Pipers prepare to have a ball at Islay Inn
Around the world there are pubs and bars where pipers and drummers prefer to part with their cash in exchange for a great atmosphere, a good time and a few libations. Relatively few take the time to give back to the piping community, but the Islay Inn on Argyle Street in Glasgow is doing just that, with the hosting and sponsorship of the Islay Inn Piping Challenge, beginning on Sunday, December 12th, at 8 pm.
The competition will take a knockout format, with two preliminary rounds and a final. The contest starts with first-rounds of eight, with two going through from each heat to reach the final.
The Islay Inn’s new proprietors approached the National Piping Centre on short notice to see if they could help organize the event. NPC Director asked around the office and eight prominent pipers, including two Highland Society of London Gold Medallists, agreed to participate in the inaugural contest, which could become an annual event depending on initial success.
Pipers in Round 1 are: Alasdair Henderson, Dunoon, Scotland; Callum Beaumont, Bo’ness, Scotland; Andrea Boyd, Glasgow; and Glenn Brown, Glasgow.
Round 2 on December 19th will comprise: Alisdair McLaren, Glasgow; Chris Armstrong, Airth, Scotland; John Mulhearn, Glasgow; and Margaret Dunn, Glasgow.
Each piper will have to present a 30-minute “freestyle” selection, and the audience will vote for their favourites.
The Islay Inn is one of the more popular pubs in Glasgow during the year for pipers and drummers. Others include the Park Bar, the Snaffle Bit, the Station and, during the week of the World Pipe Band Championships, the Lord Todd at the University of Strathclyde.