A funny thing happened on my way to the forum last week. Well, it wasn't the forum and I wasn't on my way there, but it was close. Actually, I was at the B.C. Pipers' Knockout listening to players do things that are clearly impossible without an opposable thumb and rather enjoying myself. In the middle of the evening I was tied up and kidnapped by two members of the BCPA Board of Directors. They were very insistent that I become the new editor of this newsletter. Not sharing their enthusiasm, at least not then, I said I would think about it, check the tea leaves, and examine the entrails of a haggis for guidance.

As a result you, the reader, now have a new editor. Blame the haggis.

The editor is the one who is responsible for overall direction, content, and presentation of this newsletter. The editor is also the one who is allowed, indeed required, to express opinions, to encourage friendly debate, and to both raise and respond to perceived topics of interest and importance to the readers. In spite of such editorial freedom, this is, and it's an old cliché, your newsletter. If I receive little or no input, you will get what I decide is of significance or importance.

Do you really want that?

You won't notice much difference in this issue - press time was too close for any major revisions to be done. However, I would like to put forward some ideas for the next issue with a view to responding to what the readership thinks is desirable. Depending on the amount of apathy out there, this approach may be successful or not. Let me know what you think about:

- a page devoted to the activities of the younger players and members of our association - their opinions as well as their accomplishments.

- regular and relevant news from across B.C., Washington, Oregon and anywhere else we can convince pipers and bands to let us know what is going on. Malicious and vile gossip won't be published but will be read and filed away for future reference.

- beefing up a "News and Reviews" section of current CDs and the like.

- talks with, or pieces from, local composers, judges, and players.

- something (??) for the benefit of Legion and other "street" bands.

In one of those little ironies of life, the first and only submission I have ever made to the B.C. Pipers' Association Newsletter, a review of the January Knockout Competition, was returned to me in February when I was asked to become the editor. Look for it in this edition, and remember: this could happen to you, too!

I won't be doing this without the help of many people, including Melissa Maxwell (as Design Editor), Bob Dunsire (as Associate Editor), Rob MacNeil, Mary McKinnon, Bill Meston, Bill Elder, and probably countless others I don't even know about yet. Most especially, however, I need your help in order to make this newsletter relevant and of interest to you. Ideas, suggestions, letters, and information are all welcome and will be considered for publication.

Duncan Fraser carried the load on this for some six years. I appreciate his efforts, dedication, and determination and will try not to impale myself on a drone when the responsibility lies with me.

Rorri McBlane, Editor

BC pipers' Newsletter - Spring 1999