The National Piping Centre is organizing the first “Metro Express” series of workshops in New Jersey in mid-February, and has now added amateur solo competitions for Grade 2, 3 and 4 pipers, running in conjunction with the annual Metro Cup professional and amateur Grade 1 contests.
The new amateur events will run independently of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, and also will not be connected with the National Piping Centre’s CLASP (Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers) program, but will link with the well-established North American system.
According to the Piping Centre, a set of pipes will be awarded to each of the overall winners of the three grades, and the competitions will follow a variety of workshops from February 15th to 17th at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Newark, New Jersey. Entry to the competitions is free with registration for the workshops. An “open” event for all Grade 2-4 competitors will be held on February 15th.
A Piobaireachd event will be offered in all grades; an MSR will be held in Grade 2 and March and Strathspey & Reel events will be offered for Grade 3 and Grade 4 competitors.
Instructors and judges at the Metro Express workshops and competitions will be Chris Armstrong, Callum Beaumont, Glenn Brown, Alistair Dunn, Margaret Dunn, Alex Gandy, Bruce Gandy, Donald Lindsay, Angus MacColl, Finlay MacDonald, Willie McCallum, Jim McGillivray and Roddy MacLeod.
The annual Metro Cup Solo Piping Competitions will take place on Saturday, February 16th, and will continue to be organized by the Metro Branch of the EUSPBA.