From the ChairmanBy:
I am pleased to report that we have had another successful year, with membership increasing steadily. There are many reasons for this, some practical, such as the ability to join online and the availability of a pdf version of Chanter, but I am sure that it is mostly due to a combination of a high quality journal, a well-respected annual festival, an active Facebook page and the generally raised profile of our beloved instrument. The BBC Scotland programmes, which went out in March, certainly helped in spreading awareness of the huge variety of bagpipes, even reaching, unprompted by me, my mother in law’s brother in Macclesfield, which came as a surprise! I think I can now officially state that bagpipes are “cool”!
Attendance at the Blowout was also up, so much so that we are looking providing alternative parking for the camper vans. We may even need more beer … !
The full minutes of the AGM are available via our online library, but here are some of the main points:
All were re-elected unopposed, but with one major change: Michael Ross is standing down as membership secretary/treasurer to be replaced by new committee member George Swallow. Michael has held this role since late 2007 and I would like to offer our sincere thanks for all his work, keeping the finances in order and overseeing our sometimes challenging transition to new electronic payment and membership systems. Michael will remain as a committee member.
We are on a sound financial footing and - a regularly repeated statement - we have money available to further bagpiping in its broadest sense. If you are thinking of organising anything to do with bagpiping, then get in touch. For example, our support could take the form of a (limited) guarantee against financial shortfall or a direct grant to cover a cost which would otherwise prevent the event going ahead. To date the number of requests received has been underwhelming, so please give it some thought and email me.
Ideas and Suggestions
Thank you to those of you who have contributed articles to Chanter, posted on Facebook and responded to our survey, but we would still like to hear more from you. The more suggestions we receive, the better we can reflect your interests.
I am keen to build up our archives and to this end, I would ask again that you get in touch if you have any interesting photos, videos, soundclips that we could include on our website, YouTube and Soundcloud channels. You may not think that what you have is of interest, but let us be the judge! If you have not done so already, have a look at our YouTube Channel, which includes a good number of videos from past Blowout concerts - already of historic significance? (http://tinyurl.com/pttlso5)
Starting this Autumn, Jeremy Cooper and myself will be starting work on a series of short tuition videos, initially covering basic technique. Later videos will be opened out to other players and also makers demonstrating aspects of their craft (reed making, bag seasoning etc). More news later, once the project is under way.
So, plenty happening and more to come. As ever, I am keen to hear from you, so please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org