The Northern Meeting Piping competitions have attracted a new sponsor. The Clan Donald Lands Trust has become the main sponsor of the prestigious Clasp piobaireachd at the Northern Meeting offering a new trophy and increased prize money.
The competition, which began in Inverness in 1841, will take place at Eden Court Theatre at the end of August.
Major General Seymour Monro, Chairman of the Northern Meeting Piping Trustees, said he was thrilled that the Clan Donald Lands Trust had offered such a generous sponsorship deal:
‘The Clan Donald Lands Trust is a fitting sponsor to have on board as it has clearly demonstrated for decades its support for the full range of the Gaelic Performing Arts, and in particular piobaireachd, and CDLT’s sponsorship of the world’s premier solo piping competition is certainly in line with that tradition.
‘The Lands Trust was established to preserve the heritage and lands of Clan Donald and our competition aims to preserve the heritage of solo piping and ensure its future, so it is a perfect partnership.
‘The Clasp is the most important of the competitions held at the Northern Meeting.
‘It is only open to previous winners of the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting or the Argyllshire Gathering.
‘The Clan Donald Lands Trust has agreed to sponsor it to the sum of £5,000 annually and with a further £500 added to the first prize which now totals £1000. The Lands Trust will also present a unique trophy in the form of a CDLT targe – or shield – for the winner to keep.’
Lord Godfrey Macdonald of Macdonald, representing the Trustees of the Clan Donald Lands Trust, observed: ‘The ancient MacDonald Lords of the Isles saw it as their responsibility to support, encourage, and develop the Gaelic culture in all its forms.
‘The Lords of the Isles built churches, supported monasteries, were patrons of dancing, clarsach playing, poetry and, of course, piping. For more than 30 years, the Clan Donald Lands Trust, in the name of great Clan Donald, has been pleased to carry on this important responsibility.’
Major General Monro added: ‘Funding has been a huge challenge for the Northern Meeting Piping Competition Committee. Despite being an efficient and largely voluntary organisation, the annual operating costs for the past three years have exceeded income, so the timing of the Clan Donald Lands Trust’s funding could not have been more welcome. We are hugely grateful for their support.
‘With the notable exception of the Inverness Common Good Fund, who have once again agreed to support the competition, this financial help from the Clan Donald Lands Trust is the most significant sponsorship we have had in many a year.’
He continued: ‘We urge others to follow the Clan Donald Lands Trust’s lead, and there are a range of sponsorship and display opportunities available.
‘We are also reducing some ticket prices and increasing our marketing efforts to encourage more people to come and hear really wonderful music and especially the Clasp competition.’
The Northern Meeting Piping Competition will take place at Eden Court Theatre on August 29 and 30.
To find out more about sponsorship visit the new section of the website: www.piping.northern-meeting.org