P/Sgt Alasdair Henderson is the 2017 Northern Meeting Gold Medallist (above). He beat of a strong challenge from fellow Inveraray & District bandsman Cameron Drummond to take the coveted award at Eden Court Theatre today in Inverness. The result completed an amazing year for the 2017 World Pipe Band Champions and these pipers.
The Silver Medallist is Stuart Easton from New Zealand. In the ceol beag, Ben Duncan of the Army School took the ‘A’ MSR and Cameron Drummond the Former Winners.
Both medalists spoke to Piping Press after their victories were announced. Alasdair: ‘Really happy after I played. Pipes went well; thought the tune was nice and was quite happy with the performance. Winning the Gold Medal has been something that I’ve always dreamt of from the days of learning the pipes as a young boy.
‘Today that dream came true. For me this is the culmination of a lot of hard work over the years, studying numerous tunes, putting a lot of effort into trying to get the pipes right, the technique right. Everything just came together today and I was able to produce the performance when it mattered on the platform.’
How does he manage to combine his solo with his band work?
‘It becomes difficult at times. Obviously the band is very busy during June and July and the beginning of August. It’s really about trying to balance that and the solo work and about planning over the winter.’
A clearly overwhelmed Stuart said: ‘I’ve lost count of the number of years I’ve been coming over to Oban and Inverness. Thousands of miles, but this success makes it all worth it. It feels amazing. I’ve been close many times and I’ve worked so hard for a long time. I had a really good tune today right from the word go. Bagpipes were immaculate, got through my tune absolutely as I wanted and played as well as I could. I came off knowing I’d put my best foot forward. That’s all anyone can ask of themselves.’
Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal
1 Alasdair Henderson, King’s Taxes
2 Cameron Drummond, Lord Lovat’s Lament
3 Jamie Forrester
4 Gordon Bruce
5 Gordon McCready, MacDougall’s Gathering
Judges: IM Morrison, Dr A MacDonald, W Morrison
1 Stuart Easton, NZ, Sword’s Lament
2 Andrew Donlon
3 Alex Gandy
4 Jacob Dicker
5 Sarah Muir
Judges: I Duncan, I MacFadyen, R MacShannon
Former Winners’ MSR:
1 Cameron Drummond
2 Stuart Liddell
3 Niall Stewart
4 Iain Speirs
5 Andrew Hayes
Judges: I McLellan, M McRae, S Samson
1 Ben Duncan, Bonny Ann, Bob o’ Fettercairn, Jackie Latin
2 Alistair Lee, Leaving Lunga, Cabar Feidh, Rejected Suitor
3 Glenn Brown, P/M Sandy Spence, Top of Craigvenow, Blackberry Bush
4 Sarah Muir, Banks View, John Roy Stewart, Alick C MacGregor
5 Gordon McCready
Judges: W Cowan, R Wallace, J Wilson
Stay tuned for more from Eden Court.