of my life, but I seem to be say that every week these days. The blog’s been a shade neglected as a result, but I’m doing a bit of catching up with all things pipes|drums this weekend.

Someone recently asked me why there are relatively few results articles posted for piping and drumming competitions in the United States. Good question. The answer: people don’t send them in.

Within hours of people getting home from contests in Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, e-mail arrives with the outcome. For the major pipe band and solo events over the year that I’m not at I try to arrange for an agent-in-the-field to call with or text results as they’re announced. If I’m at a contest, I’ll take the time to write down results.

All the rest I figure that, if no one sends in the results, then it can’t be that important, so I don’t get too fussed, since no one else is. But, in general, if people send in the news, it will be published – provided the event isn’t too miniscule.

It also helps me a great deal when people provide them in a cut-and-paste format that follows the p|d style: top grades first, prizes one through five in that order, tunes and judges included, if possible. My heart sinks when I receive results in ALL CAPS. That means I have to re-enter everything. Believe me, that gets really tedious.

People love to see results, and they love to go back years later and see them. Lots of stuff gets posted on ephemeral forums, but eventually these will vanish into the ether, and they’re not searchable. Contest results have always been an important aspect of the hobby. The pipes|drums online archive of results is massive.

So, anyone from the United States (or anywhere else, for that matter) who might wonder why they don’t see their name in pipes|drums lights after they enjoy the day of their competition life at a particular competition, the answer is simple: no one bothered to send them.

Greener pastures

Going for the GreenI wasn’t at the Scottish Pipe Band Championships, but I have heard nothing to suggest that St. Laurence O’Toole was a worthy and popular winner. More than 80 per cent of voters on the current p|d Poll say the result was “Great for SLOT!” and you would be hard-pressed to find a more likable and talented band anywhere.

Things have come a long way in the UK when it comes to pipe band politics, and a very long way since the 1970s when Northern Ireland’s Grade 1 St. Patrick’s Donaghmore won the piping at the World Championships, only to have the ensemble judge relegate them to near-last, bumping them way down the list.

To add insult, the same ensemble judge allegedly (but this story has been relayed to me by many people over the years who say they witnessed it) saw Donaghmore off by giving the completely demoralized band the two-fingers-up salute as they drove out of the park.

For those pipers and drummers who live outside of the UK, SLOT’s win may not seem that important. But for those in the UK and Ireland who have witnessed first-hand the political and quasi-religious idiocy that has gone on decades before, it’s a true milestone.

To be sure, to be sure, that idiocy hasn’t much existed for at least the last 20 years, and all bands have had to play well enough to win, but SLOT finally doing so officially closes the door on some bad, lingering memories.

The road rises up.

Greener pastures


Going for the Green.
I wasn’t at the Scottish Pipe Band Championships, but I have heard nothing to suggest that St. Laurence O’Toole was not a worthy and popular winner. More than 80 per cent of voters on the current p|d Poll say the result was “Great for SLOT!” and you would be hard-pressed to find a more likable and talented band anywhere.

Things have come a long way in the UK when it comes to pipe band politics, and a very long way since the 1970s when Northern Ireland’s Grade 1 St. Patrick’s Donaghmore won the piping at the World Championships, only to have the ensemble judge relegate them to near-last, bumping them way down the list.

To add insult, the same ensemble judge allegedly (but this story has been relayed to me by many people over the years who say they witnessed it) saw Donaghmore off by giving the completely demoralized band the two-fingers-up salute as they drove out of the park.

For those pipers and drummers who live outside of the UK, SLOT’s win may not seem that important. But for those in the UK and Ireland who have witnessed first-hand the political and quasi-religious idiocy that has gone on decades before, it’s a true milestone.

To be sure, to be sure, that idiocy hasn’t much existed for at least the last 20 years, and all bands have had to play well enough to win, but SLOT finally doing so officially closes the door on some bad, lingering memories.

The road rises up.