Published: March 31, 2010

Oban and Inverness add Silver Medal qualifier

In 1978 the Northern Meeting and the Argyllshire Gathering at Inverness and Oban, respectively, added Silver Medal piobaireachd competitions to address the challenges of Gold Medal competitions that had more than 60 competitors and ran from dawn until nearly midnight. Now, these major gatherings are adding a qualifier contest that will decide who will fill unallocated spots in the Silver Medal.

The event will be organized by the Competing Pipers Association and will be held on August 22 at the Glasgow College of Piping.

The Argyllshire Gathering has allocated room for 28 competitors at this year’s Silver Medal, and the Northern Meeting, 25. Scotland’s Joint Committee for Judging has this year – based on entries and the piper’s recent competitive track record and CPA grading – put 18 applicants in the Oban Silver Medal and 20 in the Inverness event, meaning that 10 spots at the Argyllshire Gathering and five at the Northern Meeting are up for grabs in the qualifier.

To be eligible to compete in the qualifier competition, a piper must be grade B or better by the CPA or, according to correspondence to potential competitors, “considered by the Joint Eligibility Committee to be of an equivalent standard.” Entrants must have applied already to compete at least one of the Silver Medals.

In 2009 the CPA introduced a more international grading committee comprising both active competitors and pipers retired from competition.

The Argyllshire Gathering also has reverted to its original criteria to compete in its Silver Star MSR competition. From 2010 on those who have won either the A-Grade March or the A-Grade Strathspey & Reel can compete in the Silver Star. In the 1990s the competition had changed the criteria, requiring competitors to have won both the events.

Pipers who have secured spots in the Silver Medal:

Argyllshire Gathering

Ashleigh Bell

Xavier Boderiou

Andrew Bonar

Keith Bowes

Andrew Carlisle

Stuart Easton

Jamie Forrester

Alex Gandy

Tom Glover

Faye Henderson

Alasdair Henderson

Andrew Lee

Alastair Lee

Peter MacGregor

Iain Marshall

Willie McIntyre

Sean McKeown

James Troy

Northern Meeting

Ashleigh Bell

Andrew Bonar

Keith Bowes

Andrew Carlisle

Stuart Easton

Jamie Forrester

Alex Gandy

Tom Glover

Faye Henderson

Alasdair Henderson

Andrew Lee

Alastair Lee

Peter MacGregor

Iain Marshall

Gordon McCready

Willie McIntyre

Sean McKeown

John Mulhearn

James Troy

David Wilton

Pipers currently eligible for the qualifier competition:

Xavier Boderiou

Gordon Bruce

Jim Dillahey

Andrew Hall

Duncan Grant

Alan Johnston

Ian Lyons

Donald Mackay

James Mackenzie

Derek Midgley

William Nichols

Matt Pantaleoni

Craig Sked

Craig Sutherland

Lyric Todkill

Steven Watterston

Roddy Weir

Tracey Williams

4 COMMENTS

  1. This is an excellent step in the right direction – well done to the joint committee and John Angus for all your efforts in bringing this to pass.

  2. This is a good move but how many people does it really interest? I suppose it is a model for other competitions to follow. Why the differences in numbers between Oban and Inverness….why not make them the same??

  3. I would hope it would interest many people. These contests are the pinnacles of solo piping. I would argue it doesn’t affect too many people this year, but suspect in the future you’ll have a bigger entry in the qualifier fighting for those 5-10 spots in the silver each year.

  4. This qualifier opens up a door that in the past was closed shut for a competitor in March for that particular year. Yes, you still need to “qualify” for the qualifier by being graded a certain grade and it’s not open to all or any who aren’t graded as such, but at least a competitor still has a chance of winning it in his/her head and more importantly the possibility of winning it by being in the contest if your tune goes well in the qualifier. In the past, you were basically told in March that your “dream” would need to wait another year if you weren’t accepted by the joint committee/CPA.

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