World champion pipe major James Cowie and internationally-renowned composer and piper Mark Saul have been named as recipients of the 2020 national awards for Performance.
Members of the selection panel was unanimous in selecting Mark and James both for their contributions to performance on the world stage and achievements in Australia building successful band programs.
Their precis citations read:
· Mark is rightly regarded as one of the world’s most respected and innovative contemporary
·composers in the pipe band genre. He has also played with championship winning bands including Victoria Police and Inveraray and performers in other genres, extending his influence around the world through music and performance.
· James has led pipe bands with distinction since his early teens as musical director, pipe tutor and pipe major including two World Championships and the US Grade One title. His achievements in pipe band innovation includes four CDs – testament to his leadership and peformances abilities. He has also guested with other premier bands.
The national awards were instituted in 2018 with an initial 12 recipients with future awards limited to two recipients in future two-year periods.
All recipients of awards become eligible for elevation to the Pipe Bands Australia Hall of Fame.
Formal recognition of new Hall of Fame inductees and award recipients has been rescheduled to April 2021 following postponement of the Australian Pipe Band Championships due to restrictions on public assemblies during the coronavirus pandemic.