February 28, 2007

At least one piper un-invited to Uist & Barra

The Uist & Barra Piping Competitions are one of Scotland’s longest running solo events, and usually mark the start of the year’s contest season. But the 2007 competition, scheduled to be held on March 10 at the National Piping Centre has found itself having to retract its invitation to at least one piper apparently due the event being “over-subscribed.”

Alastair Dunn, the winner of the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting in 2007, received a call on January 28 from the Uist & Barra convenor saying that he should plan to stay home that day. He was told that organizers decided to “draw names from a hat” to decide whose invitations would remain intact.

Other pipers also were allegedly un-invited due to the numbers issue, although those names have not yet been confirmed. The Uist & Barra’s organizational problems come at a time when other major Scottish contests are finding it difficult to deliver on agreements. Dunn said that he and other pipers he knows have yet to receive prize-money won at the 2006 Argyllshire Gathering.

The Uist & Barra went to an invitation-only approach several years ago. Angus MacColl of Benderloch, Scotland, won the overall Uist & Barra title in 2006.


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