Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition Details Announced

The Annual Donald MacLeod MBE Memorial Piping Competition 2016 details have been announced.

The contest, featuring some of the leading pipers in the world, is to be held in the Caladh Inn, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, on 8th April 2016. The piping begins at 10.15am, and, as last year, may be livestreamed over the internet.

Competitors are as follows:

Callum Beaumont, winner of the 2015 Northern Meeting Clasp
Finlay Johnston, Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting
Stuart Liddell, Open Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering
Angus MacColl, winner of the Former Winners’ MSR at Oban
William  McCallum, Donald MacLeod holder
Roderick MacLeod, winner of the Bratach Gorm
Gordon McCready, third placed in Northern Meeting Gold Medal and winner of the Hornpipe & Jig at the 2015 Donald MacLeod
John Angus Smith, winner of the Oban Gold Medal

Judges are Alan Forbes, Iain MacFadyen and John Wilson.
Fear an tighe: Dr John Smith; Admission: £15; Enquiries: Iain Morrison on 01851820452

Pipers are asked to play compositions of P/M MacLeod and this has led to increased popularity of his music, particularly recently his ceol mor, with his tunes now being set for Oban and Inverness and the Bratach Gorm.

Contest organiser P/M Iain Murdo Morrison was, in his competing day, a winner of all the major awards and a star pupil of P/M MacLeod. He said: ‘We are delighted to once more bring some of the leading pipers in the world to Stornoway for the Donald MacLeod. It has grown in stature over the years and has become an important fixture in the piping calendar.’

Pipe Major Donald MacLeod needs no introduction to all lovers of pipe music. He was one of the greatest pipers of the 20th century and an outstanding composer of pipe music. He was a winner of the Clasp competition at Inverness on no less than eight occasions and produced six books of ceol beag and one of ceol mor during his lifetime.

His ceol mor was a feature of the Piobaireachd Society Conference in 2013 when his beautifully constructed melodies were demonstrated and discussed by one of his former pupils, Andrew Wright. Copies of this interesting paper ‘The Piobaireachd Legacy of Donald McLeod’ are available via the Piobaireachd Society website.

One of his best-known tunes is ‘Cabar Feidh Gu Bragh’ and this was played by P/M Niall Matheson at the funeral of the late P/M Alasdair Gillies as can be heard here.

Full results from the 2015 Donald Macleod Memorial competition were:

1 William McCallum, Roderick MacDonald’s Salute
2 Iain Speirs, Lament for the Iolaire
3 Finlay Johnston, Salute to the White Primrose
4 Glenn Brown, MacMhurich’s Salute

1 William McCallum: Mrs Duncan MacFadyen,Angus Campbell’s Farewell to Stirling, Sandy MacPherson, Ewe Wi’ the Crookit Horn, The Ferryman, John MacKechnie
2 Iain Speirs: Duchess of Edinburgh, P/M J MacWilliams, Arniston Castle, Susan Macleod,Fiona MacLeod, Bessie MacIntyre
3 Gordon McCready: Knightswood Ceilidh, Lonach Gathering, Falls of Forsy, Blair Drummond, John Garroway, Willie Murray
4 Callum Beaumont: Donald MacLellan of Rothesay, Brig. Cheape, Susan MacLeod, Dora MacLeod, Fiona MacLeod, Man from Glengarry

H&J (does not count towards overall prize):
1 Gordon McCready: Raigmore, Hen’s March
2 Glenn Brown: Colin MacKay, Braes of Mellinish
3 Callum Beaumont: Donald MacLeod, Kenny Ross
4 Iain Speirs: P/M George Allan, Whatever Moreover

Judges for all 2015 events: Iain MacFadyen, William Morrison, John Wilson.