Category Archives: Piobaireachd

Victorian Solo Pipers Association Annual Championship Results and Pictures

Murray Blair reports: The Victorian Solo Pipers Association (VPA) based in Australia, recently (Saturday, Sept 9, 2017) held it’s Annual Championships at Scotch College, Melbourne. 

Formed in 2003, the VPA facilitates solo piping competitions, along with regular workshops, piping nights and has a membership of just under 100.
A focus of the association has been resurrecting the playing of piobaireachd which almost completely died out during the 90s. Its resurgence can be credited to the efforts of Jono Quay, Fiona Manson and Craig Sked, and at the recent Championships there were 31 entries out of a total of 58 pipers.
The competitions success relies on good entries and generous support is given by the Victorian Scottish Heritage Cultural Foundation, McCallum Bagpipes, Clan Maclennan, MacGillivray, Bradshaw and of significant note, the family of James A Center (bagpipemaker/piper).
The Center family donate substantial prize money to the overall A Grade Champion  (Piobaireachd, MSR, Hornpipe & Jig) along with a Sterling Silver Medal and a perpetual trophy originally won by James A Center. Jamie Hawke was the 2017 winner.
The family’s enthusiasm in supporting local piping is to be admired, and they’re also actively collating any information relating to Center bagpipes, from pictures of old sets, music, medals, and anything to do with their history.
The VPA is an association in its own right, not part of Pipe Bands Victoria. The handsome medals presented by the Association are pictured top.Simon Gibson (VPA secretary) has provided details of the results:
Overall Champion and winner of James Center Memorial Trophy & James Center Medal: Jamie Hawke

Jamie Hawke with the James Centre Memorial Trophy

A Grade
Piobaireachd and Victorian Pipers Association Gold Medal
1 Jamie Hawke, Lament for Hugh
2 Andrew Roach, Lament for Donald of Laggan
3 Jonathan Quay, The Park Piobaireachd No.2
4 Simon Gibson, Lord Lovat’s Lament
Judge: Greg Wilson

2/4 March
1 Jamie Hawke
2 Katherine Belcher
3 Josh Chandler
4 Andrew Roach
5 Jonathan Quay
Judge: Greg Wilson, Craig Sked

1 Jamie Hawke
2 Katherine Belcher
3 Josh Chandler
4 Jonathan Quay
5 Andrew Roach
Judge: Greg Wilson, Craig Sked

1 Jamie Hawke
2 Josh Chandler
3 Andrew Roach
4 Will Sincock
5 Katherine Belcher
Judge: Nat Russell, Mark Saul

VPA Silver Medallist Josh Chandler

B Grade
Piobaireachd and Victorian Pipers Association Silver Medal
1 Josh Chandler
2 Robert Wilkinson
3 Craig McKenzie
Judge: Greg Wilson

2/4 March
1 Josh Chandler
2 Simon Gibson
3 John Bamford
4 Stacey Riches
5 Gabrielle Doecke
Judge: Nat Russell, Craig Sked

1 Josh Chandler
2 Anna Doecke
3 Stacey Riches
4 Simon Gibson
5 Gabrielle Doecke
Judge: Nat Russell, Craig Sked

1 Josh Chandler
2 Simon Gibson
3 Anna Doecke
4 Stacey Riches
5 Robert Wilkinson
Judge: Matt Fraser, Mark Saul

C Grade
Overall Champion and winner of Clan MacLennan Shield:
Matthew Rutley

Piobaireachd and Victorian Pipers Association Bronze Medal
1 Andrew Jenkins
2 Stacey Riches
3 Imogen Williams
4 Liam Stapleton
5 Roger Sinclair
Judge: Andrew Roach

VPA Bronze Medallist Andrew Jenkins

2/4 March
1 Matthew Rutley
2 Angus Evans
3 Imogen Williams
4 Craig McKenzie
5 Liam Stapleton
Judge: Nat Russell, Matt Fraser

1 Dan Whelan
2 Angus Evans
3 Matthew Rutley
4 Imogen Williams
5 Erin Russell
Judge: Nat Russell, Matt Fraser

1  Matthew Rutley
2 Angus Evans
3 Erin Russell
4 Charlie Cooper
5 Liam Stapleton
Judge: Will Sincock

D Grade
Overall Champion and Winner of Bradshaw Family Trophy:
Johnny Cameron

No piobaireachd contest held for this grade

2/4 March
1 Angus Bodon
2 Johnny Cameron
3 Hugh Hosking
4 Kelly Cheng
5. Anna Blanch
Judge: Murray Blair, Simon Gibson

1 Johnny Cameron
2 Amy Ryan
3 Kelly Cheng
4 Callum Cooper
5 Bill Cameron
Judge: Murray Blair, Simon Gibson

6/8 March
1 Johnny Cameron
2 Callum Cooper
3 Sebastian Kritikides
4 Roger Sinclair
5 Eva Ryan
Judge: Nat Russell, Matt Fraser

Novice Grade
Overall Champion and Winner of Clan MacGillivray Shield:
Jasmine Hofen

1 Amy Ryan
2 Jasmine Hofen
3 Rosie Ryan
Judge: Greg Wilson

2/4 March
1 Jasmine Hofen
2 Nicholas Buckley
3 Max McCulloch
4 Zeb Lyons
5 Louis Cameron
Judge: Katherine Belcher, Jamie Hawke

1 Zahli Clark
2 Max McCulloch
3 Jasmine Hofen
4 Nicholas Buckley
5 Zeb Lyons
Judge: Katherine Belcher, Jamie Hawke

All-Ireland Solo Piping & Drumming Results

Last Saturday (September 15) saw the All Ireland Solo Piping and Drumming Championships take place at the Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun, Dublin.
There was an excellent entry across the grades although a few of the drumming sections were on the low side however the standard of playing was of the highest quality. The picture above is of FMM pipers Kris Coyle, winner of the Senior Piobaireachd event, and Ashley McMichael runner-up in the Senior Piping.
The adjudication panel comprised some very experienced personnel with Tim Farrelly, Jim Semple, Jennifer Hutcheon (Piping),  William Morrison and Michael Egan (Piobaireachd), Stephen Creighton, Jim Baxter and Paul Turner (Side Drumming) and John Dunne and Derek Doyle (Bass and Tenor Drumming).  The following were the results of their deliberations:
Senior Piping:
1 Scott Wallace (Field Marshal Montgomery) – above
2 Ashley McMichael (Field Marshal Montgomery)
3 Kevin Rogers (St Laurence O’Toole)
Intermediate Piping:
1 Seán Maloney (Closkelt
2 Cameron Hume (Closkelt
Noel Kelly (St Lawrence, Howth
Junior A Piping:
1 Scott McKay (Scottish Power)
2 Alastair Donaghy (Field Marshal Montgomery)
3 Cillian Hartford (St Maurs)
Junior B Piping:
1 Tim Wharton (Joseph Forde Memorial)
2 Joshua Truesdale (Upper Crossgare)
3 Cillian Bissett (St Maurs)

Juvenile Piping Under 14:
1 Jack Hamill (McDonald Memorial)
2 Brady Annett (Lisnamulligan)
3 Emma Ferguson (Matt Boyd Memorial)

Juvenile Piping Under 16:
1 Beth Preston (PSNI)
2 Jordan Gibson (Marlacoo & District)
3 Nathan Coburn (Portavogie)
Piobaireachd A:
1 Kris Coyle (Field Marshal Montgomery)
2 John McElmurry (Matt Boyd Memorial)
3 Ashley McMichael (Field Marshal Montgomery)
Piobaireachd B:
1 Ryan Cupples-Menendez (PSNI)
2 Craig Davidson (Scottish Power)
3 Dion Boyle (Bleary and District)
First and third placed Michael McKenna and Steven Creighton of St Laurence O’Toole PB, Dublin

Senior Drumming:

1 Michael McKenna (St Laurence O’Toole)
William Glenholmes (Vale of Atholl)
3 Stephen Creighton (St Laurence O’Toole)
1 Matthew Wenlock (Vale of Atholl)
2 Dean Smyth (Field Marshal Montgomery)
3 John Murphy (Closkelt)
Junior Drumming A:
1 Glenn Creighton (St Laurence O’Toole)
2 Rob Barrett (St Laurence O’Toole)
3 Denis Lane (Closkelt)
Junior Drumming B:
1 Brian Hasson (Colmcille)
2 Lauren Irvine (Lomond & Clyde)
Colm Aherne (St Joseph’s Clondalkin)
Juvenile Drumming Under 14:
1  Tiernan Kavanagh (Arklow)
2 Jamie Kerr (Major Sinclair Memorial)
3 Arren McWilliams (PSNI)
Juvenile Drumming Under 16:
1 Daniel Mulcahy (Closkelt)
2 Fionn Murphy (New Ross & District)
3 Lee Montgomery (Quinn Memorial)
Juvenile Drumming Under 18:
1 Richard Black (Syerla)
Tenor Drumming: Grades 4B/5:
1 Demi Moore (Kildoag)
2 Oliver McIlwaine (Major Sinclair Memorial)
3 Vutaute Plekaviciute (De La Salle)
Grade 4A:
1 Claire Bracken (St Lawrence, Howth)
2  Amy McKeown (Tullylagan)
3 Rebecca Patterson (Tullylagan)
Grade 3:
1 Aoife Bissett (St Maur’s)
2 Calum Smyth (Quinn’s Mem.)
3 Zoe Abraham (Battlehill)

Grade 2:
1 Ryan McGavigan (Manorcunningham)Grade 1:

1 Jordan Bailie (Inveraray & District)
Cameron Sinclair (Vale of Atholl)
3 Craig Rogers (Ravara)
Open Bass Drum:
1 Robert Coady (McDonald Memorial)
Ewan Smyth (Quinn Memorial)
3 Jordan Bailie (Inveraray & District)

Silver Medal Tunes for 2018 Available for Download/ Grade 3a Band Looking for Leading Drummer

The Piping Press Shop now has a full set of recordings of tunes set by the by the Music Committee of the Piobaireachd Society (PS) for the 2018 Silver Medal competitions at Oban and Inverness.

They are played in full on the practice chanter by Piping Press editor Robert Wallace more or less as published by the Society but with some differences as handed down in oral tradition. These differences are usually, but not always, recorded in the notes to the tunes in the PS collection. By playing along with these recordings the piper may get an idea of the song of the tune and how to link its passages, phrases and variations. Robert strongly advises additional tuition from a qualified tutor for anyone entering these important competitions.

The tunes are Chisholm’s Salute, Desperate Battle of the Birds, Glengarry’s March, Grain in Hides and Corn in Sacks, Lament for the Little Supper, MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart and MacLeod’s Salute. Access the recordings here:

The above picture shows 2017 Silver Medallists at the Argyllshire Gathering and the Northern Meeting, Cameron MacDougall, Nigg, and Stuart Easton, New Zealand. Both pipers now go forward to compete for the coveted Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal presented annually at both gatherings.

Wallacestone Pipe Band have sent this: ‘Following the departure of former Leading Drummer Stewart Gardener at the end of the 2017 season Wallacestone Pipe band are opening applications from interested parties to take on the role.

‘Following promotion to grade 3A at the end of 2016 Wallacestone has had one of its most successful seasons in the last 20 years, winning the European and UK championships and securing the Champion of Champions title in our grade.

‘Prospective candidates should have Grade 1 experience and ideally have led a drum corps, but this is not essential.

‘Pipe Major Neil Henderson: “This is an exciting opportunity at an exciting time for the band. We have a talented, driven and ambitious band that is only going forward. We want someone with the same traits to come in and drive the drum corps on to future success.”

‘Candidates are asked to send a covering letter through the band website or by email by 5th October 2017.

‘Wallacestone Pipe band is recognised as the oldest competing civilian pipe band in the world having been formed in 1887. The band is led by Pipe Major Neil Henderson and is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year. In 2016 the band was runner-up at the World Championships and in the Champions table in 3B. The band practice in Grangemouth British Legion just 30 minutes from both Glasgow and Edinburgh.’

Springbank Invitational Results (Updated)

The annual competition sponsored by the local Springbank Distillery and organised by William McCallum was held on Saturday, Sept 15. It affords the local piping community in Campbeltown and Kintyre the the opportunity of hearing some of the best pipers on the professional circuit. The above picture shows all competitors with trophies and generous helpings of the sponsors’ fine brew.

Ceol Mor
1 Roderick MacLeod, Lament for MacSwan of Roaig
2 Alasdair Henderson, MacDougall’s Gathering
3 Gordon McCready, The Vaunting
4 Iain Spiers, In Praise of Morag

1 William McCallum, Capt. Campbell of Drum a Voisk, Angus Campbell’s Farewell to Stoirling, Dora MacLeod, Susan MacLeod, Roddy MacDonald’s Fancy, Man from Glengarry
2 Calum Beaumont, Miss Elspeth Campbell, Mrs Duncan MacFadyen, Tulloch Castle, Bob o’ Fettercairn, Cockerel in the Creel, Drumlithie
3 RoderickMacLeod, Clan MacColl, Argyllshire Gathering, Lady Loudon, Sheherd’s Crook, Grey Bob, Sheepwife
4 Alasdair Henderson, Duke of Roxburgh’s Farewell to the Blackmount, Inveran, Piper’s Bonnet, Bob o’Fettercairn, Sandy Cameron, Mrs MacPherson of Inveran

Hornpipe / Jig
1 Alasdair Henderson, Hazel Thompson, Michael MacDonald’s Jig
2 Angus MacColl, Kyle Howie’s Hornpipe, Calum’s Bridge
3 Gordon McCready, Captain’s Pledge, P/M Jimmy MacGregor
4 William McCallum, St Valery, Kenny MacDonald’s Jig

6/8 March
1 Angus MacColl, MacNeil of Ugadale
2 Roderick MacLeod, Braes of Scotland
3 William McCallum, P/M Ronnie MacCallum
4 Gordon McCready, Highland Brigade Depot

Judges: IM Morrison, I MacFadyen, J Wilson

US Piping Society Repeat Popular Piobaireachd Composing Competition

The Shasta Piping Society in California has announced that it is to repeat its very successful piobaireachd composing competition over the 2017 -2018 northern hemisphere winter. The main sponsor is the Burley Bagpipe Company of Naramata British Columbia.

This competition calls for copies of original piobaireachds to be submitted by composers to a panel of qualified judges: Robert Wallace (Chair), Bill Livingstone (Canada) and Chris Terry (South Africa). Mike Cusack, a judge on the previous contest panel, has had to decline this year following the Hurricane Harvey disaster which badly affected his school in Houston, Texas.

The piobaireachd submissions must be original to the composer(s), of any style, and cannot have been published before. Prize awards for the top three compositions will be £500/£250/£100. Submissions must be received by April 1, 2018, and winners will be announced in May 2018.Last year’s competition was won by Jori Chisholm of Seattle (above). He received £500 ($670). Jori’s tune was the unanimous choice of the judges. Runner up was Dave Mason of South Africa who received £250 ($325) with John Bottomley, Director of Piping at the US Military Academy at West Point, third, receiving £100 ($130). Listen to these winning tunes on the PP Audio Archive.

Piobaireachd Competition Rules:

1 Composers must have reached the age of 21 by the final submission date.

2 Piobaireachd submissions must be original to the composer(s), and not been published before.

3 Entries submitted for prior contests supported by these sponsors are not eligible for consideration.

4 Submissions may be of any form (Lament, Salute, etc.), specifically written for solo bagpipe performance.

5 Only one submission is allowed from each composer.

6 Submissions must be sent electronically, attached to an introductory email with the composer’s contact information, and received by April 1, 2018 at the email address:

7 The musical score must be submitted as a PDF file labelled ‘SPS Contest’, with no indication of the composer’s identity or composition title. The score must be generated by computer in a recognizable arrangement format (PS, Binneas, McIntosh). Hand-written scores or notations on the computer-generated score are not accepted.

8 Submissions must also include an audio electronic file (MP3) of the composition played on pipes or practice chanter, with no voice or identifying markers. Label the MP3 file: ‘SPS contest’. The player on the audio file is not required to be the composer(s).

Composers will retain all copyright, but by entering the contest the composer(s) agree to grant the sponsors free right to publish the score in a music collection and use partial recordings of the arrangement to advertise future competitions.

Composers must have the ability to receive monetary awards from the sponsors by PayPal account. All decisions made by the representatives of the sponsors are final.

Judging: Piobaireachd score and audio entries will be catalogued, provided individual identification, and sent under blind cover to the panel of judges. Results of the competition will be announced to each of the composers during May, 2018, and announced to the public on and the Shasta Piping Society website shortly thereafter. Awards will be distributed within 30 days of the announcement of winners by PayPal payment.

Shasta Piping Society was formed in 2013 as a philanthropic music venture. The Society was created to foster interest and proficiency in the music of Scotland and provide refurbished instruments to disadvantaged youth.