The Glenfiddich Champion for 2016 is Roderick MacLeod. He was placed first in Ceol Mor to take the overall title. Runner-up overall was William McCallum with Bruce Gandy in third. The annual competition was held as usual in the Great Hall at Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Perthshire. Those unable to travel to the event were able to watch it on Livestream which at one point peaked at 7,000+ viewers. The main picture shows the 2016 winner with the magnificent Blair Castle Great Hall in the background.
1 Roderick MacLeod, Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay
2 Stuart Liddell, Lament for the Children
3 Iain Speirs, Nameless Cherede Darievea
4 Jack Lee, Lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar
5 Bruce Gandy, Scarce of Fishing
1 William McCallum, Major Manson at Clachantrushal, Dora MacLeod, John MacKechnie
2 Bruce Gandy
3 Angus MacColl
4 Finlay Johnston
5 Iain Speirs
Afterwards, in a broadcast interview with journalist Fergus Muirhead, Roderick MacLeod said: ‘I was very surprised to win and just hoped my name would pop out in the results somewhere and obviously the piobaireachd preference carried the day in a very tight contest. I am delighted.’
The Balvenie Medal for Services to Piping was won by Edinburgh-based adjudicator and teacher Tom Speirs. Prizes were presented by Mr Nick Addington, Chief Executive of the William Grant Foundation.
Invited pipers were all from Scotland except where indicated:
Bruce Gandy (Nova Scotia)
Jack Lee (British Columbia)
Ian K. MacDonald (Ontario)
Piobaireachd judges: Iain MacFadyen, William Morrison and Jack Taylor.
March, Strathspey & Reel judges: Ian Duncan, Ian McLellan and Iain Morrison.
Fear an Tighe (host): John Wilson.
Points were awarded in each discipline and the piper with most declared champion. The first winner of the Glenfiddich Championship, then known as the Grant’s Championship, was James McIntosh, this in 1974.
Pipers had to submit six piobaireachd and six marches strathspeys and reels of their own choice. The competition was organised by the National Piping Centre and is sponsored by the William Grant Foundation and attracted a substantial audience of guests and paying listeners.
Last month the Foundation announced cuts to its piping sponsorship and the discontinuation of the Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship. Read more about the Foundation here www.williamgrantfoundation.org.uk.
Read a review of the 2014 Glenfiddich here. Check later for full results.