In the final ever edition of the Piping Today magazine published in May 2020, a wide range of people were asked to give their 2020 vision for piping going forward. They were all sent a list of questions and asked to choose one to answer in no more than 200 words.

The questions prompted a wide range of interesting and entertaining answers, and we will share them on over the rest of this year. To give the writers a chance to update their thoughts, we have asked them to write us a short and snappy postcard from 2022, letting us know their plans for this year now that piping is opening up again and life getting back to some normality.

Bob Worrall’s 2020 Vision

The competitive focus for solo piping and pipe bands tends to result in a lack of risk-taking and innovation.  Solo pipers and bands tend to fall back on what works on the boards or in the competition arena.  

What one thing would I love to see change for piping and pipe bands in 2020?  Take a chance!  Stop relying on the good old standard marches, strathspeys and reels in band MSR events.  For the audience and the adjudicators it can get quite tedious.  Extend this thinking into medley construction.  When done well bands can be rewarded in a multitude of ways, not just in the prize list. Put simply, explore the tradition further.  Associations can do a great deal in terms of competitive rules and formats which could encourage an entirely new approach to competition.  

Solo players can do exactly the same.  Contemporary piobaireachds are now making their way on to the boards.  A breath of fresh air!  But, the soloists continue to rely on the same old marches, strathspeys and reels. A rich repository of untested older and contemporary compositions is right there and waiting to be played.  And, with the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the high probability of a non-existent solo and band season, why not use this as an opportunity to rethink and expand repertoire and to rework our rules and formats surrounding competition.    

Bob’s postcard from 2022

As we approach the 2022 piping and pipe band season, I keep thinking about that great Jackie Gleason line from his tv show way back in the 60s… “And, away we go!” After two years of minimal live events and no travel, we’re all getting ready to give our music a massive kick start. The Glasgow Green will never have looked greener. So excited to take part in several events throughout Canada and the US this summer, and make that much anticipated flight to Glasgow in August.

Bob Worrall

•Bill Livingstone’s 2020 vision and a postcard from 2022
•Keith Bowes Jnr’s 2020 vision and a postcard from 2022
•Jim McGillivray’s 2020 vision and a postcard from 2022
•Dr Peter McCalister’s 2020 vision and a postcard from 2022
•Jack Taylor’s 2020 vision and a postcard from 2022
•Donald MacPhee’s 2020 vision and a postcard from 2022