September 30, 2002

Northern Meeting Marks Ultimate for Solo Pipers

The world’s top solo pipers will compete at the annual Northern Meeting Piping Competitions at Inverness on Wednesday and Thursday, September 4-5, 2002. The event is seen as the premier non-invitational competition of the year on the world solo piping calendar.

In the spotlight is the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal for piobaireachd, the sister event to the Argyllshire Gathering‘s contest held two weeks previous in Oban. Iain Speirs of Edinburgh won the Gold Medal at Oban, and now tries for the rare “double,” which has only been achieved 11 times in history.

The last double winner was John Cairns of London, Ontario, in 1999, and before Cairns, Andrew Wright of Paisley, Scotland, got them both in 1970.

The Clasp, limited to previous winners of the Gold Medal at Inverness or Oban, is seen as icing on the competitive cake for pipers who have already made their mark in piobaireachd, and the Silver Star March, Strathspey & Reel for former winners of the top light music events at Inverness the equivalent in light music.

Also under the microscope is Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland, who won both the Senior Piobaireachd and the Former Winners March, Strathspey & Reel at Oban. If McCallum can take both the Clasp and Silver Star MSR at Inverness he will be only the second piper in history to win the “Grand Slam.” Captain John A. MacLellan, Edinburgh, achieved the feat in 1958.

The Gold Medal is limited to 30 pipers, and those accepted for the event in 2002 are:

  • Andrew Berthoff, Toronto
  • Jori Chisholm, Seattle
  • Lorne Cousin, Edinburgh
  • Brian Donaldson, Loanhead
  • Martin Frewen, New Zealand
  • Bruce Gandy, Nova Scotia
  • Alasdair Gillies, Pittsburgh
  • Ann Gray, Saskatchewan
  • Michael Grey, Ontario
  • Richard Hawke, New Zealand
  • Andrew Hayes, Ontario
  • Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh
  • Ian K. MacDonald, Ontario
  • Herve Le Floc’h, France
  • Euan MacCrimmon, Inverness
  • Iain Macey, Michigan
  • Donald MacPhee, Alexandria
  • Andrew Mathieson, Lochgelly
  • James Murray, Cupar
  • Douglas Murray, Cupar
  • Edward Neigh, Ontario
  • John Patrick, Fankerton
  • Andrew Rogers, New Brunswick
  • Michael Rogers, Maryland
  • Graeme Roy, Blanefield
  • Allan Russell, Kelty
  • John Angus Smith, London
  • Iain Speirs, Edinburgh
  • Gavin Walker, Stirling
  • Robert Watt, Northern Ireland

    Competing in the Clasp are:

  • Mike Cusack, Houston
  • Brian Donaldson, Loanhead
  • Murray Henderson, Kirriemuir
  • Jack Lee, Canada
  • Stuart Liddell, Inveraray
  • Bill Livingstone, Ontario
  • Angus MacColl, Oban
  • Allan MacDonald, Edinburgh
  • Dr. Angus MacDonald, Skye
  • Duncan MacGillivray, Tain
  • Colin MacLellan, Edinburgh
  • Roddy MacLeod, Cumbernauld
  • Niall Matheson, Inverness
  • Willie McCallum, Bearsden
  • Fred Morrison, South Uist
  • James Murray, Cupar
  • Mike Rogers, Maryland
  • Stuart Shedden, Glasgow
  • Gordon Walker, Glasgow
  • Robert Wallace, Glasgow
  • Greg Wilson, New Zealand


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