The Southern Branch of the Western United States Pipe Band Association (WUSPBA) was created to offer a local presence to its member bands. WUSPBA's Southern Branch is one of two in California and represents both Southern California, Arizona, and the southern tip of Nevada.

Key Contacts for the Southern Branch of WUSPBA:

Regarding e-mail addresses:
• E-mail addresses listed below must be retyped into your mail program.

President: Ed Best, sb @ wuspba . org

Vice President: Robert Yslas

Secretary: Darrell Calvillo

Treasurer: Rod Cristales

Chief Steward: Robert MacTavish

Southern Branch Facebook Page

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Last Updated July 26, 2020

Southern Branch 2013 Re-Elections Update

The ballot for the 2013 Southern Branch Elections is now available for download here.

Please fill out the ballot and email it to or mail it to:

Stuart Baker
3336 N Stewart
Tucson, AZ 85716

John Partanen's Campaign Speech: here

Southern Branch 2013 Re-Elections



Because of irregularities found dealing with the Southern Branch elections that were not consistent with the Southern Branch Bylaws, The Executive Committee of the WUSPBA declares the Southern Branch elections invalid.  Additionally, since all officers have expired terms, we declare the Southern Branch vacant at this time.  A special meeting has been called for Saturday, May 25th, 2013 directly after Massed Bands at the Costa Mesa “United Scottish Society Highland Gathering. Details on the location can be found on the events page of the WUSPBA website.  Nominations are now open for President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Please send all nominations for officers to by March 26, 2013:

Stuart Baker, VP

3336 N Stewart Ave

Tucson, AZ 85716

By March 26, 2013 which is the final date that nominations will be accepted.  Voting by ballot will commence April 25 and will end May 20th in accordance with the Southern Branch bylaws.  You may go to on April 25th to download your absentee ballot and vote.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.

Southern Branch Elections - Feb. 16, 2013

The Southern Branch Elections will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at the Queen Mary directly after Massed Bands. Location to be announced. The following individuals have been nominated for the following offices:

Southern Branch President
Southern Branch Treasurer

Nominations for these positions are as follows:

President, Southern Branch
Scott Larson
John Partanen

Southern Branch Treasurer
Jennifer Febre Boase


WUSPBA Southern Branch AGM & Elections - 2011

The WUSPBA Southern Branch will hold its Annual General Meeting during Scotsfest at the Orange County Fair and Event Center on Saturday, May 26. The meeting will take place at the WUSPBA tent immediately after the conclusion of Massed Bands.

Elections for the Southern Branch President and the Southern Branch Treasurer will take place at the AGM. If you are interested in running for either position, and wish to be added to the ballot, please send an e-mail to prior to Tuesday, March 27.

Thank you,

Robert Mac Tavish
Interim Secretary, WUSPBA Southern Branch

2011 AGM Absentee Ballot (DOC)
2011 Absentee Ballot (PDF)
2011 Report (PDF)

Southern Branch Report on the AGM - Feb. 22, 2010

The Southern Branch held its AGM again at the Queen Mary Contests. The Saturday afternoon meeting was cancelled as everyone was still truing to dry out. There was wind, lightening, rain, and hail. Then sunshine again, thankfully. So with the meeting cancelled, the meeting travelled to each band on Sunday to get the work done. Tony Webner was re-elected as the Vice-President. Tony has helped keep us on a steady and solid beat for the past few years. (Tony is Bass Drum for the UCR Pipe Band). We have not been able to entice a member of the Southern Branch to step into the poistion of Secretary. We do need to find a person willing to do this work, so please contact Tony Webner, or John Partanen if you are willing to lend us your talents. Jenefer Febre, our treasurer, reports that we have $1836.00 in the bank. WE had an outstanding bill for the 2010 awards, and a donation to the Harry Moore Contests for the contest sponsors, and for the workshops that accompany this contest. This leaves about $800.00 in the bank for the Southern Branch, and soon, our new WUSPBA Treasurer, Mr. David MacKenzie, also a Southern Branch member, will have our funding for 2011 on the way, and support for the three week long piping and drumming schools held within the Southern Branch geographical area will resume. Joining the ranks od the Southern Branch are two contest representatives. Polly Webner, as the representative for the Southern Cailifornia area, and Kevin Conquest for the Arizona area. Thanks to both of these wonderful persons in advance for their asissitance. The work can be tiring, and sometimes tedious, and seldom with thanks, but both will help our association keep our great contests GREAT!

I as President of the Southern Branch would like to thank each member band, every solo contest member, and our great contest sponsors for their support. So for now......PLAY NICE ! Black Part's Orders !!!

Southern Branch AGM - Feb. 2010

The Southern Branch AGM and Elections will be held on the Saturday of the Queen Mary Contests immediately after the Band Contests, February 19th, at approximately 4 to 4:30 PM.

Up for election, or re-election, is our Vice-President, Tony Webner.

Absentee ballots are available to all members of the Southern Branch but they must request these in writing by sending such requests to John Eric Partanen, P.O. Box 1304, Colton, CA 92324. Absentee ballots will also be available at the Queen Mary Contests for those at the contests but would otherwise be unable to attend the Southern Branch AGM.

Southern Branch News - Feb. 2010

February 15, 2010

Well the contests at the Queen Mary have come and gone. Congratulations to Scott MacDonald and the L. A. Scots for another well run set of contests.

The Southern Branch of the WUSPBA had its Annual General Meeting on Saturday afternoon after the band contests. This meeting was well attended and featured the FIRST EVER Absentee Ballots being counted in the WUSPBA. So now no one can ever say that there is no such thing as an absentee ballot in the WUSPBA. 'Ol Black Part was re-elected as President, and Jennefer Febre, P/M of the Pasadena Scots was re-elected as Treasurer. The remaining championship plaques for 2008 and 2009 were handed out. The 2010 championship plaques will be awarded again this year at the Tartan Ball hosted by the Camerons Pipe Band of San Diego on November 20th. Check with the Camerons and the WUSPBA website under the Southern Branch for additional information on this event as it becomes available. The possibility of increasing the numberof small contest within the Southern Branch was the number one topic. This only takes a band, or perhaps two bands getting togather to host these contests. The more contests we have, the better.
So.....Let's have a few more says I. Ahrrrgh!

Input for a logo for the Southern Branch is requested. Now this 'ol pirate had a suggestion: The Drum and Cross Drones on a Black background. But since ever'thing goes tae a vote, it's up tae the crew tae come up with a few more ideas! Send 'em in by Costa Mesa or it'll be the Drum and Cross Drones fer us.

Now fer the really BIG news! There has been a committee formed up by the Executive Committee of the WUSPBA to come up with a way to have absentee balloting for the entire association. I think this is following the lead taken by the Southern Branch if'n ya asks me. This worked well for us, but I can hear the objections already: How do we discuss the changes to the bylaws and contest rules? Well you don't discuss them at the AGM, you discuss them before the AGM, using the internet. That way the nauseating discussions don't take up all the time at the AGM, and the AGM can be devoted to workshops and more piping and drumming and other fun stuff. The way this 'ol pirate see it, the proposed changes could be posted any time on an open forum on the internet where opinions and comments could be made by every member band, soloist, and contest sponsor. Suggested changes to the proposed changes could be made and commented on by every member, and final drafts of the changes prepared say 6 to 8 weeks before the AGM, and then posted in an absentee ballot form on the WUSPBA website for everyone to download, cast their votes and send in. Each ballot would need to be signed and be accompanied by the member's WUSPBA registration number so the votes could be certified. In a similar fashion voting for the officers could be conducted with candidates actually being well known to the membership before the AGM, and even internet campaignes being run. When this happens, the membership then becomes involved and the WUSPBA can then truly become one run by the membership and for the membership, and not like we still have, where decisions are made behind closed doors by "special interest" groups and individuals.

So did they ask 'Ol Black Part to be on the committee? ...... No Siree! Heaven forbid I be asked to participate even though I've been the principal activist for this in the WUSPBA for the past 10 years or so. Even least it is finally being given serious consideration, which warms this 'ol pirate's heart.

Upcoming contest....most of 'em in the Southern Branch....Ahrrrgh.....The Arizona Highland Games in Phoenix AZ; The Harry Moore Memorial Contests and Workshops in Riverside and the Bakersfield Scottish Games both in March; The Sacramento Games and the Las Vegas Highland Games in April; followed by the Costa Mesa Contests at the end of May; and the San Diego Highland Games in June. So practice hard....and play nice....Black Part's Orders.
John Eric Partanen, PhD
President of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA

Southern Branch Election - Nov. 2009

November 25, 2009

Greetings to all members of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA…

Here is your official absentee ballot for the upcoming elections of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA. As your President, I urge you to take the time to vote and send in your ballot. By doing so, you affirm that this is your Branch of the WUSPBA. Your VOTE COUNTS, and is important to us. And please, if you have suggestions or comments for the Southern Branch, please share them.

Southern Branch Ballot 2010 (PDF)

Send your completed ballots to:

John Eric Partanen
President of the Southern Branch
P. O. Box 1304
Colton, CA 92324

Elections are on Saturday afternoon at the Queen Mary Contests, Long Beach, CA, the second weekend of February 2010. If you are at these contests, please attend the AGM for the Southern Branch.

Your ballot will be forwarded to Coni Canino, Secretary of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA for recording and counting. Thank You for Voting, and for your Support.

The Southern Branch Championships for the Southern Branch for the years 2008 and 2009 were announced at the Cameron's Pipe Band Tartan Ball in San Diego November 21st. Some of the awards were presented to those present. The remainder of the awards are currently being held by Mike Terry, PM of the UCR Pipe Band and our new Execuitve Secretary for the WUSPBA. Please contact either Mike Terry or John Partanen if you are one of our 2008 or 2009 Branch Champions so that we may arrange to present or send your awards. Congratulations to our Branch Champions for 2008 and 2009.
John Eric Partanen, PhD
President of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA

Membership Update for the Southern Branch

July 2009

Greetings to all band, solo, and contest sponsor members of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA. This letter is intended to inform and update you on the activities of the Southern Branch so far this year. As you may know, the officers of the Southern Branch are:

President: John Eric Partanen, PhD, Piper, LA Scots, Grade III
Vice-President : Tony Webner, Bass Drummer, UCR Pipe Band
Treasurer: Jennifer Febre, P/M Pasadena Scots
Secretary: Coni Canino, San Diego Scottish Games Committee

Any of these members may be contacted for any business, at any time, by any member of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA. We are here to help.

As some of you may know, last year a new set of Bylaws was enacted by the Southern Branch at our Annual General Meeting held at the Queen Mary Contests. A key element of these new bylaws is the ability of all members of the Southern Branch to vote for officers and changes to these new bylaws by sending in an absentee ballot. These ballots will be sent out by mail in November to all known band, solo, and contest sponsor members. The ballots must be returned not later than the date indicated with your votes. This year, two officers will be up for election. The office of the President, and the office of the Treasurer. The incumbents are John Eric Partanen and Jennifer Febre. Nominations for anyone else that wishes to run for office are due by November 1, 2009, for the 2010 elections. Any changes proposed to the bylaws are also due in writing by November 1, 2009.

Another key element of the new bylaws has been the establishment of our own Music Committee. This committee reviews the results for the solo and band contests during the year to determine the Southern Branch Champions for each grade and type of contest. This committee may also contact any band or solo contestant with recommendations to move up or down in the grade they are in. Serving on the Music Committee are:

Ian WhitelawProfessional Piper, and Piping Professor at UCR
Mike TerryP/M of the UCR Pipe Band
Aaron MarsSnare Drummer, Camerons Pipe Band, San Diego

Any of these gentlemen may be asked any question concerning musical concerns by any member of the Southern Branch. They have volunteered to assist the Southern Branch, and we are very grateful for their support.

On November 21, 2009, the Camerons Pipe Band will be holding their Tartan Ball. They also co-sponsor the Angus Macdonald Piping Contests that same weekend. The Camerons have graciously allowed the Southern Branch some time to announce the championships for band and solo contests for the years 2008 and 2009 at their Tartan Ball. This is sure to make this a huge Gala Event, and I encourage all members that are contacted by the Music Committee that they are Southern Branch Champions to be on hand to accept their well earned awards. For more info on the Cameron’s Tartan Ball, please contact any member of the Camerons Pipe Band of San Diego or any officer of the Southern Branch.

Upcoming events for the Southern Branch include: 1) The Seaside Highland Games in Ventura, CA on October 10th and 11th; 2) The Cameron’s Tartan Ball on November 21st; 3) The Queen Mary Contests the second weekend in February; 4) The Phoenix Highland Games in February; and 5) A new Piping Contest to be hosted at UCR by the UCR Pipe Band in March.

An additional important date to keep in mind is November 14 &15 for the WUSPBA Annual General Meeting held in Las Vegas. This year, the offices of the President, Executive Secretary, and Treasurer are up for re-election. As you all may know, Andrew Morrill has been our President for the past 4 years, and Jeff Mann has been the Executive Secretary for the same period of time. Scotty Dean has been the Treasurer for at least 6 years. All three of these fine men are declining to run again. Therefore, I urge any member of the Southern Branch able and willing to devote some time to the WUSPBA to step up, and into one of theses positions. Also, it has been suggested that the offices of the Band Registrar and Solo Registrar may become vacant. These later two positions require someone with computer skills able to manage a database. If anyone is interested in these positions please let any officer in the Southern Branch know so that we may assist you with information, answer any questions, and submit your names as candidates for these important offices. As to the fine persons who are, or may be leaving these positions, your skills and talents will be sorely missed. You have all helped the WUSPBA to become a service association, and the Southern Branch wishes all of you the very best, and we will use your example as guidelines to continue the work of the WUSPBA.
In closing, I wish all the best of luck with their contests through the rest of the season.
And remember…….Play Nice! Black Part’s Orders!
John Eric Partanen, PhD
President of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA

Southern Branch 2009 AGM

The Southern Branch of the WUSPBA held its brief Annual General Meeting on Saturday afternoon, February 14, 2009 at the Queen Mary Contests. Band representation included the L. A. Scots, I & III, Nicholson Pipes and Drums, Kevin R. Blandford Pipe Bands, III & IV, Coyne Memorial Pipe Band, Pasadena Scots, Camerons Pipe Band of San Diego, Mesa Caledonian Pipe Bands, III & IV, Pacific Coast Pipe Band, the UCR Pipe Band, and The Los Angeles Emerald Society Pipe Band; 13 bands in all, with one an associate member band. A Quorum was present.

Item #1 was the passage of the new Bylaws for the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA. These proposed bylaws have been posted on the WUSPBA website for the past 60 days. Also copies of the proposed bylaws were handed out to all pipe bands within the Southern Branch geographical area present for the Queen Mary Contests. Two typing errors Article IV, paragraph 1.4 were pointed out by the President, John Eric Partanen. A motion to accept the new bylaws with the noted corrections was made and seconded. There was unanimous approval of the bylaws, and the Southern Branch is again with bylaws.

There are two innovative features of the new bylaws. First, absentee balloting is allowed and will be highly encouraged. The Southern Branch wishes to reach out to all pipe bands, solo competitors, and contest sponsors and have everyone in the Soutyhern Branch have a say in what we as branch do. This is just one way to accomplish that. Second, the Southern Branch will have its own Music Committee, comprised of a piper, a drummer, and a pipe band representative from within the geographical area of the Southern Branch. This committee will review contest results at the end of the year and make any appropriate recommendations to the Music Board of the WUSPBA for re-grading. Also, the Music Committee will assit with the awards of branch champions and scholarships. Mr. Ian Whitelaw will be the piping representative; Mr. Arron Mars the drumming representative, and P/M Mike Terry the pipe band representative.

Item #2 was the election of officers. The offices of Vice-President and Secretary were open. Ed Best, our past Vice-President has been asked to sit on the WUSPBA Music Board and did not wish to be re-elcted. A nomination for Tony Webner, Bass Drummer for the UCR Pipe Band was entered and seconded. There were no other nominations, and Tony was unanimously elected as Vice-President. Coni Canino has been our past Secretary, and other activities and priorities had limited her participation with the Southern Branch.  A nomination for Jim Ryan, a piper with the L. A Scots was emtered and seconded. The nomination was modified that Jim Ryan could decline as he was not at the meeting.

There was no old buisness.

There was no new business, other than the expressions that current directions taken by the Southern Branch such as offering scolarships, and financial support to the three piping and drumming schools should continue. The possibility of raising dues for the Southern Branch was briefly discussed, but not adopted.

The meeting was then adjourned.

Jim Ryan did later decline the office of Secretary. John Partanen, the President of the Southern Branch then explained the problem to Coni Canino. Coni agreed to continue to be the Secrestary for the Southern Branch but said her participation may be limited until after the San Diego Highland Games. The Southern Branch thanks Coni for her help thus far, and on into the future.

Attached is a copy of the corrected Bylaws which should be posted on the WUSPBA website along with these minutes of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA Annual General Meeting.

John Eric Partanen, PhD
SB President

Southern Branch 2009 AGM Bylaws Scholarships

The Southern Branch of the Western United Startes Pipe Band Association, SBWUSPBA, will have its
Annual General Meeting on the Saturday afternoon of the Queen Mary Contests, immediately following
the Saturday closing Massed Bands. All members of the Southern Branch are welcome and encouraged to attend. Two offices will be elected: Vice-President and Secretary. Nominations for these two very important offices are now OPEN. Please submit nomiations to the President of the Southern Branch by email to If no nominations are submitted in advance, there will be substaintial recruitment efforts, so's if'n ya don't want to be Shanghai'd by 'Ol Black Part, submit the names of some "volunteers".

Also at this annual general meeting, there will be a set of bylaws adopted. We have been unable to locate a set of the old bylaws, They seem to have blown away in the wind. Attached is a copy of the proposed bylaws. If there are proposed changes to these please send them to spsrnd@hotmail at least 15 days before the annula general meeting. I'll discuss these with you by email, and will attempt to incorporate your suggestions before they are proposed and hopefully adopted at the meeting.

- John Partanen,
SB President

Proposed Bylaws: (PDF) (MS Word)

Southern Branch 2008 Scholarships

The Southern Branch of the WUSPBA is pleased announce that it will again be offering $100.00 scholarships to pipers and drummers wishing to attend one of the piping and drumming schools held within the geographical area of the Southern Branch. These are The College of Piping Summer School held near San Diego in June; The Week in Paradise Piping School held near Redondo Beach; and The Piping Institute Summer School held in Flagstaff, Arizona. Two $100.00 scholarships are offered for each of the schools. To apply, simply send a brief biography and request to the Secretary and/or the President of the Southern Branch of the WUSPBA.

- John Partanen,
SB President

Southern Branch Meeting in May

A second meeting of the Southern Branch will be held on the Saturday evening (May 24) at Costa Mesa (United Scottish Society Highland Gathering) following the massed bands. The topics of discussion are tentatively: 1) The Southern Branch By-Laws situation; and 2) Pending educational funds from the WUSPBA to the branches.

- John Partanen,
SB President

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