October 21, 2023

2023 World Solo Snare Drumming Champion: Kerr McQuillan; Cameron Sinclair wins Tenor title

Glasgow – October 21, 2023 – After a semi-final round of 30 total and five qualifying competitions during the year at various locations, Kerr McQuillan of Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia won the 2023 World Pipe Band Snare Drumming Championship, held at Glasgow Caledonian University and staged by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and Glasgow Life. The Final comprised 12 contestants, six from each of the Semi-Final groups.

McQuillan’s win ended Inveraray & District’s Steven McWhirter’s 10 straight World titles. McQuillan took both the MSR and Hornpipe & Jig events in his first year playing in the Adult section of the event and capped a storybook year after winning the World Pipe Band Championship and the UK Championship in his first season as leading-drummer of Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia.

Kerr McQuillan on his way to becoming the 2023 World Solo Snare Drumming champion in his first time competing in the event.

The eight Adult Final judges often disagreed significantly in their rankings. In one instance, two judges were nine places apart on a competitor. Ties were broken by a competitor’s highest placing from a judge.

The day after the event, the RSPBA revealed that it had published an incorrect prize list on its website. St. Laurence O’Toole’s Stephen Creighton was published as fifth overall, and Craig Brown of Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia sixth, contrary to what was announced at the event. The organization later removed the post, but not before it caused considerable confusion.

The World Solo Tenor Drumming Championships were also held, and it was Cameron Sinclair of Police Scotland Fife who took the top prize. The Adult section of the event saw 21 contestants play a single final performance with no qualifying process.

1st Kerr McQuillan (17 total points)
2nd Steven McWhirter (20)
3rd Gareth McLees, Field Marshal Montgomery (Northern Ireland) (29)
4th Wiliam Glenholmes, Field Marshal Montgomery (30)
5th Stephen Crieghton, St. Laurence O’Toole (Republic of Ireland) (57)
6th Craig Brown, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (57)
7th Jake Jörgensen, ScottishPower (Scotland) (61)
8th David Henderson, Police Scotland Federation (65)
9th Steven Shedden, Hawthorn (Australia) (68)
10th Derek Cooper, Ulster Scottish (USA) (70)
11th Gavin Orr, Johnstone (Scotland) (74)
12th Blair Brown, Simon Fraser University (Canada) (76)

MSR (submit two sets, play one)
1st Kerr McQuillan (3,2,2,3)
2nd Steven McWhirter (1,5,1,5)
3rd William Glenholmes (6,1,5,1)
4th Gareth McLees (7,3,4,2)
5th Steven Shedden (8,7,3,4)
6th Stephen Creighton (4,4,6,11)
7th Craig Brown (2,6,11,9)
8th David Henderson (9,9,7,7)
9th Jake Jörgensen (10,8,9,6)
10th Gavin Orr (5,11,12,12)
11th Blair Brown (12,10,8,10)
12th Derek Cooper (11,12,10,8)
Judges: Stuart Coils, Adrian Hoy, Brian Martin, Paul Turner

Hornpipe & Jig (own choice; one “dot and cut” hornpipe, one “open rhythm” hornpipe and two jigs in whatever length and style preferred)
1st Kerr McQuillan (2,1,1,3)
2nd Steven McWhirter (1,3,3,1)
3rd Gareth McLees (5,4,2,2)
4th William Glenholmes (4,2,5,6)
5th Jake Jörgensen (3,11,4,10)
6th Craig Brown (6,5,11,7)
7th Derek Cooper (10,8,6,5)
8th Stephen Creighton (9,6,9,8)
9th David Henderson (7,10,12,4)
10th Gavin Orr (11,7,7,9)
11th Blair Brown (8,9,8,11)
12th Steven Shedden (12,12,10,12)
Judges: Jim Baxter, Paul Brown, Alex Dudgeon, Mark Wilson

[Be sure to watch our February 2023 feature conversation with McQuillan and Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia P-M Ross Harvey]

Qualifiers for Final from Semi Final Group 1 (alphabetically by last name)
Craig Brown
Stephen Creighton
William Glenholmes
David Henderson
Steven McWhirter
Steven Shedden

Qualifiers for Final from Semi Final Group 2 (alphabetically by last name)
Blair Brown, Simon Fraser University (Canada)
Derek Cooper
Jake Jörgensen
Gareth McLees
Kerr McQuillan
Gavin Orr

Also competing in the Semi-Final round (alphabetically by last name): Blair Beaton, 78th Fraser Highlanders (Canada); Richard Black, Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (Scotland); Alex Buchanan, Field Marshal Montgomery; Grant Cassidy, Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia; Matthew Cole, Matt Boyd Memorial (Northern Ireland); Glen Creighton, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia; Mackenzie Forrest, Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia; Cameron Lawson, Inveraray & District; Greg Fullerton, Johnstone (Scotland); Robert Graham, Simon Fraser University (Canada); Ryan King, Edradour Pitlochry & Blair Atholl (Scotland); Alexander Kuldell, MacMillan (USA); Eric MacNeill, City of Dunedin (USA); Fionn Murphy, St. Laurence O’Toole; Matthew Shaw, Ravara (Northern Ireland); Anael Tanguy, ScottishPower; and Chloe Taylor, ScottishPower.

Juvenile 1 (younger than 14)
1st Jacob Laird, Bready Ulster-Scots (Northern Ireland)
2nd Ethan Young, Syerla & District (Northern Ireland)
3rd Nicholas Anton D’Couto, Uddingston Strathclyde (Scotland)
4th Gregor Noble, Burntisland & District (Scotland)
5th Ga Yeon Oh, George Heriot’s School (Scotland)
6th Alfie Poutney, Strathallan School (Scotland)

Juvenile 2 (14-17 novice)
1st Aaron Christie, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia
2nd Robbie Casey, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia
3rd Damon Wright, Scots School Albury (Australia)
4th Alex Lin, George Heriot’s School
5th Janey MacLellan, Renfrewshire Schools (Scotland)
6th Roan Busher, Burntisland & District

Juvenile 3 (younger than 14 MSR)
1st Lewis Doherty, Mannorcunningham (Ireland)
2nd Jamie Coffey, Field Marshal Montgomery
3rd Nicholas Bowden, St. Thomas Episcopal School (USA)
4th Ryan Shi, George Heriot’s School
5th Matthew Brownlee, Syerla & District
6th Liam Jansen, West Lothian Schools (Scotland)

Juvenile 4 (14-15 years old)
1st Tommi McAndrew, Port Lethan & District (Scotland)
2nd Joshua Green, Closkelt (Northern Ireland)
3rd Mark McKendrick, Renfrewshire Schools
4th Adam Bell, Lower Clyde (Scotland)
5th Dylan Gillespie, George Heriot’s School
6th Emily Hough, George Watson’s College

Juvenile 5 (16-17 years old)
1st Sebastien Arguelles, St. Thomas Episcopal School (USA)
2nd Robbie Pate, Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (Scotland)
3rd Hollie Chalmers, Shoots & Dykehead Caledonia
4th Samuel Hanna, Broughshane & District (Northern Ireland)
5th Georgia Eagle, St. Andrew’s College (New Zealand)
6th Benjamin Walker, Battlehill (Scotland)

Several finalists featured full drumming and pipe chanter rests in their Hornpipe & Jig performances, testing the judges’ tolerance for anything radical by fuddy-duddy pipe band standards.

Adult (21 competed, 18 and older)
1st Cameron Sinclair, Police Scotland Fife (Scotland)
2nd Jordan Bailie, Inveraray & District
3rd Jill Watson, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia
4th Andrew Elliott, Field Marshal Montgomery
5th Briana McDonald, Police Scotland & Federation
6th Iona Underwood, ScottishPower
Judges: Trevor Buckley, Stevie McQuillan, S. Muir

Juvenile 1
1st Kian Byrne, Preston Lodge High School (Scotland)
2nd Eilidh Scottland, Preston Lodge High School
3rd Surina Curley, Strathallan School (Scotland)

Juvenile 2
1st Arifa Rizvi, Scots School Albury (Australia)
2nd Megan Dailly, High School of Dundee (Scotland)

Juvenile 3
1st Mitchell Olding, Robert Malcolm Memorial (Canada)
2nd Angel Blackhurst, Kilmarnock (Scotland)
3rd Tiffany Shi, George Heriot’s School (Scotland)
4th Anna Irvine, Dollar Acadamy (Scotland)
5th Chloe Donald, Kilmarnock (Scotland)
6th Amy Clelland, North Lanarkshire Schools (Scotland)

Juvenile 4
1st Flora MacNab, Vale of Atholl (Scotland)
2nd Lily Page, George Watson’s College (Scotland)
3rd Grace Thomson, George Watson’s College
4th Kayla Morrison, Preston Lodge High School
5th Emily Gormley, Uddingston Strathclyde

Juvenile 5
1st Kali Currie, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia
2nd Eleanor Whyte, Buchan Peterson (Scotland)
3rd Ellie-Mae Preston, Closkelt
4th Lucy Moller, Burntisland & District
5th Tyler Hunter, Dollar Academy
6th Max Millichip, Stirling & District Schools

The Snare Adult Final event was streamed on YouTube Live and had more than 500 viewers from around the world at its peak. The RSPBA elected to leave the live chat on during the live-stream, resulting in several defamatory and possibly libellous comments, mainly about the judges.

Despite sponsorships and a “partnership” with Glasgow Life, there was no prize money for prizewinners or other compensation for performers.

In addition to hearing the best pipe band snare drummers in the world, the audience was treated to several world-class piping performances accompanying the competitors.

There were concerns about the venue, with the tuning and final performance rooms substantially different temperatures and the final tuning room described as being like “a jail cell.”

At the prizegiving, RSPBA Chair Kevin Reilly thanked the 55 volunteers who helped put on the event and the audience for attending. He also announced a new Champion of Champions Solo Snare Drummer award, with new events soon to be revealed.






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