December 31, 2007

New Grade 1 Amateur piping contest on tap in Toronto

The Toronto Branch of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) is planning to hold a new piping competition for “the top Grade 1 solo players in the province of Ontario.” The annual event is to be held in February and will be named “The John Wilson Memorial Contest,” pending approval of Margaret Wilson, the famous piper’s widow.

PPBSO Toronto Branch President Gary Moore stated that the competition will be by invitation and comprise three events: Piobaireachd, MSR and 6/8 March, essentially following the same format as the George Sherriff Memorial and Nicol-Brown competitions, both fall events for top amateur or junior pipers.

“This event is not intended to replace or overshadow other well known and prestigious events such as the George Sherriff Invitational, the Nicol-Brown, or the Metro Cup,” Moore said. “It is however intended to complement these events.”

Moore listed these objectives for the new contest:

  1. Encourage, promote and recognize the top Grade 1 solo players in the province of Ontario.
  2. Provide our Ontario players with the opportunity to play in a format and venue that will assist them in their preparation for the international competitive stage.
  3. Support and promote the world class tuition and instruction available within the province.

The intention is for the competition to be judged by pipers who once received tuition from John Wilson, who moved from Edinburgh to Ontario in the 1940s and is credited by many as being a driving force in the formulation of Ontario’s competition system. Wilson taught dozens of pipers and bands until his death in 1979.

Moore added, “Our intention is to award as part of the prize packages tuition and accommodation at Ontario School of Piping & Drumming at St. Andrew’s College and the Kingston School of Scottish Music and Dance. At present we are actively soliciting prizes and financial support for the event.”

Tentative date and venue for the event are February 23, 2008, at Denison Armoury in Toronto.

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  1. This is a great idea, It would be nice to see a Hornpipe/Jig contest added and perhaps a 4/4 or a 3/4 march contest or medley to make it even more interesting. I understand this may take up too much time but it would be nice to hear a contest that differed from the normal format.



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