Published: April 30, 2012

Australasians in hands-to-hands combat at new recital-challenge

While one “recital-challenge” solo piping event in San Francisco is cancelled due to lack of available competitors, another some 13,000 kilometres away in Ballarat, Australia, will launch on the eve of the Australian Pipe Band Championships.

Modeled closely after the famous Lord Todd Bar Invitational Recital Challenge held in Glasgow on the Thursday night before the World Pipe Band Championships, the Ballarat event will draw well known antipodean pipers Stuart Easton, Martin Frewen and Jamie Hawke of New Zealand; Australians Ian Lyons and Andrew Roach; and Craig Sked of South Africa in hand-to-hand competition sponsored by the Bagpiper Company, makers of the popular “Bagpiper” Pipe Case.

On offer is a prize of AUS$1,000 to the winner, who will be selected by a panel of five secretly appointed judges planted in the audience, the same system used at the Todd Bar Competition. The playing requirement is also very similar, with pipers encouraged to “wow” the audience, provided they include in their selection a traditional MSR and the urlar of a piobaireachd.

According to organizers the event at the George Hotel, Ballarat, is “almost sold-out,” with tickets priced at AUS$10, and those 12 and younger free.

The Australian Pipe Band Championships are held bi-annually, and the 2010 competition was held in Caloundra, Queensland.

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