The Argyllshire Gathering are to mark their 150th Anniversary by holding a ‘live’ professional piping contest. The date is Wednesday, August 25th.
The invited pipers are all from, or have strong family connections with, the county of Argyll. They are as follows: Jamie Forrester, Alasdair Henderson, Finlay Johnston, Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl, William McCallum and Sarah Muir.
The competition will take place in the Argyllshire Gathering Halls in Oban.
The promoters propose to have a Piobaireachd, an MSR, and perhaps a short Medley contest. They will be held within covid guidelines but before a live audience and judges.
Prizemoney will be 1st: £300, 2nd: £200, 3rd: £100 with £500 for the overall winner. Commemorative medals may be struck and presented to each competing piper.
Today’s announcement follows the cancellation of the traditional Argyllshire Gathering piping competitions – for the second year running.
The Stewards of the Gathering were anxious to do something for piping given the significance of the year for them.
The day after the gathering light music competitions will be held at a curtailed Highland Games at Mossfield Park, Oban. These events will be for ‘A’ and ‘B’ grade March and Strathspey & Reel and Open Jig, with three prizes in each event and prizemoney similar to previous years.
Twenty six pipers have entered, 12 in the ‘A’ grade and 14 in the ‘B’.
The AG stress that these are not the normal Argyllshire Gathering light music events and will not earn the winners promotion to more senior events at subsequent gatherings.
The Argyllshire Gathering Silver Medal and Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society Silver Star for, respectively, ‘A’ March and ‘A’ Strathspey and Reel, will not be awarded.
The Stewards hope that all pipers will take part in the march to the games field on the Thursday morning, August 26.
Before all of this the MacGregor Memorial Pipbaireachd competition, organised by the Argyllshire Gathering in conjunction with the Highland Society of London, will continue online as last year.
Twenty nine international entries have been received and pipers will compete in two heats, four from each going forward to a final.
Competitors note: tunes will be allocated by July 23 and performances must be submitted by July 30. It is possible that the winner of the 2021 MacGregor will go forward to the 2022 Silver Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering.
Piping Steward Torquil Telfer: ‘Given that this is the Gathering’s 150th Anniversary we are delighted to be able to promote all of these contests and all within government and local authority guidelines.
‘We have been very encourgaed by the support pipers have shown for our endeavours. We are fortunate to have so many top class pipers in Argyll so the audience for the invitational event can be sure of some superb piping.’