News & Announcements

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2013 Season Regrades Announced
The Music Board has announced regrades for the 2013 season. This updated list was released on 12/10/2012. more
2013 EC Election Results
Thanks to Matt Wood and the 2012 Nominating Committee for working through the difficulties in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. We now have the official results of the Executive Committee election. They are as follows:
• Eric MacNeill, reelected as President
• Dan Cole, reelected as Secretary
• Betsy Bethel-McFarland is our new Recording Secretary
• Wayne Holscott is our new Officer at Large (2)
Congratulations to those who won their seats, and thank you to all who ran and all who voted.
Passing: John Kidd 1935-2012
John Kidd, a piper and instrument maker in Asheville NC passed away in October, 2012. John was a PhD in Physics, and worked as a nuclear astrophysicist for many years. He studied acoustical physics and applied his knowledge to make improvements on the Great Highland Bagpipe, building instruments with improved clarity and power, and the ability to maintain stable and precise tuning. He was also able to modify other pipes to enhance these qualities. His shop in Asheville modified, repaired and restored pipes from all over the world.
John is survived by his wife Carol Parks, two brothers, two daughters and four grandchildren.
A memorial scholarship fund has been established in John's name at the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming, where John attended summer sessions for 41 years. Donations may be sent to P/M Sandy Jones, 64 Canvasback Court, Brevard, NC 28712.
Passing: Bruce Burt: 1943-2012
Bruce Burt Sr. passed away on October 22, 2012, at home in St. Petersburg, Florida, after a short bout with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Kitt; brother, Robert; sons Bruce, Doug and Louis; daughter, Sandra; and grandchildren Kaley, Noah, Haley, Amber and Dylan.
Bruce started on pipes at age 9 with the St Andrew’s Society of Detroit Pipe Band under P/M Walter Rose. He also played with the St Thomas Pipe Band, Flint Scottish, the Red Thistle, and was P/M of the Chrysler Corporation Pipe Band. He competed as a Professional in solos and became one of the first American pipers to gain prizes on the Scottish circuit. Bruce was a long time member of the EUSPBA Judges Panel.
Our sympathies go out to Bruce Burt Sr.'s family and friends at this sad time.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, November 4, 2012, from 1:00-5:00pm at the American Legion Post 273 in Madeira Beach, Florida 33708. Please call 727-391-3670 for details. A Michigan Memorial Service will be announced when everything has been finalized.
Passing: Roderick "Roddy" MacDonald, 1941-2012
The North American piping world and the EUSPBA in particular lost a major figure on October 22, 2012. Roderick W. “Roddy” MacDonald passed away in Sarasota FL.
Roddy, Gladys and their only child, Calum emigrated from Scotland to Massachusetts in 1966. In the Fall of 1967, the MacDonald family moved to Wilmington, Delaware. It was here that he was able to demonstrate the skills he acquired in his homeland under the tutelage of the legendary P/M Donald Shaw Ramsay and the Invergordon Distillery Pipe Band.
Roddy was immediately appointed Pipe Major of the City of Wilmington Pipe Band. It did not take long for him to convince former Invergordon drummer Kit Reynolds to move to Delaware. It was not long at all before the two of them produced a very well respected grade 2 pipe band. During the '68 & '69 competition seasons, the "original" COW was almost always in the prize list in the eastern US as well as Ontario.
Roddy also enjoyed a spectacular solo piping career. Although it might be argued the overall standard of playing is higher today than 40 or 30 years ago, many who have witnessed the evolution of playing in the EUSPBA will tell you Roddy was the standard during his prime competitive years.
Roddy's influence upon the EUSPBA is almost incalculable. He began by serving as president 1974-1975. It was through his leadership and inspiration that branches were first formed in the mid '70's. He didn't stop there. He was one of the very first leaders of any association to propose "stage" rather than "age" when it came to categorizing solo piping competitors.
Most members are probably not aware that prior to the implementation of an amateur/professional grading system in the early '70's, competitions were set by "age". Once pipers turned 18 years of age, their fellow competitors were the likes of Roddy, Hammy Workman, George Bell and all the other great professional "adult" pipers living in the Eastern United States as well as Canada. There is little doubt what we now describe as "adult beginners" owe a huge debt of gratitude to Roddy. The "stage" system of grading has allowed countless adults the enjoyment of competing and developing their abilities well beyond the age of 18.
As hard as it may seem to believe today, there was a time when piping (and drumming) competitors were not always judged by competent adjudicators. Roddy, along with George Bell, Donald Lindsay, Bob Gilchrist and several others were instrumental in creating a viable, respectable judges panel. These people set a standard that remains today. As for Roddy's judging skills, competitors always knew they were going to get a fair listen. Roddy never played favorites and always provided excellent comments on his score sheets.
Roddy never stopped contributing to the betterment of piping and the EUSPBA. His latest project was the PCP program which was designed to help players at all levels.
Roddy MacDonald could be considered a renaissance man in its truest sense. When one's piping career included band and solo playing, pipe majoring, instruction, judging, publishing and composing, as well as his influential administrative and organizational work for EUSPBA, it should be obvious to everyone that no remembrance of his accomplishments will be complete, including this one.
Roddy will be sorely missed. The EUSPBA sends its sincerest and deepest condolences to Roddy's family.
Interested readers may wish to download Roddy’s Book: A Forty Year History of EUSPBA, available elsewhere on this site.
We will post service arrangements as they become available.
Annual Mailing
The annual mailing includes Executive Committee ballots, membership renewals and regrade request forms. This packet has been mailed as of today. If you do not receive yours by October 9, 2012, please contact us at
Congratulations To EUSPBA Member Bands
Congratulations to the Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band for taking first place in the Novice Juvenile grade at the World Pipe Band Championships. St. Thomas Alumni finished second place in the grade 2 final. St. Thomas Episcopal School placed second in the Juvenile grade. Oran Mor is to be congratulated for their win at North Berwick last week and strong finish in the grade 1 qualifier. Well done to all on a strong EUSPBA showing at the 2012 World Pipe Band Championships.
Passing: Matt Hamilton
Matthew Hamilton, 88, passed away on July 29, 2012. Born in Shotts, Scotland, Matt played tenor drum for the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band before emigrating to the US in 1965. He was a long time member of the Worcester Kiltie Band and worked with many bands in the area. Matt sat on the EUSPBA judges panel for many years. We thank Matt for his service to the music and our association.
Midseason Regrades Announced
The EUSPBA Grading Committee met recently for a midseason grading review. The following competitors were regraded:
- Katy Rashad: P1 to PP
- Kathleen Brown: P2 to P1
- William Shropshire: P3 to P2
- Derek Reed: P3 to P2
- Dillard Waring: P4 to P3
- Shawn Pappas: P4 to P3
- Rik Mendez: P4 to P3
- Jonathan McGregor: P4 to P3
- Andrew McGarrick: P4 to P3
- Ryan Higgs: P4 to P3
- Ben Elkins: BA to BP
- Ashley Holt: S4 to S3
- Woodrow Boyles: S4 to S3

The EUSPBA Music Board congratulates these competitors on their successful competitive efforts. The Grading Committee will have its usual annual grading meeting in early December. Any competitors wishing to be considered for regrading are reminded to submit a request by the November 1 deadline as per the directions on the back of every EUSPBA score sheet.
2012 AGM Announced
Mark your calendars for the 2012 EUSPBA Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Double Tree Hilton - Newark, NJ on Saturday, November 3. The Metro Branch is hosting this year and promises a great event. Don't miss the Ceilidh party Saturday night!
Details will be announced as plans develop. more