Deadline Nears for Historic Argyllshire Gathering Tune Competition

The deadline for the Argyllshire Gathering’s 2/4 March competition is midnight tonight – May 31. No entries can be accepted after that time. The tune is to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Gathering which began in 1871.

More than 40 entries have been received so far with less than a day remaining. Judging will begin tomorrow (June 1) with an announcement of the winner made as soon as possible after that by AG Piping Convenor Torquil Telfer.

Mr Telfer said: ‘We have been delighted by the response to the competition, receiving high quality entries from all over the world. The tunes have been forwarded to the judges under anonymous cover and from what I have seen they will have a very difficult task in selecting the winner.’

The judging panel comprises P/M James Banks MBE, Scots Guards, Robert Wallace, President of the Piobaireachd Society and Editor of Piping Press, and John Wilson formerly Strathclyde Police and Convenor of the RSPBA’s Adjudicators Panel. All three are members of the Argyllshire Gathering Piping Sub-Committee.

There is only one prize: £1,000. The Stewards of the gathering reserve the right to name the winning tune as they deem appropriate. It had been hoped that the tune would be played at this year’s Former Winners’ MSR competition but that has yet to be confirmed.

The tune will be played by the competing pipers on the march to the games in 2021 and each year thereafter, though it will not replace the tune traditionally heard as the pipers and stewards enter the games field, the Argyllshire Gathering by John MacColl.

Get that caber off the piping board……the Argyllshire Gathering’s popular Piping Steward Torquil Telfer deep in thought

Entry to the competition is free and the judges’ decision is final. Manuscript copies of tunes cannot be returned. Submissions must include the composer’s contact details: name, address, email and telephone number.

Composers are restricted to one entry each. The competition is open to all composers of pipe music worldwide. If you still have a tune to submit send it in PDF form to

Mr Telfer said: ‘The Argyllshire Gathering began in 1871 and the Stewards felt it would be fitting to have a pipe march written to commemorate this special milestone. We are considering a proposal for a quality certificate on parchment to be presented to the winner on what will be an historic occasion for piping.

‘There are other events associated with the Anniversary which we are planning and these will be announced later.

‘As regards this year’s competitions the Stewards are keeping an open mind and any changes to the arrangements will be notified to the piping public in due course.’

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