The Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP) was set up by the National Piping Centre in 2003 to give adult amateur pipers a competition platform through a series of grading competitions held yearly throughout Scotland and the UK.
In its 20 years, CLASP has evolved, gaining a global membership base. To celebrate this milestone, CLASP is working with other events across the world to create a premier amateur solo piping competition.
By Helen Urquhart
The inaugural World Amateur Champion of Champions is on 27th April 2024 and is an invitational contest.
It will feature the top 10 amateur pipers selected from qualifying events across the globe. Generous sponsors are David Naill Bagpipes, who have donated a set of engraved nickel pipes as the prize for the overall winner.
Whilst CLASP qualifying events are for those 18 years and above, for events outwith the CLASP system, any qualifying competitor who is under 18 will be invited.
CLASP have set up an international panel to ensure the top amateur pipers in the world can be selected from the appropriate qualifying competitions.
Pipers will be required to play both Piobaireachd and MSR. The 10 qualifying events are the Grade 1 overall champions at:
Glengarry Highland Games, Maxville, Canada – 4th August 2023 (In-person)
World Solo Amateur Piping Competition @ Piping Live! – August 2023 (In-person)
The Nicol Brown, USA – November 2023 (In-person)
George Sherriff competition, Canada – November 2023 (In-person)
The CLASP ‘Live Online’ November 2023 (Online)
The Sun Belt in Florida November 2023 (In-person)
Winter Storm – January 2024 (In-person)
Metro Cup – Feb 2024 (In-person)
The CLASP ‘Live Online’ Feb 2024 – Overall Grade 1 winner (Online)
The BC Indoor Competition – April 2024- Overall Grade 1 winner (In-person)
Special thank you to Bob Worrall who has assisted with the North American qualifying events.
For any duplicate winners, the panel will decide on the piper(s) who will fill the place and will look at other prize winners in the lists. For example we may look at an association’s overall league table where the standard has been particularly competitive.
The CLASP will host the event ‘live’ on Zoom. Qualifying pipers will work with event organisers to set up a good quality audio stream to give audience members a good quality experience.
The competitors will video record their ‘live performance’ and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org on the competition day.
This event is open to audiences across the world. Register in advance to watch the stream live on the day, compere Bob Worrall. To tune in live, audience members need to book their ticket via this link. Tickets are £5.
Results will be announced a few days after the event, live via The CLASP Facebook page.
There is no specific qualifying event in Australia or New Zealand, however a number of the qualifying events are online, and open worldwide, giving any amateur who would like to participate the opportunity to compete to qualify.
There is a possibility of Grade 1 amateur pipers being promoted before this event takes place and are fully aware this may be the case for some pipers. However, the qualifying timeline from August 23 – February 24 to the competition date (April 2024) is only a nine month period and any amateur piper who has qualified and made the move into professional grade would not have competed even a season in professional competition. Therefore, the qualifying amateur pipers will receive an invite to compete in the Champion of Champions.
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