Congratulations to all the participants in the 34th annual United States Piping Foundation Amateur and Professional Piping Championships, held in memory of founder Maclean Macleod, writes Mike Rogers. This year’s events were unique to say the least! Due to the global pandemic, all events were held online, and judged via YouTube. Perhaps due to elimination of travel obstacles, there was an unprecedented entry for this year’s competitions, with 33 Amateurs and 34 Professionals competing from throughout North America.
Piobaireachd and MSR events were held for Professional and Grade 1 Amateur competitors. Professional competitors submitted six tunes of their own choice in each category, and Amateur competitors submitted four tunes of their own choice. Professionals were required to play their MSR twice through. On Wed, 17 June, competitors were notified of the judges’ tune selections, and they were given until 8pm EST on Sat, 20 June to submit their videos via YouTube link, at which time the judging commenced.
The Donald MacPherson Silver Quaich Amateur Piobaireachd Competition: Each competitor submitted four tunes of their own choice.
1. Stuart Marshall (Stokesdale, NC), MacLeods’ Salute
2. Kevin Darmadi (Houston, TX), Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon
3. Sandy Adams (Vancouver, BC), MacLeod’s Controversy
4. Stanton Man (Raleigh, NC), Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay
5. Jessica Bain (Halifax, NS), Lament for Donald of Laggan
The Seumas MacNeill Silver Quaich Amateur March, Strathspey, and Reel Competition: Each competitor submitted four of each type of tune, and played a set selected by the judges.
1. Ross Davison (Ottawa, ON), John MacDonald’s Welcome to South Uist, Tulloch Castle, and Capt. Lachlan MacPhail of Tiree
2. Jessica Bain, Inveran, Duncan Lamont, and Peter MacFarquhar
3. Sandy Adams, The Centenary Jewel, P/M Hector MacLean, and Bessie MacIntyre
4. Stanton Man, (Raleigh, NC) P/M John Stewart, Tulloch Gorm, and Lt. Col. D.J.S. Murray
5. Tyler Destremps (Bethlehem, PA), Arthur Bignold, Fiddler’s Joy, and Arnish Light
Overall Amateur results: The competitor with the highest point accumulation from the Piobaireachd and MS&R competitions receives the U.S.P.F. Silver Buckle and round trip airfare to Scotland and two weeks tuition at an approved venue in Scotland. The overall winner also received the USPF Silver Buckle. Scholarships were awarded to approved Piping Schools to overall rankings 2 through 5:
1. Sandy Adams
2. Stuart Marshall
3. Jessica Bain
4. Ross Davison
5. Kevin Darmadi
Also competing in the Amateur events but not in the prize list: Eric Albert (Springfield, OR); Mitchell Arnold (Aurora, ON); Sebastian Benedetto (Cape Neddick, ME); Adam Blaine (San jose, CA); Gillian Blaney (Lower Sackville, NS); Alex Burlew (Pittsburgh, PA); Evan Burlew (Pittsburgh, PA); Thomas Cangelosi (Arlington, VA); Dane Grant (Pictou County, NS); Tyrone Heade (Seattle, WA); Colin Johnstone (Aurora, ON); Kayleigh Johnstone (Aurora, ON); Ryan Kavanagh (Pittsburgh, PA); Alexandra Knox (Woodbine, MD); Elizabeth Knox (Woodbine, MD); Steven Knox (Woodbine, MD); Scott Long (Dartmouth, NS); Patrick MacDonald (M. Sackville, NS); James Malcolm (Lower Sackville, NS); Alasdair Martin (Huntersville, NC); Gillecriosd Mason (Blossvale, NY); Liam Murray (Dartmouth, NS); Laura J. Neville (Wrightstown, NJ); Cameron Nixon (Waynesville, NC); Jim Roberts (Norfolk, VA); Michael Trenor (Columbus, OH); Brady Webb (Westville, NS).
The St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia Silver Quaich Professional Piobaireachd Competition: Each competitor submitted six tunes of their own choice. Prizes: 1st – $1000; 2nd – $800; 3rd – $600; 4th $400; & 5th – $200.
1. Derek Midgley (Tinton Falls, NJ), Lord Lovat’s Lament: listen here
2. Bruce Gandy (Dartmouth, NS), Lament for the Children
3. Ian K. MacDonald (Whitby, ON), Lament for Donald Ban MacCrimmon
4. Sean McKeown (Bowmanville, ON), Battle of the Pass of Crieff
5. Andrew Carlisle (Pittsburgh, PA), Lament for the Earl of Antrim
Overall USPF Professional Results: The competitor with the highest point accumulation from the Piobaireachd & MSR competitions receives the U.S.P.F. Silver Buckle. In addition to the prize monies noted above, the overall winner also receives trans-Atlantic airfare from the East Coast to Glasgow, Edinburgh, or London, UK, to compete at eligible senior competitions.
1. Bruce Gandy
2. Derek Midgley
3. Sean McKeown
4. Alex Gandy
5. Ian K. MacDonald
Also competing in the Professional events but not in the prize list: Tony Adkins (Richland, WA); Maeghan Bielski (Middleboro, MA); John Bottomley (Bethlehem, PA); Andrea Boyd (Toronto, ON); Liz Cherry (Fort Walton Beach, FL); Brad Davidson (Waterloo, ON); Austin Diepenhorst (Santee, CA); Andrew Donlon (Germantown, MD); Bobby Durning (Salem, MA); James Feeney (West Simsbury, CT); Jeremy Freeman (Cornwall on Hudson, NY); Andrew Hutton (Brantford, ON); Tyler Johnson (Oak Park, MI); Richard King (San Diego, Ca); Zephan Knichel (Port Coquitlam, BC); Teddy Krogh (Anchorage, AK); Dan Lyden (Timonium, MD); Ben McClamrock (Washington, DC); Michael McLeod (Greenwood, SC); Ben Montross (Montpelier, VT); Matt Pantaleoni (Saint Louis, MO); Patrick Regan (Dallas, TX); Sean Regan (Aliquippa, PA); Andrew Rogers (Fredericton, NB); Peter Skae (Old Tappan, NJ); Blaise Theriault (Eastern Passage, NS); Mary Wallace (Richmond, VA); Jack Williamson (Topeka, KS).
Adjudicators for the Professional events were: I Duncan and R McShannon. The organisers are indebted to the gracious sponsors that make this event possible, including: The Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming, The Dunvegan Foundation, Lyon College, NHScot Fund (New Hampshire Highland Games), The St. Andrew’s Society of Baltimore, The St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia.