Uddingston Pipe Band Recruiting Pipers and Drummers/ Balmoral Classic 2021 Announcement/ Glenfiddich Details

Uddingston, winners of Grade 2 at Gourock in 2019

In  2020, the Uddingston Strathclyde G4 and G2 pipe bands announced the formation of a new band intending to compete in Grade 3 to support the growth of the organisation, writes Douglas Adams, USPB Executive Committee.

With the pressures of COVID continuing throughout 2020 into 2021, a mutual decision was taken that the Grade 4 and Grade 2 bands would move forward as separate organisations. Further to this the Grade 2 band has been renamed, Uddingston Pipe Band. We made this announcement just before COVID struck so with the world getting back to some resemblance of normality, our recruiting campaign now starts in earnest.  

As the Uddingston G3 and G2 bands now prepare for the 2022 season, the Uddingston G3 band is actively seeking pipers and drummers to join its ranks. In addition, we are seeking a Leading Drummer and/or will accept an application from a complete drum corps.

P/M Alan Minty

The Grade 3 band will offer a logical step for those progressing their talent from the lower grades and will offer a continued involvement in the pipe band community for those who have competed at the higher levels but who can no longer offer the commitment required.

These players have much to offer by developing talent through teaching, and that will enable others to play at the highest level as our Grade 2 band seeks to improve on its results from the last season.

Pipe Major of the Grade 3 band is Alan Minty (pictured). Alan is well-known in the pipe band world. A resident of Uddingston, Alan was taught at the famous College of Piping from age 10 by Kenneth Maclean and later had lessons from Neil Smith and Hugh MacInnes. Alan holds the RSPBA’s Advanced Music Certificate. 

He has a wealth of Grade 1 experience having played with Toyota Pipes and Drums, Black Bottle and Scottish Power. He is a founder member and a Pipe Sergeant of the Grade 2 Uddingston Pipe Band. 

The G3 band will initially practice during the winter months on a Tuesday evenings at Calderbraes Golf Club, 57 Roundknowe Road, Uddingston G71 7TS.  For those interested in joining please contact Alan on 07796 648964 or alan.minty@sky.com. Drummers please contact Grant Cassidy at grant.cassidy95@gmail.com.

[wds id=”2″]

US Junior Solo Bagpiping & Drumming Championships to be Held Online

The 15th Annual Balmoral Classic, the only junior solo competition for both bagpipers and drummers in the USA, will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, writes Elaine Lee.

This will be a virtual event, with competitors submitting videos to our panel of world-renowned judges.

Those invited to compete may sign up for any one of three Prerecording Workshops with professional piper Sean Patrick Regan. Regan will work with competitors to ensure that they are prepared to submit their best recordings.

Schedule of Pre-Classic and Classic Events

  • Oct. 13: Application Deadline. (11:59pm HDT, or five hours past 11:59 EDT)
  • Oct. 17: Invitations to compete are issued.
  • Oct. 24: Prerecording Workshops (9-10:00am, 1-2:00pm, 7-8:00pm EDT).
  • Oct. 28: Judges’ tune selections issued to competitors.
  • Nov. 3: Recording Submission Deadline (11:59pm HDT).
  • Nov. 13: Competition Videos stream on Facebook & YouTube (8:00am-5:00pm EST).
  • Nov. 13: Awards Ceremony, live on Zoom.
  • Nov. 13: Balmoral Classic Concert, live in Pittsburgh, featuring Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas (8:00pm EST) 
  • Nov. 14: Sunday Workshops in Piobaireachd and Snare Drumming (instructors and times TBA)

‘We provided both winter and summer workshops in our second year of online instruction, with classes taught by world-class instructors,’ says Balmoral Director George Balderose. ‘This fall, we’ll be presenting our second online Balmoral Classic, fulfilling our promise to cultivate musical excellence in young pipers and drummers.’ 

Competition performances will premiere on YouTube, with LiveChat offering viewers the experience of attending a live event. Videos will also be posted on Facebook. Awards will be announced via Zoom at 7:00pm EST, with winners posted on social media immediately after.

McCallum Bagpipes will be donating a MacRae SL4 bagpipe as a prize for the Balmoral Classic’s top winning piper. Pipers apply here; Drummers apply here.


This year’s Glenfiddich returns to Blair Castle on Saturday 30th October. Competitors are defending champion Stuart Liddell, Callum Beaumont, Jack Lee, Roderick MacLeod, William McCallum, Finlay Johnston, Angus MacColl, Iain Speirs, Glenn Brown and Connor Sinclair.

The participants were selected from the only two qualifying events that have taken place, the 2020 Glenfiddich won by Stuart Liddell, and the Piping Live! Masters competition, overall winner Callum Beaumont. The other competitors were chosen based on previous achievements at the competition.

The 48th annual event will welcome live audiences to the Perthshire venue’s Victorian ballroom whilst also being livestreamed. It will be followed by the celebratory Pipers’ Ceilidh at the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry.

The Championship gets underway at 10am. With limited availability on the door, people are encouraged to buy a ticket in advance: £15 or £12 concession. 

Blair Castle and the Perthshire hills

The online show is priced at £15 and will be available to view for one week after it is first streamed. A limited number of £60 tickets for the ceilidh are also available.

Everyone who books a ticket in advance, both in-person or online, will be entered into a prize draw with the chance to win a set of pipes plus other prizes.

Judges are S Samson, J Taylor, J Wilson (Piobaireachd), and I Duncan, I MacFadyen, W Morrison (MSR).

Tickets on sale now at www.thepipingcentre.co.uk/glenfiddich

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *