Solo and Band Grading Overview
At the conclusion of each competition season, the BCPA Grading Subcommittees review the results of solo and band competitions at the BCPA sanctioned competitions from the Annual Gathering through to the Campbell River Highland Gathering and the Performance Ratings of the soloists and bands in those competitions.
For soloists and bands, the Performance Rating values are the adjudicator’s assessment of the competitor’s performance relative to the expectation for the grade. The Grading Subcommittees review all these factors and their recommendations for regrading competitors are presented to the BCPA Music Committee Chair and Vice Chair for final approval.
The BCPA implements a “continent grading standard” for solo competitors and a “world grading standard” for bands, as recommended by the Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations (ANAPBA). This means that solo competitors and bands graded by the BCPA would be determined to be in the correct grade if assessed by other ANAPBA member associations (for solos) or by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (for bands).
The BCPA Solo Grading subcommittee consists of appointed active BCPA adjudicators who are also active solo instructors. The subcommittee’s purpose is to make recommendations to the Music Committee on season-end competitors promotions, based on analysis of season long competitors results and performance ratings data, and on competitors grading appeals during defined time periods in the fall and winter based on additional information provided by the competitor that is not generally available to the subcommittee. You can find the BCPA Player Initiated Promotion Requests at the end of the 2021 season instruction here.
The BCPA Seasonal Band Grading subcommittee is appointed each season, based largely on those adjudicators who saw the widest variety of bands most often during the season and augmented with BCPA adjudicators who are also RSPBA certified adjudicators. The Seasonal Band Grading Subcommittee’s purpose is to make recommendations to the Music Committee on band regradings, both promotions and relegations, based on grading related data during the past season, such as the results of band competitions in the BCPA jurisdiction, performance rating assessments of bands at band competitions in the BCPA jurisdiction, and performance of BCPA bands at national and international competitions. Relegations are not published. Bands that have not competed for two years are subject to re-evaluation of their grade on their first contest after their absence.
As with Solo promotions, the Seasonal Band Grading Subcommittee’s recommendations are presented to the BCPA Music Committee Chair and Vice Chair for final approval.
Solo competitors and bands within the BCPA jurisdiction (BC, Washington, and Oregon) are not permitted to “self-promote” themselves to the next grade level. However, solo competitors and bands which have not been promoted may appeal the decision to the BCPA by submitting a completed BCPA Regrading Appeal Form (shown below). Similarly, solo competitors and bands which have been promoted may appeal the decision to the BCPA by submitting a completed BCPA Regrading Appeal Form. The specific instructions for appeals are contained in the two documents below.
Past promotion information: