Aboyne Highland Games in Aberdeenshire have become the first outdoor gathering to introduce an internet-based competition during the Covid-19 pandemic. The contest covers their Open Piobaireachd and Open March and Strathspey and Reel competitions. They will ask pipers to make an audio recording on Games Day, August 1st.
This will be sent to the Piping Convenor Jack Taylor who will send it on to the judges. Usual prize money will be awarded. Details are on the online entry form here.
Dr Taylor (pictured): ‘I hope that it will be an attractive challenge to professional pipers everywhere.
‘I’ll have to limit to about 30 players. If more enter, selection will be by ballot. So that folk can know if they are selected or not, I’ve put on a closing date quite soon i.e. 17th June. Six piobaireachds is a big ask I know, but this is what Silver and Gold Medal players were to be submitting this year.’
Only professional pipers 18 and over are eligible. Maximum around 30 play. If more enter, selection will be by ballot. If more than around 15 enter there will be two heats with five going forward to the final.
The same performance will be judged in heats and in the final but by different judges. Six piobaireachd, three marches, three strathspeys, three reels to be submitted. Tunes to be played will be chosen by ballot and given to competitors on the day immediately before they play.
Competitors will play on Games Day Saturday August 1st, 0930 – 1800 UK time (GMT+1). Each player will be given a time slot in advance, one for Piobaireachd, one for MSR. Non-UK time zone competitors will be accommodated if possible.
Competitors will be contacted by video call at that time. THEY WILL HAVE TO HAVE A SEPARATE AUDIO DEVICE READY AND BE READY TO PLAY AFTER BRIEF TUNING. They will be introduced by the steward on that device then will have a final tune up and play without a break. Pipes may be tuned between March and Strathspey and Reel. Once over each tune. Dress is at competitors’ discretion.
Competitors will then send the audio recording by online platform, e.g. WeTransfer, Google Drive, Dropbox to email@example.com.
Judging will take place over the following days, and results notified by Wednesday 5th August. Prizewinners will then be contacted individually by the Aboyne Games Treasurer for bank details. CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES 17 JUNE. Enquiries welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org