The Argyllshire Gathering has added an important new competition to its list of light music events. The Argyllshire Gathering MSR (Intermediate) title will be competed for at the annual games held at Mossfield Park.
First prize will be a year’s retention of the P/M RG Hardie Memorial Trophy and £50. The competition is only open to pipers who have played in the MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd competition on the first day of the Gathering and who are not eligible for ‘B’ Grade light music competitions.
Previously there were no events on Games Day for the young, under 22, competitors participating in the MacGregor, many of them fine pipers such as Charles MacDonald last year’s winner, pictured above with fellow 2015 competitors and below receiving his trophy from MacGregor organiser Angus Nicol.
The event will be sponsored by leading bagpipe firm RG Hardie & Co. Director Alastair Dunn said: ‘We already sponsor the MacGregor Memorial competition and are delighted to be able to sponsor a competition and trophy which will bear the name of our firm’s founder.’
Piping Steward Torquil Telfer, who has recently taken over from Jamie Mellor, said: ‘When the idea of the new competition was suggested to us we realised there was a gap in our list of ceol beag events. The idea has now been implemented and we feel it will encourage the younger players to stay on for the games and take part in the march to the field led by the new Gold Medallist. That way they will become inculcated into the traditions of the Gathering and feel part of the full two-day event.
‘I must stress that it is only open to pipers who PLAY in the previous day’s MacGregor. We are very grateful for the sponsorship from RG Hardie & Co.’
Competitors for the Argyllshire MSR (Intermediate) will be asked to submit three marches, three strathspeys and three reels with their entry. Entries are open here.
P/M Robert G Hardie, a pupil of Robert Reid, won the Gold Medal at Oban in 1947 playing Corrienessan’s Salute and the Senior (Open) Piobaireachd with Grain and Hides and Corn in Sacks in 1952. He was a regular adjudicator at Oban until his death in 1990. In the pipe band world he established a unique record winning five World Championship titles in a row with his band Muirhead & Sons in the 1960s.
After completing his bagpipe making apprenticeship with Robert Reid, he joined the firm of Piob Mhor in Glasgow. When it closed he set up his own company and at one time his chanters were played by all the leading players of the day.
This year’s Argyllshire Gathering is on 24th & 25th August. MacGregor entries with tunes must be submitted by Tuesday May 31st, 2016. All other entries must be in by January 31st (tunes by Aug 1). Numbers in the Gold and Silver Medals will be restricted to 30 with places in the latter determined by, ‘those ruled as being eligible, essentially the order of merit as judged by the Joint Committee based on recent track record, CPA grading and judges discretion.’