Maclean Highland Gathering NSW – Updated with Report and Pictures

Report from the 113th Maclean Highland Gathering held 14th April 2017 in northern New South Wales, Australia. The picture above shows winner Andrew Roach in typical Antipodean formal dress.

Robert Gibb writes: For the 113th time in its long history, the annual Maclean Highland Gathering was held on Easter weekend over the 14th and 15th of April.  The Friday focusses on solo piping with all grades represented. ‘A’ grade competitors compete in the Maclean Gold Medal contest comprising Piobaireachd, MSR, Hornpipe and Jig, and Air sections.

Those placed gain good prizemoney, and in addition the presentation each year of the solid gold James MacSwan Medal to the overall winner (with silver and bronze to those 2nd and 3rd) which certainly adds to the prestige of the event.

L-R: Games Chief Peter Smith with prizewinners Robert Gibb, Andrew Roach, and Jason Craig

With the A grade piping being held in the evening, a great atmosphere develops around the various contests. Fellow competitors, enthusiasts and local residents alike monitor the results  as they come in, eagerly taking stock of who is the current front-runner for the medal.

The Saturday features many of the familiar games events including the heavies, Highland dancing, and pipe bands from Juvenile to Grade 2. The official opening of the games on the Saturday comprises a public presentation of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals for piping and the ‘Legends’ award. For 2017 the latter was presented jointly to Sam Young and his wife Liz, both internationally recognised piping and Highland dancing personalities respectively.

Following Saturday’s events Alasdair Henderson, official guest piper of the games, gave a well received recital to a packed audience at the Maclean Services Club. There is a great spirit around the games, which are well run, and well supported by locals and those from further afield.

Andrew Roach plays the lament at the opening of the games with prizewinners, organisers, and ‘legends’ Liz and Sam looking on

Piping is one of the pillars of the whole weekend, and pipes played both officially and unofficially are warmly appreciated by all – even a late night discussion in the main street on a number of piobaireachd featuring illustrations on the pipes did not raise an eyebrow!

Overall A Grade:
1st and MacSwan Gold Medal – Andrew Roach
2nd and MacSwan Silver Medal – Jason Craig
3rd and MacSwan Bronze Medal – Robert Gibb



A Grade piobaireachd:
1st – Robert Gibb, The Vaunting
2nd – David Marriner, Lament for Mary MacLeod
3rd – Mark McKenzie, Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay
Judges: Tam McGirr and Sam Young

A Grade MSR:
1st – Andrew Roach
2nd – Jason Craig
3rd – Robert Gibb
Judges: Alasdair Henderson and Hazel Osborne

A Grade hornpipe/jig
1st – Andrew Roach
2nd – Jason Craig
3rd – Mark McKenzie
4th Amos Fox
Judges: Alasdair Henderson and Gordon Ferguson

A Grade slow air
1st – Jason Craig
2nd – Andrew Roach
3rd – Mark McKenzie
Judges: Garry Barker and Gordon Ferguson

MacSwan Memorial slow air
1st – Jason Craig
2nd – David Greenhalgh
3rd – Mark McKenzie
Judge: Gordon Ferguson


One thought on “Maclean Highland Gathering NSW – Updated with Report and Pictures”

  1. Just for the record at the Maclean Contest, 3rd place in the “MacSwan Memorial Slow Air” was awarded to Dennis Browning.
    As usual the Maclean Gathering is the highlight in the competition calendar – great piping and even better craic.

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