Piobaireachd Society Concert Details/ Young Piper Official Report and Pictures

Ian K MacDonald, Ontario, performing at the 2018 PS recital

The Piobaireachd Society has announced the running order for its gala concert to held as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on August 6.

The concert will take place in the highly acclaimed St Cecilia’s Hall, Niddry Street, Edinburgh, start time 7 for 7.30pm.

The tunes and the playing order is as follows:

Pipers play in continuous fashion with no tuning in the auditorium. PP editor and Society President Robert Wallace will introduce the pipers.

Tickets, priced £10 (£8 concessions), are available at the door or online via the Edinburgh Fringe Festival box office here.

Robert Wallace said: ‘St Cecilia’s provides the perfect acoustic for ceòl mòr and we believe this recital to be a wonderful opportunity to hear this music played by experts in a non-competitive atmosphere where full focus is on the music.’

There will be a reception with refreshments at the conclusion of the concert at approximately 9.30pm.

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H&I Young Piper

This is the official report of last week’s competition on Benbecula….
South Lanarkshire student Cameron May has claimed the prestigious title of Highlands and Islands Young Piper of the Year

Cameron (20) is a civil engineering student at the University of Glasgow and Pipe Sergeant with Coalburn Pipe Band. He clinched the top prize with first place finishes in the senior Strathspey & Reel and Hornpipe & Jig and second prizes in Piobaireachd and March.

By Iain Stephen Morrison

He and his friend, Luke Kennedy (20), from Strathaven, Lanarkshire, travelled to the islands to compete at South Uist Highland Games and the Young Piper, which took place on 20th July 2023.

‘It’s a good standard and anyone could win the competition,’ reflected Cameron. ‘It makes the trip and all the practice worthwhile. I’m really happy.’

Cameron May admires his trophy

His successful trip to the islands was only one stop in a busy summer of competition. ‘I try to do all the big solo competitions and get round the Highland Games in the summer. It has been a good season so far, with quite a few prizes, including, recently, at Blair Atholl.’

Cameron first learnt to play 10 years ago with his father, Robin, then started tuition under Pipe Major Donald Williams. He had lessons with Pipe Major Ross Cowan when he was in high school and now receives pibroch tuition from Robert Wallace.

He is looking ahead to more games in the coming weeks, the World Pipe Band Championships, and later in the year, solo competitions at Oban and Inverness.

Comann Phìobaireachd Uibhist agus Bharraigh (Piping Society of Uist and Barra) organises the annual Young Piper of the Year competition, which is open to pipers under 30.

Thirty-five young pipers in various age groups took part altogether, performing before judges Pipe Major Donald John MacIntyre, Dr Angus MacDonald, Michael Grey and Sir Patrick Grant.

Luke Kennedy, who travelled to the competition with Cameron May, won the senior Ceòl Mòr while Benbecula piper Kevin Beaton finished first the the senior March.

Seonaidh MacLean, 10, from Barra, won the Nanette Burt Memorial Trophy for Novice Piping. His brother, Dòmhnall Eachann MacLean, 12, almost swept the Under 15 section, coming first in the March, Strathspey and Reel and Ceòl Mòr. Seonaidh Forrest, 12, from Skye, took home the only prize in the Under 15 section to evade Dòmhnall Eachann MacLean, the Shell Bay Trophy for Jig.

15-year-old Hector Finlayson, from Kyle of Lochalsh, impressed the judges with first place finishes in every category in the Under 18 section, claiming the Colonel Greig Trophy.

Shonnie Beaton, 11, from Benbecula, won the Open Chanter, taking home the Uist Laundry and Cleaning Services Trophy and a McCallum Bagpipes chanter donated by competition sponsor, MacMillan Spirits Co.

Comann Phìobaireachd Uibhist agus Bharraigh chairman, Angus MacMillan, said: ‘It is great to see such a close contest between a talented group of young pipers. Myself and the committee extend our congratulations to Cameron May and all the other competitors. We also wish to thank the judges, sponsors and all the volunteers who helped in any way with the organisation of the competition.’

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