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PPBSO & present a 75th Anniversary Composing Competition

The Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) in partnership with has launched a tune composition contest to help commemorate its 75th anniversary in 2022. The association is calling on pipers of all abilities to put their creativity to paper by submitting a new march composition.

The event has two categories: a 2/4 march (4 parts), open to worldwide entries and a 4/4 march (two parts), open to PPBSO members in good standing. The tune titles submitted must include reference to the 75th anniversary.

“The competition is a great opportunity to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the PPBSO. In addition to the prizes for the top 3 entries in each category, the winning 4/4 march will be issued as a set tune to be performed by the massed bands at PPBSO games in 2022. This really makes the tune and its composer a feature element of how we celebrate this milestone.” says Chris Dodson, PPBSO vice-president, who is leading the initiative. has generously donated the the first prize purse for the 2/4 march category. Cash prizes of $1000, $250, and $200 ($CAD) will be awarded to the top three selections. “Encouraging our members, of all abilities, to write original music is an opportunity to develop knowledge of music theory and our genre of music. There are certainly some great tune ideas bouncing around inside someone’s head, just waiting to be heard.” says Jim McGillivray, owner of and Chair of the PPBSO Music Committee.

The top three selections in the 4/4 march category will have their 2022 PPBSO membership prepaid, and the winner will also receive a full-size engraved practice chanter generously donated by McCallum Bagpipes.

All entries will be jointly adjudicated by Bill Livingstone and Bob Worrall, who are donating their time and expertise to this initiative. In evaluating the compositions submitted, they will consider originality, musicality and adherence to the idiom.

Contest judges Bill Livingstone and Bob Worrall

Entries must be submitted to the PPBSO’s Wild Apricot platform. There is no entry fee, and no cap on the number of entries. Pipers are encouraged to enter both categories, but only one entry per category will be accepted. Entries must be received by Sunday 18th July 2021. Members of the Board of the PPBSO are not eligible to participate.

Compositions must be submitted in PDF format as either a handwritten manuscript or by music writing software. Entries must also include a link to an unlisted YouTube video of the tune being performed by the composer, or someone else; the video performance will be a reference to the adjudicators, but the calibre of the performance will not be considered in the assessment of the quality of the composition.

The PPBSO will format the winning entries in music writing software and publish them on the PPBSO website. The videos of the winning performances will be uploaded to the PPBSO YouTube channel and other social media. Composers will retain all applicable copyrights.

Interested composers can click on the following links to make their submission:

Though some inadvertent similarities with existing tunes are inevitable, any clear evidence of plagiarism with published or well-known unpublished material will result in disqualification.

The winning tunes will be announced as part of the results announcement at the conclusion of the virtual Fergus Scottish Festival on August 14th – in their 75th Anniversary year!


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