Northern Ireland Piping Society’s ‘Piper of the Year’ competition took place in the Adair Arms Hotel, Ballymena, County Antrim, on Saturday 7th October 2023, writes Ken Stewart.
Champion Piper was James Fraser of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. James was fresh from his victory at the All Ireland Solo Piping last month.
He is pictured left with his trophies.
This was the first PotY event since covid. The Piobaireachd, MSR and H&J events were adjudicated by Donald MacPhee and John Reville.
Results were as follows:
1st James Fraser, Nameless, Hiharin Dro o Dro
2nd Marc Warnock, Flame of Wrath for Patrick Caogach
3rd Scott Wallace, King’s Taxes
1st James Fraser
2nd Scott Wallace
3rd James Stone
4th Marc Warnock
H/pipe & Jig
1st James Stone
2nd James Fraser
Best Junior – Marc Warnock
It is worth noting that Marc Warnock is classified as a junior competitor yet he has a grasp of ceòl mòr way beyond his years. It is really encouraging to have younger players with such a passion to study piobaireachd and perform at this level.
Mike Egan is our resident reader at the Piper of the Year. He travels from Limerick to fulfil this role and has not missed an event, both competing and reading, since its inception in 1995.