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PPBSO Announces Online Competitions and Webinars

Since the unfortunate cancellation of our summer season, the Board of Directors, the Music Committee, and some member volunteers have been hard at work developing new and innovative online events for our members. We’re pleased and excited to announce these today. The first is a new webinar series spearheaded by the PPBSO Music Committee called “The PPBSO In Conversation…”, featuring prominent pipers and drummers from Ontario and around the world. The first webinar in the series will take place on Thursday June 11th at noon Eastern Daylight Time. PPBSO Music Committee member and professional piper Andrea Boyd will host a 45-minute conversation and Q&A with Finlay MacDonald, the new Director of Piping at the National Piping Centre and Artistic Director of Piping Live! Festival, who officially starts his role on June 1st. The session will start with Andrea interviewing Finlay, followed by a Q&A with questions submitted by the audience, and concluding with a few tunes. We’re extremely excited to have Finlay with us, and we’re looking forward to his appearance – and what will be the beginning of several of these events over the summer. Attendance is limited, so please register at

A second webinar will be held two days later. Led by Tyler Bridge – professional piper, Pipe Major of the Guelph Pipe Band, and music teacher – and joined by other panelists who will try to answer the big question on so many competitors’ minds – how do I prepare for online competition? We all think that it’s easy when you have professional quality recording equipment, but what happens when you just have your phone? How does the room you’re in affect your sound? What other tips and tricks will make you sound your best? Join Tyler on Saturday, June 13th at 2:00 Eastern to find out! Register now at

Finally, competition. It’s what we do and what we love, and we’re pleased to announce the first online PPBSO contest of the 2020 season. This first contest will feature amateur light music events and snare, tenor, and bass drumming events – future contests will have a full slate of solo events including piobaireachd and professional graded events. Contestants will submit their videos in advance, and our judges will have a couple of days to judge the contests and submit the results, which will then be posted on our site – just like any other games! And like any other games, competitors will receive their score sheet with comments and playing level evaluations. Here’s the best part: for this first contest, it’s free for all PPBSO members who have paid their 2020 dues! The contest will be open to non-members as well from anywhere in the world, for a fee of $10 Canadian per event. So for members who maybe haven’t competed in solos for a number of years (or maybe never), now’s your chance to try. The full details of the rules and process will be posted on our site at when registration is opened in the next two days, and we’ll make a future announcement when that’s done. But get ready – recordings will be due by the end of Sunday, June 14th and the “date” of the competition will be June 20th.

This contest will be the first in a series. We intend to learn from this event – what worked, what didn’t, what can be better – and incorporate that feedback into the final series of contest rules. For our adjudicators, we’ll be reaching out to you in the next couple of days asking if you’re available and interested in judging such an event.

There’s no doubt that 2020 is the strangest year on record, but we’re adapting and continuing to find new ways to offer opportunities and services to our members. As we’ve mentioned previously, we’ve started our strategic review process to understand how the Society can best serve its members and grow – a process that will continue for some time. We also are continuing to examine ways to save money and offset costs, while also expanding our online presence. We will keep everyone updated over the summer. In the meantime, we hope that you take advantage of some of these new offerings – and most importantly, that you keep safe during this time.


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