SPBASA President Transition

Michael Flight (L) - Richard Empson (R)


The 2023 AGM held SPBASA's biennial presidential elections, where Michael Flight had previously decided to no longer run for reelection.  This concluded an eight-year period for Michael, as well as for the current Board members that had been appointed throughout this time-frame.  The SPBASA Representatives voted Richard Empson (Vice-president at present) to be the Association's next President, effective 01-Jan-2024.  Board appointments will be announced in the near future.

Michael Flight is a founding member of SPBASA, and became the Association's first president in 2015.  During his tenure in SPBASA, South American pipe bands went from complete isolation to working together, producing nine South American Pipe Band Gatherings throughout the continent, organized workshops and competitions, and South American pipers and drummers performed multiple times at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Richard Empson, MBE, is also a founding member of SPBASA the Association's first Vice-president, host of the first South American Pipe Band Gathering (Montevideo, April 2004), M&D Adjudicator at the 7th Gathering (Santiago de Chile, November 2017) and at the 8th Gathering (Bariloche, October 2019), and SPBASA's liaison for the 9th Gathering (Montevideo, October 2022).  Richard started his pipe band career as a piper and founding member of the Southern Cross pipe band, then became a guest piper of the Omani Royal Guard Military Band (Muscat, Oman), later to be a founding member of Riverside PB (Montevideo, Uruguay), followed by also being a founding member of the City of Rome Pipe Band (Rome, Italy).  Richard rejoined the Riverside PB upon returning to Montevideo, and is currently the Drum Major of the Latitude 33 PB.  Richard has also supported the creation and organization of the South American Remote Solo Competitions, has been MC and adjudicator of Uruguay's solo piping competitions (Shamrock Cup); as well as being the Sr. D/M at most South American Pipe Band Gatherings.

We thank Michael for the dedicated years of service, and wish Richard all the best in his new role!