2022 Northern Meeting Day 1: USA’s Nick Hudson wins Gold Medal; Canada’s Alex Gandy first in Silver Star; NZ’s Willie Rowe takes Silver Medal; Scotland’s Alasdair Henderson wins A-Grade MSR
Inverness, Scotland – September 1, 2022 – The first day of the two-day Northern Meeting Solo Piping Competitions marked the return of the prestigious event at Eden Court Theatre in the Capital of the Highlands after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nick Hudson, originally from Massachusetts but who lived in Pittsburgh for many years and is now living in Houston, was the winner of the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal for piobaireachd. Hudson becomes only the fourth American-born piper, after his teacher, Michael Cusack, also of Houston, became the first American to gain one of the Gold Medals in 1984 at the Argyllshire Gathering, and then at the Northern Meeting Gold Medal in 1987. Michael Rogers of Maryland won the award at Oban in 2000, and Donald MacPhee, born in Michigan, won at Inverness in 2005. Hudson played the technically challenging and musically subtle top-hand tune, “Lament for the Laird of Anapool.”
2022 Argyllshire Gathering Gold Medallist Jamie Forrester placed second, narrowly missing the elusive Double – winning both Highland Society of London Gold Medals in the same year – which has occurred only 12 times in the more than 150-year history of the competitions.
The Silver Medal was won by Willie Rowe of Rata, New Zealand, in an event limited to 28 players. A few hours passed before the result was announced. Rowe now gets to compete in the Gold Medal competitions at Oban and Inverness, while Hudson qualifies to play in the Clasp at Inverness and Senior Piobaireachd at Oban.
In the final event of day one, Alex Gandy of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, won his second Silver Star Former Winners MSR title. He won the event for the first time in 2018. In another historical first, Bruce Gandy, also of Dartmouth, was fifth in the prizes, marking what is believed to be the first time that a father and his son gained a prize in the contest.
In the first result announced, Alasdair Henderson of Dunoon, Scotland, won the A-Grade MSR. With the win, Henderson qualifies to compete in the Silver Star Former Winners MSR in perpetuity.
A total of 91 pipers are competing in the senior (18 and older) events over the two days, only three of whom are women.
The Gold Medal and Silver Star MSR were streamed on the internet for £15 access to both events. Online viewership for the Gold Medal topped out at about 75 enthusiasts worldwide . There were a few glitches with audio dropping for several minutes at a time. The final performance of the event, Sandy Cameron’s Gold Medal performance of “The Red Speckled Bull,” was silent.
The Silver Star finished around 10 pm with the audience eager for a bevvy and a blether. Sadly, the Eden Court Theatre bar was closed.
Hudson and Alex Gandy earn invitation so the 2022 Glenfiddich Championships in Blair Atholl, Scotland, on October 29th. They join Jack Lee (2020 Glenfiddich Champion), Glenn Brown (2020 Bratach Gorm winner), Callum Beaumont (overall London champion; Masters Champion), Jamie Forrester (Argyllshire Gathering Gold Medallist), Connor Sinclair (Argyllshire Gathering Former Winners MSR), and Angus D. MacColl (Argyllshire Gathering Senior Piobaireachd). There are two spots remaining for the Glenfiddich, with tomorrow’s Clasp first- and second-prize-winners getting the nod if they have not already qualified.
Highland Society of London Gold Medal (25 competed)
1st Nick Hudson, Houston, “Lament for the Laird of Anapool”
2nd Jamie Forrester, Haddington, Scotland, “Lament for the Children”
3rd Angus J. MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland, “MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute”
4th Alastair Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, “The Earl of Seaforth’s Salute”
5th Ben Duncan, Edinburgh, “The MacDougalls’ Gathering”
Judges: Bruce Hitchings, Jim McGillivray, Ronnie McShannon
Also competing (alphabetical): Gordon Bruce, Kilwinning, Scotland; Sandy Cameron, Roybridge, Scotland; Andrew Carlisle, Pittsburgh; Stuart Easton, Palmerston North, New Zealand; Alex Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; Bill Geddes, Glasgow; Steven Leask, Glasgow; Cameron MacDougall, Nigg, Scotland; James Mackenzie, Back, Isle of Lewis, Scotland; Ben McClamrock, Washington, DC; Gordon McCready, Renfrew, Scotland; James McHattie, Summerside, Prince Edward Island; Sean McKeown, Bowmanville, Ontario; Derek Midgley, Tinton Falls, New Jersey; Sarah Muir, Irvine, Scotland; John Mulhearn, Carluke, Scotland; Innes Smith, Glasgow; Craig Sutherland, Crieff, Scotland; and Darach Urquhart, Glasgow.
Silver Medal (28 competed)
1st Willie Rowe, “Lament for Hugh”
2nd Calum Brown, Petercoultter, Scotland, “The Phantom Piper of Corrieyairack”
3rd Andrew Ferguson, Dollar, Scotland
4th Jamie Elder, Auchtermuchty, Scotland
5th Bobby Durning, Carollton, Texas
Judges: Euan Anderson, Patricia Henderson, Bill Wotherspoon
Also competing (alphabetical): Scott Armstrong, Auckland; Ursa Beckford, Washington, DC; Xavier Boderiou, Landrevarzec, Brittany; Ruairidh Brown, Dunblane, Scotland; Finlay Cameron, Fort William, Scotland; Greig Canning, Kirkcaldy, Scotland; Kris Coyle, Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland; John Dew, Glasgow; Jacob Dicker, Hammond, Ontario; Mike Fitzhenry, Paisley, Scotland; Eddie Gaul, Dundee, Scotland; Alex Gehrig, Oberwil, Aargau, Switzerland; Liam Kernaghan, Dunedin, New Zealand; Zephan Knichel, Surrey, British Columbia; Anna Kummerlow, Kladrum, Germany; John McDonald, Aberdeen; Ashley McMichael, Antrim, Northern Ireland; Ross Miller, Glasgow; Alastair Murray, Moon Township, Pennsylvania; Matt Pantaleoni, St. Louis; Willie Rowe, Manawatu, New Zealand; Jonathon Simpson, Bo’ness, Scotland; Calum Watson, Edinburgh; and Brodie Watson-Massey, Edinburgh.
Silver Star Former Winners MMSSRR (17 competed)
1st Alex Gandy, Marches: “Jimmy Young,” “Dr. Allan MacDonald.” Strathspeys: “Kirstie McCallman’s Favourite,” “The Ewe wi’ the Crookit Horn.” Reels: “Alick C. MacGregor,” “Neil Angus MacDonald”
2nd Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland
3rd Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland
4th Finlay Johnston, Glasgow
5th Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Judges: Ian Duncan, Michael Grey, Stuart Samson
Also competing (alphabetical): Callum Beaumont, Dollar, Scotland; Angus D. MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland; Ben Duncan; Andrew Hayes, Nepean, Ontario; Ian K. MacDonald, Whitby, Ontario; Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia; Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow; Gordon McCready; Fred Morrison, Bishopton, Scotland; Iain Speirs, Edinburgh; and Greg Wilson, Christchurch.
A-Grade MSR (35 competed)
1st Alasdair Henderson
2nd Alastair Lee, Surrey, British Columbia
3rd John Mulhearn, Glasgow
4th Steven Leask, Irvine, Scotland
5th Craig Sutherland, Crieff, Scotland
Judges: Peter Hunt, Iain MacFadyen, Ian MacLellan
Also competing (alphabetical): Calum Brown; Glenn Brown, Glasgow; Gordon Bruce; Greig Canning; Andrew Carlisle; Gordon Conn, Calgary; Seamus Coyne, Claremont, California; Stuart Easton; Michael Fitzhenry; Jamie Forrester; Bill Geddes; Steven Gray, Lockerbie, Scotland; Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh; Nick Hudson; Angus J. MacColl; Liam Kernaghan; Cameron MacDougall; James Mackenzie; Ben McClamrock; James McHattie; Sean McKeown; Ashley McMichael; Derek Midgley; Sarah Muir; Willie Rowe; Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland; Innes Smith, Glasgow; Darach Urquhart; Calum Watson; and Matt Wilson, Dollar, Scotland.
Stay tuned to pipes|drums for more results from the 2022 Northern Meeting as they become available.