The prestigious Highlands & Islands Festival piping competitions take place a week on Saturday (April 30th) in Oban. There is a healthy entry in all grades. Adjudicators on duty are Iain MacFadyen, Colin MacLellan, Ronald MacShannon, Stuart Samson, Stuart Shedden and Tom Speirs.
The Highlands & Islands Festival was recently honoured by the Scottish Government. A reception at the Holyrood parliament was hosted by local MSP Mike MacKenzie who paid tribute to the festival’s contribution to the culture of the west Highlands.
For this year’s senior piping there are five prizes in each class. There is also an extensive programme of junior piping. All events are held at Oban High School starting 9am. The playing order in the P&A Piobaireachd is:
Check out last year's winners here. The picture up top shows Darach Urquhart after another successful day at the games. Darach was the winner of the 2015 P&A Piobaireachd at the Highlands & Islands with the Earl of Ross's March. Darach has started 2016 well taking second place at the Scottish Pipers' Association Piobaireachd last weekend and will be hoping to defend his title with a good performance.
In the H&I B Grade, is Andy Wilson, Northern Ireland, who took top honours at the same competition. Further success for Andy and it won't be long before he is playing in the As.
Fresh from his win in the Duncan Johnstone contest, where he was placed first in the C Grade Piobaireachd, is young Connor Jardine from Airdrie. The Duncan Johnstone was Connor's first professional competition and he will be hoping to build on that success at Oban.
Also playing at Oban is double silver medallist Gordon Bruce who showed a welcome return to form with a commendable third prize in the SPA ceol mor.