As a part of the annual EUSPBA AGM process, many proposals are sent from each Branch for consideration, discussion, and either implementation or rejection. One proposal put forward this year by the Southwest Branch was to create a Grade 5 entry level solo grade.
This is a proposal that has been considered before but never implemented. This would apply to both the piping and snare entry level grades. The rationale for creating this grade is that many members would like to compete and get involved but do not have the ability to play the music required for Grade 4. FOR EXAMPLE on the piping side, there are many members who have recently started taking lessons, have learned a handful of tunes, but do not have the stamina to play 4 parts of competition 2/4 nor the ability to play a full tune Piobaireachd. This gives these members a place to start out and progress at their ability level.
Rather than wait a full year to implement this grade in its entirety (March and Ground Only Piob), we have decided to start this year with sanctioning the March and then add the Ground Only Piob during the 2019 season in an effort to not put additional strain on our early games organizers who have already budgeted and received sanctioning approval.
We would like to encourage all of our sanctioned games to add the March contest this year. With the mindset of encouraging members to join the Grade 5 ranks and since we are only offering the March contest this year, we are offering an introductory Membership Dues rate of only $20. The full rate will apply in 2019 when the Ground Only Piobaireached contest is added.
More sanctioned events are being discussed and may be added depending on the interest and success of the grade. We hope that everybody who has considered getting out there to compete will take the opportunity to do so now that there is a contest at ALL ability levels in the EUSPBA.
The EC has worked closely with the Music Board on the verbiage and the timing to get this out there as soon as possible so that members have time to prepare for this new season.
The Membership Application and all EUSPBA forms and paperwork will be updated in the coming days to reflect this new grade for snare drummers and pipers. Please pass the word on to your fellow band members and soloists so we can reach as many individuals as possible. Below are the requirements that will be posted on the EUSPBA Website and added to the Competition Rules: RULE: Grade 5 (Bagpipe): March: Grade 5 Amateur competitors shall submit and play one (1) two-parted march in simple time (2/4, 3/4 or 4/4), once through played on the bagpipe. This can be a two-parted march or the first two parts of a longer tune. At least two drones must be sounding (one bass and one tenor). To be implemented in the 2018 season. Piobaireachd: Ground only of a Piobaireachd from the set list to be played on the bagpipe. To be implemented in the 2019 season. Grade 4 Junior and Senior competitors may petition the music board for reassignment to Grade 5 based on track record and ability.
Any Grade 5 competitor who receives an AGL may voluntarily upgrade to the corresponding Grade 4 level (Junior or Senior) at any time during that season. If an AGL is awarded, the competitor will be automatically upgraded at the end of the season. All other requests for upgrade will be submitted through the annual EUSPBA upgrade process or on a limited case by case basis during the season. Grade 5 (Snare Drum): Grade 5 Snare Drum competitors shall submit and play one (1) two-parted march in simple time (2/4, 3/4 or 4/4), once through played on the snare drum.
This can be a two-parted march or the first two parts of a longer tune. Piper recommended but not required. Novice Grade (Practice Chanter): One four-parted or two different two-parted marches in 2/4, 4/4, or 6/8 time. Novice Grade (Practice Chanter) is restricted to those playing the practice chanter only in competition and is not open to those playing the bagpipe in band competition or in Grade 5 Bagpipe solo events. Novice Grade (Practice Chanter) does not require membership in the EUSPBA. Novice Grade (Practice Pad): Two parts of a march, any time signature on the drum pad. No piper required. Novice Grade (Practice Pad) competitions are restricted to those playing the drum pad only in competition and are not open to those playing the snare drum in band competition or in Grade 5 Snare Drum solo events. Novice Grade (Practice Pad) does not require membership in the EUSPBA.
The EUSPBA Executive Committee