US Piping Society Repeat Popular Piobaireachd Composing Competition

The Shasta Piping Society in California has announced that it is to repeat its very successful piobaireachd composing competition over the 2017 -2018 northern hemisphere winter. The main sponsor is the Burley Bagpipe Company of Naramata British Columbia.

This competition calls for copies of original piobaireachds to be submitted by composers to a panel of qualified judges: Robert Wallace (Chair), Bill Livingstone (Canada) and Chris Terry (South Africa). Mike Cusack, a judge on the previous contest panel, has had to decline this year following the Hurricane Harvey disaster which badly affected his school in Houston, Texas.

The piobaireachd submissions must be original to the composer(s), of any style, and cannot have been published before. Prize awards for the top three compositions will be £500/£250/£100. Submissions must be received by April 1, 2018, and winners will be announced in May 2018.Last year’s competition was won by Jori Chisholm of Seattle (above). He received £500 ($670). Jori’s tune was the unanimous choice of the judges. Runner up was Dave Mason of South Africa who received £250 ($325) with John Bottomley, Director of Piping at the US Military Academy at West Point, third, receiving £100 ($130). Listen to these winning tunes on the PP Audio Archive.

Piobaireachd Competition Rules:

1 Composers must have reached the age of 21 by the final submission date.

2 Piobaireachd submissions must be original to the composer(s), and not been published before.

3 Entries submitted for prior contests supported by these sponsors are not eligible for consideration.

4 Submissions may be of any form (Lament, Salute, etc.), specifically written for solo bagpipe performance.

5 Only one submission is allowed from each composer.

6 Submissions must be sent electronically, attached to an introductory email with the composer’s contact information, and received by April 1, 2018 at the email address:

7 The musical score must be submitted as a PDF file labelled ‘SPS Contest’, with no indication of the composer’s identity or composition title. The score must be generated by computer in a recognizable arrangement format (PS, Binneas, McIntosh). Hand-written scores or notations on the computer-generated score are not accepted.

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8 Submissions must also include an audio electronic file (MP3) of the composition played on pipes or practice chanter, with no voice or identifying markers. Label the MP3 file: ‘SPS contest’. The player on the audio file is not required to be the composer(s).

Composers will retain all copyright, but by entering the contest the composer(s) agree to grant the sponsors free right to publish the score in a music collection and use partial recordings of the arrangement to advertise future competitions.

Composers must have the ability to receive monetary awards from the sponsors by PayPal account. All decisions made by the representatives of the sponsors are final.

Judging: Piobaireachd score and audio entries will be catalogued, provided individual identification, and sent under blind cover to the panel of judges. Results of the competition will be announced to each of the composers during May, 2018, and announced to the public on and the Shasta Piping Society website shortly thereafter. Awards will be distributed within 30 days of the announcement of winners by PayPal payment.

Shasta Piping Society was formed in 2013 as a philanthropic music venture. The Society was created to foster interest and proficiency in the music of Scotland and provide refurbished instruments to disadvantaged youth. 

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