Australia’s Silver Chalice/ Govan Pipes and Drums Concert

Sunday 9th April saw the New South Wales Piper’s Society hold their long running annual Silver Chalice competition at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Sydney, Australia.

Unfortunately there was a smaller than normal entry with only five competitors turning out. Despite the low turnout the guest judge, Marion Horsburgh of New Zealand, commented on the enjoyable and high standard of playing. Jason Craig was the winner for the second year in a row.

Results were:

Silver Chalice Piobaireachd
1st Jason Craig, Scarce of Fishing (pictured)
2nd Dennis Browning, Old Men of the Shells

Ron Clement March, Strathspey and Reel
1st Jason Craig, Craig-n-Darroch, P/M Hector MacLean, Sandy Cameron
2nd Sam Creed , John MacDonald of Glencoe, Dora MacLeod, Dolina MacKay 

The Easter weekend sees two other big contests in the Antipodes: The Maclean Highland Gathering in northern New South Wales, Australia, and the Hastings Highland Games in the North Island of NZ. We would ask the promoters to forward results and thus share them with our thousands of readers worldwide.

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Iain White, Chairman of the Board of the Govan Schools Pipes and Drums Association, has sent this regarding the inaugural concert recital they are holding on April 22 at the College of Piping:

‘The inaugural Govan Schools Pipes and Drums Association Recital brings together the Govan Schools band, double Gold Medallist Callum Beaumont, Grade 1’s new kids on the block, Johnstone Pipe Band, and Gaelic singer Bethany Watson for an evening of Scottish traditional music in the College of Piping on Saturday 22nd April.

Callum Beaumont after his recent victory at the Uist & Barra

The idea is to give our fledgling pipers and drummers another chance to play in front of an audience whilst allowing them to hear some of the best talent that there is around in the solo and pipe band worlds today.  We are grateful to the College of Piping for granting us the use of the premises where so much good is done in the name of piping and drumming.  It will be a thrill for our young players to be on the same bill as Callum and Johnstone Pipe Band and to have their aspirations lifted by the quality performances that they hear.

We want them to leave  the recital saying ‘That could be me some day’!  Of course, any profit we make from the door, the auctions and raffles will help to fund the GSPDA tuition programme and the GSPDA band.  We hope that piping’s ‘usual suspects’ who are to be seen listening intently at all the competitions and recitals will turn out to swell the numbers who’ll be there to support the two pipe bands. 

Around 100 young people have lessons each week at the two local secondary schools and their associated primaries. The instructors – Iain Watson and Iain MacPherson in piping and Stevie Burns in drumming – are well known for their Strathclyde and Glasgow Police Pipe Band connections.  Apart from funding from the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust to help with tuition, the programme is entirely self-financing, accessing help from sponsors, charitable trusts and fund-raising events.  It costs upwards of £40,000 per year to run the programme and the Govan Schools Pipes & Drums Association band.

Entry on the evening will be by donation at the door.  There will be a couple of prizes up for auction and a grand raffle.  The College of Piping is supplying a cash bar so everything is in place for another fun evening in Otago Street.’

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