McCready scores a try, wins International Piping contest
Dungannon, Northern Ireland – May 14, 2011 – Chants of USA! USA! followed Donald MacPhee’s 20-minute freestyle performance at the first-ever International Piping in the Park solo competition that brought together six players from different countries to show their piping stuff while sporting their native colours, and while MacPhee wowed the crowd, it was Gordon McCready of Scotland who gained the overall prize. McCready donned a Scottish rugby jersey, and won the MSR trophy with “Knightswood Ceilidh,” “Caber Feidh” and “John Morrison, Assynt House.” That combined with what was described as a “great technical ability with a box of entertaining tricks and tunes” gained McCready the title of International Piping in the Park Champion.
The competition was organized by and the brainchild of the Grade 2 Aughintober Pipe Band, and followed the Co. Tyrone Pipe Band Championship held earlier in the day. Competitors were required to play an MSR and for no longer than 20 minutes; other than that, they were free to do what they wished to entertain the crowd.
Competing were Andrea Boyd, Canada; Jonathan Greenlees, Northern Ireland; James Gore, England; Donald MacPhee, USA; Gordon McCready, Scotland; and Kevin Rogers, Ireland. All of the competitors were members of either Field Marshal Montgomery or St. Laurence O’Toole.
MacPhee wore cowboy boots, a Texas A&M football shirt, three American flags and a baseball cap, and delivered a 20-minute selection that was the crowd favourite, gaining the Best Entertainer Trophy.
Kevin Rogers was joined on stage by Ronan Rogers, dressed in Bay City Rollers tribute trousers, playing a Cajon box to finish a set of Irish reels and jigs, while Jonathan Greenlees, fresh off the plane from competing in San Francisco rallied the crowd with several Filed Marshal favourites. Boyd played a range of material that reflected her piping background, including Irish, Scottish and Breton compositions. James Gore of England sported a custom made St. George’s flag bag cover and was named second overall.
The event was judged by Gary Watterson and David Caldwell.