January 31, 2007

Haley Brinton wins Pimp My Bagpipe! contest – receives brand new Henderson pipes!

Twelve-year-old Haley Brinton of Dunedin, Florida, is the first-ever winner of the pipes|drums “Pimp My Bagpipe!” contest sponsored by R.G Hardie & Co. Bagpipe Makers of Glasgow. Haley’s entry to the contest was selected from the dozens of other submissions as the instrument and piper most deserving of a complete bagpipe make-over.

But, after considering the images of Haley’s pipes, Alastair Dunn of R.G. Hardie decided to take things one step further.

Haley Brinton at age eight, after she won her first medal playing her horrible pipes.Instead of just having her dire pipes refurbished, Haley will receive a brand new set of ready-to-play Peter Henderson PH1 bagpipes with engraved nickel mounts, personally set up by Dunn, the winner of the 2006 Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting.

The pipes carry a suggested retail price of $2,250 (£1000).

The design of the nickel will be from Hardie’s new 2007 collection to be launched later in January, and the complete instrument will be ready for Haley in about four weeks. Readers can click here to listen to the new-model pipes.

The dire instrument that won Haley Brinton of Dunedin, Florida, a brand new set of Henderson pipes from R.G. Hardie in the first 'Pimp My Bagpipe!' contest.“My piping career began in 2002 at age eight under the direction of Sandy Keith,” Haley says. “When I was ready for pipes Mr. Keith gave me a set he had purchased from a piper to help her raise money for college. They were in terrible shape. They had no bag and hadn’t been played in years. The ferules were missing, the wood cracked and repaired with electrical tape, and the ring-caps had been repaired by someone that used a billiard ball for the ivory look. Mr. Keith put on a new bag and tried to repair them.”

Haley has progressed all the way to Amateur Grade 3 using her current dismal pipes.

“These old pipes have served me well but are in desperate need of some ‘pimping’,” she wrote in her submission to the contest. “They’ve helped me win quite a few prizes including SUSPBA Champion Supreme Grade 4.”

In addition to competing, Haley volunteers her time piping for schools, civic organizations, nursing homes, churches, and community events.

Mounts falling to bits or missing and wood in unbelievably bad shape made Haley's pipes beyond-hope. So R.G. Hardie decided just to award her with a new set of Hendersons.“R.G Hardie is delighted to take part in the ‘Pimp My Bagpipe!’ competition to refurbish a set of bagpipes,” says Dunn. “The winner was very deserving, as her pipes were in bad need of repair but, more importantly, in making our decision she had won contests using the set and progressed from Grade 5 to Grade 3. On examining the photos of her pipes it became apparent that the wood was in bad condition and no amount of ‘pimping’ would improve the quality of the wood. It was therefore decided that she would be awarded a brand new set of PH1 Peter Henderson Bagpipes with one of our new 2007 engraving designs. We hope that Haley will enjoy playing her new pipes and continue to have more success.”

Congratulations to Haley Brinton on winning the first pipes|drums “Pimp My Bagpipe!” contest . . . and then some. We thank the many readers who entered the competition, and wish everyone all the best for the future.

Stay tuned for more Pimp My . . .! contests on pipes|drums!


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