RU Brown Gold Medal and Australian Solo Piping Championships Results and Report

The three medallists James Wansink, Dennis Browning and William McArthur at the 2019 RU Brown Piobaireachd Society competition

These contest were held over two days at the Scotch College, Adelaide, South Australia, April 12 and 13. There was a strong entry in the lower grades but less so in the Clasp and Gold Medal events.

The light music competitions constitute the Australian Solo Piping Championship held over four grades. The piobaireachd prizes do not contribute to the championship but are prestigious awards in their own right.

All contests are administered by the RU Brown Piobaireachd Society of South Australia under the guidance of President Craig Masson. The evening of the first day saw a well attended recital given by an uillean piper and Highland pipers Josh Chandler and PP Editor Robert Wallace.

The winner in the D grade received a set of pipes courtesy sponsors McCallum Bagpipes. A set of pipes purchased by the Society was awarded to the winner of the C grade.

Adjudicators Malcom McRae (l) and Robert Wallace with RU Brown Clasp winner Brett Tidswell

Clasp to the Gold Medal
1 Brett Tidswell, Big Spree
2 Peter Hewlett, MacDougall’s Gathering
3 Ross Campbell, The Vaunting
Judges: M McRae, R Wallace

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Gold Medal
1 Dennis Browning, Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay
2 James Wansink
3 Liz Drury
4 Josh Chandler
Judges: B Tidswell, S Young

Silver Medal
1 James Wansink
2 Craig MacKenzie
3 David Stulpner
4 David Marriner
5 Keith Allan
Judge: M McRae

Silver Medal winner James Wansink with adjudicator Malcolm McRae

Bronze Medal
1 William McArthur
2 David Stulpner
3 Abby Dalziel
4 Keith Allan
5 Liam Nicholson
Judge: D Browning

Judge Dennis Browning and Bronze Medal winner William McArthur

A Grade MSR (two MSRs submitted)
1 Josh Chandler, Duncan MacColl, Cabar Feidh, Willie Murray
2 James Wansink, Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban, Doune of Invernochty, Dr MacPhail
3 Christopher McLeish, Lord Alexander Kennedy, Capt. Colin Campbell, Kalabakan
Judge: R Wallace

A Grade H&J
1 Josh Chandler
2 Ainsley Hart
3 Liz Drury
Judge: S Nicholson

A Grade Australian Champion: Josh Chandler

B Grade MSR
1 James Wansink
2 Shannon Ritchie
3 Graham Durant-Law
4 Brian Scown
5 David Stulpner
Judge: R Wallace

B Grade H&J
1 Shannon Ritchie
2 James Wansink
3 Jeremiah Doecke
4 Lewis Hayward
5 David Stulpner
Judge: S Nicholson

B Grade Australian Champion: James Wansink

Check out the gallery of Australian Champions in order Josh Chandler, James Wansink, Liam Nicholson and Sebastian Mignot:

C Grade MSR
1 Liam Nicholson
2 Angus Evans
3 William McArthur
Judge: N Russell

C Grade 6/8 Marches
1 Liam Nicholson
2 William McArthur
3 Angus Evans
Judge: A Chalmers

C Grade Australian Champion: Liam Nicholson

D Grade Marches
1 Sebastian Mignot
2 Liam Nicholson
3 Erin Dougan-Kittel
Judge: J McLeish

D Grade Slow Air
1 Sebastian Mignot
2 William Mulligan
3 Bryce Pearse
Judge: G Barker

D Grade Australian Champion: Sebastian Mignot

The editor writes: ‘This was once more a very well organised and well attended series of competitions. The venue is perfect and the weather so equable that the events could have been held outdoors.

‘It was a pity there were not more entrants in the senior piobaireachd events especially given the substantial prize money, the travel subsidy and the history and heritage of the RU Brown Piobaireachd Society.

‘Perhaps if the prizes in the piobaireachd were considered as part of the overall Australian Championship titles that would help boost numbers.

‘The winners in both the Clasp and the Gold Medal deserved their awards and the large numbers of youngsters coming through augurs well for the future.’

The RU Brown Piobaireachd Society of South Australia was formed to honour the memory of the late P/M Robert Urquhart Brown MBE of Balmoral who visited Australia in March 1972 at the request of the Australian Federation of Pipe Band Associations.

He began his tour in South Australia and was scheduled to finish it in Queensland. Unfortunately on the flight out he had suffered a thrombosis in his leg which proved to be troublesome but which initially seemed to respond to treatment. However, after judging in Hobart, Tasmania, at the Australian Championships he was forced to abandon his tour to return home. He died a few days after arriving back on Deeside.

Shortly after his death Ewen Masson, father of the Society’s current President, called together those who had attended P/M Brown’s weekend school and they decided to form the Association in his memory. Ewan Masson was elected President and Hamish MacKenzie Principal of Piping. Bob Brown had stayed with Hamish in Adelaide. Hamish’s father was Donald Iain MacKenzie who won the Gold Medal at Inverness in 1912 and at Oban in 1936. Both father and son were taught by John Macdonald, Inverness.

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