PP Ed’s Blog: George Sherriff/ Balmoral Classic/ SG Juniors/ Abbey Piper/ NSW Solos

Planning your piping weekend? Three top events to choose from in North America and here. Firstly in Ontario  we have the annual George Sherriff Memorial Invitational for amateur pipers.

Organiser Bob Worrall has sent this: The 21st Annual competition is on Saturday, November 19, 2016 in St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, 70 James St. S., Hamilton, Ontario; Admission: $10 ($5 for students)
Master of Ceremonies: Michael Grey
Adjudicators: Andrew Hayes (Ottawa, Ontario), Shaunna Hilder (British Columbia), and Donald MacPhee (Scotland).
6/8 Marches: 10 a.m.
Piobaireachd: 12:30 p.m.
March, Strathspey & Reel: 7:30 p.m.
The 10 top Grade One Pipers from across Canada and the United States have been invited to this event. They are selected on the basis of the results from the 2016 competitive season.
MAEGHAN BIELSKI – Middleboro, Massachusetts
AUSTIN DIEPENHORST – San Diego, California
ANDREW HUTTON – Brantford, Ontario
TORI KILLORAN – Pitt Meadows, British Columbia
ROGER HOLLAND-LYE – Coquitlam, British Columbia
GAVIN MACKAY – Kitchener, Ontario
MICHAEL MCLEOD – Greenwood, South Carolina
CHRISTIAN RHOADS – St. Louis, Missouri
ALEXANDER SETO – Aurora, Ontario
SARAH SIMPSON – Cavendish, Prince Edward Island

2015 Sherriff winner Austoin Diepenhorst with adjudicator Ian Duncan
2015 Sherriff winner Austin Diepenhorst with adjudicator Ian Duncan

balmoral-classic-logoIn Pittsburgh PA we have the Balmoral Classic. Organiser George Balderose reports: The Friday evening reception is at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, one of Pittsburgh’s oldest private clubs, where we will have our instructors’ recital. There are twelve piping contestants from five states and Ontario registered for Saturday’s contest, and we’ll be greeting them and the members of the Toronto Police Pipe Band at the Friday evening reception, 7-10pm. There will also be music provided by the Road to the Isles folk group and demonstration dances by the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dancers. Saturday sees a gala concert from Toronto Police (pictured top) which includes double Gold Medallist P/Sgt Ian K MacDonald and twice runner-up P/M Sean MacKeown. More details on this great weekend here.


Closer to home we have the Scots Guards Junior competition at Inchdrewer House in Edinburgh this Saturday from 10am. Get along to support the youngsters if you can. Contact organiser Jimmy Banks MBE for more.


The NSW State Solo Championships were held at Scots College, Sydney on Sunday 10th November. There was a good turnout with 11 competing in the ‘A’ grade events. Results were:

A Piobaireachd:
1st: Mark McKenzie – The Bicker
2nd: Jason Craig – His Father’s Lament for Donald McKenzie
3rd: Garry Barker – Glengarry’s March
Judge: Sam Young

‘A’ 2/4 March:
1st: Jason Craig 2nd Garry Barker 3rd: Mark McKenzie
Judge: June McLeish

‘A’ Strathspey & Reel:
1st: Jason Craig 2nd: Charlie Hunter 3rd: Garry Barker
Judge: June McLeish

‘A’ Hornpipe & Jig:
1st: Gary Watt 2nd: Jason Craig 3rd: Mark McKenzie
Judge: Sam Young

‘B’ Piobaireachd:
1st: Alasdair Caveney 2nd: Sam Creed 3rd: Harry Walters

‘B’ 2/4 March:
1st: Sam Creed 2nd: Alasdair Caveney 3rd: Graham Durant-Law

‘B’ Strathspey & Reel
1st: Ken McLeish 2nd: Sam Creed 3rd: Harry Walters

‘B’ Hornpipe & Jig
1st: Sam Creed 2nd: Ken McLeish 3rd: Graham Durant-Law


Still down under, journalist Murdoch Rogers is trying to trace a Father Chrysostom (Denis Alexander) a Benedictine monk from Australia who taught at Fort Augustus Abbey School south of Inverness. Father Chrysostom was a piper and was at the school from 1960 until 1978 when he returned to Australia. Mr Rogers says that whilst here Father Chrysostom was very active in piping and took lessons from the late Andrew MacNeill and James Campbell and was also a member of Drumnadrochit Piping Society and known locally as the ‘Piping Monk’. In Australia he conducted lessons at his home in the Campsie district of Sydney. If anyone has any information please pass it on and we’ll forward it to Mr Rogers.