Gairloch Iain Dall Young Pipers Festival 2017

The Iain Dall Young Pipers Festival will take place in Gairloch High School on Saturday 23th September. The purpose is to encourage Under 18 pipers, from  primary school upwards, to participate in friendly and relaxed competitions.

The Festival commemorates Iain ‘Dall’ MacAoidh (1656-1754) piper to Mackenzie of Gairloch, blind from the age of seven as the result of smallpox, the legendary ‘Blind Piper’. A pupil of the great MacCrimmon of Skye, he composed some of the finest piobaireachd ever, of which about a dozen are still extant and exercise our very best pipers today. These tunes include the classic Unjust Incarceration and the Blind Piper’s Obstinacy. The picture above is of a chanter reputedly played by Iain Dall MacKay himself.

Iain Dall  was also a fine poet, and  his grandson, Uilleam Ros, the great Gaelic poet who died tragically young, is remembered particularly for his poem Moladh Gheàrrloch (In Praise of Gairloch).

Junior winners at the Iain Dall contest in 2015

There are eight Classes in the Gairloch competition; 1st, 2nd and 3rd, prizes are offered for Classes 1-7

Competition 1: Primary pupils March on practice chanter

Competition 2: Secondary pupils March on practice chanter

Competition 3: Novice march on pipes – pupils playing for less than a year (Flowerdale Trophy donated John Mackenzie of Gairloch.)

Competition 4: U15 Piobaireachd (Iain Dall Chanter donated the Clan Mackenzie Society of Scotland & the UK)

Competition 5: U15 March, Strathspey and Reel

The Iain Dall Memorial at Gairloch

Competition 6: U18   Piobaireachd (Iain Dall Quaich donated by North Highland Connections)

Competition 7: U18 March Strathspey and Reel

Competition 8: U18 Ishbel MacAskill Memorial Prize for an Original Composition for Pipes or Fiddle £100

Entries £3 by 1st September 2017

Entry forms and s.a.e to Acting Convenor, Blair Cottage, Aultgrishan, Melvaig, Gairloch IV21 2DZ or email mackenzie@iambik.org ; further information: 01455 771228