The Lewis & Harris Piping Society have announced the pipers and judges for this year’s P/M Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition.
The prestigious event will beheld in the Caladh Inn, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, on Friday April 6 starting at 10.15am. Admission is £15.
Invited pipers are: Finlay Johnston, Ben Duncan, Niall Stewart, Roderick MacLeod, Craig Sutherland, Iain Speirs, Glenn Brown and Angus MacColl. Pipers have to play ceol mor and ceol beag mainly composed by P/M MacLeod.
The judges are Dr Angus MacDonald, Iain MacFadyen and William Morrison. Fear an Tighe: John Wilson. Organiser P/M Iain Murdo Morrison, himself a star pupil of P/M MacLeod, said: ‘Once more we will be able to guarantee the very finest piping at the Donald MacLeod and I hope the piping community both on the island and from elsewhere will join us to celebrate what is always a great day. Everyone will be made most welcome.’
A ceilidh will be held following the competition and admission to that is £5. The future of the Donald MacLeod has been secured for five years thanks to a generous donation from a wind farm charity. The contest costs in the region of £11,000 stage with air fares and hotel accommodation accounting for a lot of the expense.
P/M Morrison added: ‘This is our 25th year and I hope we have managed to bring much Donald’s music to prominence and popularity and at the same time bring the very best players to the Western Isles.’
Last year the competition received a five-year sponsorship deal with a £5,000 annual donation from wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust. Had the money not been forthcoming there was a suggestion that the competition may have had to move to the mainland to reduce costs.
Born in 1916, Donald Macleod was one of the most famous pipers of the last century. He was an outstanding player and won all the major competitions, some of them several times over. He was also a tutor and a Seaforth Highlander but it was for his prolific compositions, including 26 piobaireachds, that he is best remembered. It was to honour the man and his music that the Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition was created.
Announcing the sponsorship deal Angus McCormack, chairman of Point and Sandwick Trust, said: ‘We have a strong ethos of supporting arts and cultural activities on the island. Piping is an integral part of our culture and we are very pleased to be able to help the Piping Society in their efforts to continue this prestigious annual competition in Stornoway.’
• Read more about Donald MacLeod here. Listen to P/M MacLeod playing here.
Entries for the annual Kintyre Junior Piping Championship are now open. The competition will be held on Saturday 14th April in the Ardshiel and Seafield Hotels, Campbeltown. Entries close on 7th April. More details and entry forms here.