As the pipe band world looks forwards with nervous optimism to 2021, the RSPBA’s Music Board has confirmed the tune requirements of the 2020 season will be carried forward into the 2021 season:

The decision was approved at the Board of Directors Meeting on June 27, 2020.

Meanwhile, at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting held online on the same day, it was revealed that agreement has been reached with the city of Glasgow to extend its contract for the World Pipe Band Championships. Glasgow will host the flagship event until 2024 and then a rolling contract with a two-year break clause on both sides will be introduced.

Contingency plans for the World Solo Drumming Championships, scheduled for October 24 in Glasgow, are also being prepared. A spokesman said: “A live event remains in the calendar, subject to the outcomes of a meeting with Glasgow Life and Glasgow Caledonian University in July, however a number of other scenarios are being explored. These scenarios will consider any restrictions which might be in place in line with the Scottish Government COVID-19 Route map.”

At the AGM, chairman, John Hughes, responded to rumours that the Association is to address the unrestricted loss of the refurbished Glasgow headquarters by selling it to Glasgow City Council and leasing it back again. He said: “We can categorically state that there has never been any consideration to sell the building to Glasgow City Council, or anyone else, and lease it back again. The reason that the Board of Directors made the decision to proceed with the investment in the refurbishment, was to secure the future of the Association and not to achieve short term financial gain.”

The RSPBA’s headquarters in Washington Street, Glasgow.

The RSPBA’s financial statement, issued to bands ahead of the AGM, notes an impairment loss of over £500,000 in the organisation’s headquarters in Glasgow. The organisation last year spent more than £1 million on the renovation of the building. The financial statement shows a current valuation – carried out by DM Hall Chartered Surveyors – of £500,000.

John Shone’s new Boys’ Brigade music collection has now been published. John tells us his book contains many tunes old and new, all of which pertain to the famous youth organisation. Some unpublished tunes of Pipe Major J. B. Robertson are included as well as some piobaireachd.

It had been John’s intention to launch the book at the annual Piobaireachd Society conference on March 21 but the event was one of the many that had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The book will be priced £12.00 with all the profits going to the Boys’ Brigade. Copies will be available soon from The Bagpipe Shop.

Further to our post about a second edition of Willie Donaldson’s book, Pipers: a Guide to the Players and Music of the Highland Bagpipe, the books publication date has moved to spring 2021.

Publisher, Birlinn had intended to publish the book this month but the ongoing effects of the pandemic has made this impossible.

The book was first published 15 years ago. The new edition contains a new introduction.

Finally, a bit of much needed humour in these frustrating times, After reading Stuart Letford’s post-Covid piping report, reader, Angus Grant of Mount Vernon in Glasgow emailed us wondering if the Donald Drone cartoon that appeared in the April Piping Times may be a common sight around the games next year: