February 28, 2003

Johnston, McKerrell and Weir Triumph at CPA Competition

Glasgow – February 22, 2003 – The fourth annual Duncan Johnstone Memorial Competition was held today at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. The competition is run jointly by the Competing Pipers Association and the National Piping Centre, and is restricted to CPA members graded B or C.

This event is noted for its smooth organization and detail, which allows the most promising young professionals to showcase their talents. A record 37 competitors played for a large audience, in piobaireachd, MSR and jig events, kindly supported by the Lady Margaret Watt Trust, the 1745 Association, the Keepers of the Quaich and Arthur Gillies.

In addition, this year Duncan Johnstone’s family provided substantial cash awards from the sale proceeds of Johnstone’s books and the new CD, Bows and Drones. This, combined with the usual prizes donated by CPA, resulted in a very significant prize fund.

The piobaireachd event was run in two heats, with the top four from each progressing to the final. The qualifying heats were judged by Angus J MacLellan, Colin MacLellan, Roddy MacLeod and Stuart Shedden.

Remarkably, the two youngest competitors of the day, Finlay Johnston, 17, and Callum Beaumont, 14, took top prizes in the piobaireachd event. Even more impressive is the fact that this was the first professional piping competition for both Finlay and Callum.

Simon McKerrell, piping teacher at the National Piping Centre, won the MSR and Roderick Weir, instructor at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, placed first in the jig. A feature of the jig competition is the requirement for each competitor to play a jig either composed by Duncan Johnstone, or published in one of Duncan’s books of music.

Piobaireachd (The Barbara Gillies Trophy)
1st Finlay Johnston, Glasgow
2nd Callum Beaumont, Bo’ness
3rd Margaret Houlihan, Glasgow
4th Alistair Dunn, Co. Down
5th James Thomson, Berwickshire
6th Steven Watterston, Essex
Judges: Angus J. MacLellan, Stuart Shedden

The other two finalists in the piobaireachd were James MacPhee, Glasgow and Roderick Weir, Edinburgh.

March, Strathspey and Reel (The 1745 Trophy)
1st Simon McKerrell, Glasgow
2nd Steven Watterston
3rd Darach Urquhart, Glasgow
4th Andrew Carlisle, Co. Down
5th Roderick Weir
Judges: Brian Donaldson, James Banks

Jig (The Keepers of the Quaich Trophy)
1st Roderick Weir
2nd Lynsey McNicholl, Co. Down
3rd Ryan Lessells, Coventry
4th Alistair Dunn
5th Chris Gibb, Edinburgh
6th Steven Watterston
Judges: Colin MacLellan, Roddy MacLeod


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