Latest from the Midwest Highland Arts Fund ‘Winter Storm’ Event

The organisers of the annual ‘Winter Storm’ piping and drumming weekend have sent this from Kansas City, USA: ‘MHAF Winter Storm continues to grow in 2017.  Since 2001, The Midwest Highland Arts Fund has been striving to continuously build, improve, and grow one of the premier piping and drumming events in the world – Winter Storm.

‘This year marks as the inaugural year for amateur grades 1, 2, and 3 Piobaireachd Competition.  What is more for 2017, Midwest Pipe Band Association (MWPBA) – which is the Foundation Sponsor of Winter Storm – has made Winter Storm an MWPBA Regional Qualifier event and will invite the top three finishers in each of the three North American Amateur ceol beag grades to compete in the MWPBA Solo Piping Contest Finals, April 1, 2017 in Palatine, Illinois.

‘The MHAF Board of Directors also reports growth in Winter Storm competition entries. The previous record of 200 piping and drumming solo entries, in January, 2016, was shattered with 271 solo entries recorded for the January, 2017, piping and drumming contests.  This record-breaking number is attributed to the addition of the new North American Amateur Piobaireachd Championships and as well as with organic growth in almost every other professional and amateur piping and drumming contest.

‘MHAF is also building more sponsor and vender relationships with the addition of Airstream and Kansas City Bier Company. Airstream offers a full line of blowpipes and accessories for Highland pipers and sponsor of the newly announced North American Amateur Piobaireachd Championships for pipers Graded 1, 2, and 3. Kansas City Bier Company, makers of authentic German ‘bier’ styles, will sponsor the 2017 Winter Steam Ceilidh – the Winter Storm concert after-party and challenge.  

‘Midwest Highland Arts Fund, incorporated in 2001, promotes the Scottish Highland performing arts every January with its Winter Storm Weekend – The Pipes & Drums Event; consisting of master classes, concerts, and competitions. The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Midwest Highland Arts Fund as a tax-exempt organization under IRC § 501 (c)(3).

‘A volunteer Board of Directors governs Midwest Highland Arts Fund, and is assisted by nearly 100 volunteers who facilitate the Winter Storm Events. Winter Storm Events appeal to piping and drumming enthusiasts in the Midwest U.S., North America, and the world. The Winter Storm master classes annually attract approximately 350 piping and drumming students of all ages, a great many of whom are young learners. In addition, nearly 200 pipers and drummers enter the solo contests, and 1000 attend the public concert. The Winter Storm faculty, adjudicators, and concert performers consist of two dozen of the World’s best pipers and drummers; all of whom are World Champions and/or International Gold Medalists. Winter Storm is widely recognized as one of the finest events of its kind in the World.’

The teaching and playing line up at this event is very impressive with some of the top pipers and drummers in the world attending: Callum Beaumont, Jack Lee, Terry Lee, Stephen Creighton, Terry Tully, Stevie McQuillan, Jake Jørgensen, Ian K MacDonald, Fred Morrison, Brian Donaldson, Ken Eller, John Fisher and many more.

If you are not competing you can buy a $25 spectator pass here. Contests are held at the Winter Storm Campus Hotels on Jan 13, 2017 8:00am to 9:00pm.