Published: April 30, 2012

Dan Reid cancelled due to lack of players

The 21st annual Dr. Dan Reid Memorial Invitational Solo Piping Recital-Challenge has been cancelled due to qualified performers either withdrawing or being unavailable to the exclusive San Francisco event that puts an emphasis of challenging performance over traditional competition.

Pipers who had been targeted to participate in the 2012 Dan Reid Memorial included Andrew Hayes, Jack Lee, Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl, Ian K. MacDonald, Willie McCallum, Iain Speirs and Niall Stewart, and reportedly only Hayes and MacDonald could fulfill the commitment. Six other pipers were also identified as potential recitalists/competitors, but none said that he/she was available.

The organizers decided to cancel the event, but apparently are planning to stage it again in May 2013.

The ever-more-crowded slate of opportunities for top-flight solo pipers continues to challenge event organizers. Lee and Liddell are committed to the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band concert at the Lincoln Centre in New York. MacColl and McCallum are on the road for most of April on their Pipes & Sticks on Route 66 tour. Speirs and Stewart withdrew due to work schedules.

The Dr. Dan Reid Memorial in 1992 set out to create a prestigious showcase of the world’s top solo piping talent by placing performers before a ritzy, mostly black-tie San Francisco audience. In a departure from the traditional MSR and Piobaireachd events, contestants had to deliver a sustained 45-minute show that included often obscure pieces selected from a predetermined list created by the organizers.

The Dan Reid Memorial currently includes a “Masters” category for elite players and a “Cameron-Gillies” section for “three up-and-coming young contestants” who compete in more straightforward piobaireachd, MSR and 6/8 march events.

Andrew Hayes was the overall winner of the 2011 Dan Reid Memorial. The competition memorializes a medical doctor who was a member of the San Francisco St. Andrew’s Society who died in a mountain-climbing mishap in 1991.

Organizers had not responded to a request for comment at publication time.

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