The Balmoral Classic 2020 Virtual Championships Invitation to Compete

By George Balderose

Please consider this an invitation to submit an application to compete at the fourteenth annual Balmoral Classic US Junior Solo Highland Piping Championships. Applications are due of October 14 and video recordings due between November 4 & 8, 2020. Applications should be accompanied by a fee of $50US. Contestants who are NOT chosen to compete will receive a $25 refund.

Piping judges are Robert Wallace (Scotland), President of the Piobaireachd Society, Jim McGillivray (Canada), and Scott Walker (USA). Drumming judges are Jim Kilpatrick (Scotland), Steven Sheddon (Canada), and Gordon Bell (USA).

There will be three first place piping trophies (Overall Winner, Piobaireachd, and MSR Winners) and three first place drumming trophies (Overall Winner, MSR, Hornpipe/Jig). Former first place winners are not eligible to compete. Contestants who have not reached their 22nd birthday by November 14, 2020 are eligible to apply.

Overall bagpiping winner will receive a new set of Duncan MacRae SL4 bagpipes donated by McCallum Bagpipes.

Overall drumming winner will receive a new Premier Snare Drum donated by Henderson Imports of Traverse City, Michigan. Additional prizes, medals, and scholarships will be awarded to the first five places in each piping and drumming event, similar to those of previous years. 

On Friday evening, November 13 there will be a meet and greet on Zoom for contestants and judges. The contestants’ videos will be streamed on Saturday morning and afternoon, followed at approximately 5pm by the announcement of winners and the award ceremony.

At 7.30pm a concert with Scottish fiddle master Alasdair Fraser will be streamed, followed by a Q & A with Alasdair, whose father was a piper. Tickets are $20. All contestants are provided complementary tickets to the concert. Videos of the overall winning medleys in piping and drumming will be streamed at the start of the concert’s second set.

Piping judge Robert Wallace will be conducting a free workshop on Piobaireachd on Sunday, November 15, from 11am to 12.30pm EST. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to receiving your application to compete in this year’s Balmoral Classic!

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