A technology ‘first’ has begun today with the competition run by the Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP).
The competition is taking place using videoconference software, such as Skype, FaceTime, What’sApp etc. as a way of keeping the momentum of the CLASP’s 2020 contests going during the Covid-19 shutdown.
Entries came in from CLASP members all around the world who are competing in their respective time zones. The competition is well under way and will last until this evening. The winners will be announced tomorrow.
The idea is the brainchild of CLASP organisers, Margaret Dunn and Finlay Johnston (pictured) of the National Piping Centre. It works like this: all the performances are being captured live via video link. CLASP staff make live video contact with each competitor (at their allocated time for Piobaireachd and their allocated time for Light Music) using Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime etc. Each competitor takes an audio recording of their live video performance on their Smartphone or other recording device at the same time as their live video call performance and they then email the audio file using MP3/DropBox/WeTransfer to CLASP admin after the live video call has ended.
Competitors are being asked by CLASP admin to turn on their recording device and admin staff will announce the event and competitor number so every recording will start with this introduction. It will be the audio file taken at this time that will be used by the judges to decide the results.
The competitors were notified a couple of days ago of the tunes chosen for them to play today.
The audio recordings will then be sent to the judges tonight and the judges will spend tomorrow adjudicating and writing crit sheets. Crit sheets will be emailed to competitors after the results are issued.
The use of the audio files will take any technical problems out of the equation and this is, in fact, how all CLASP grading recordings are currently done.