Published: September 30, 2003

(Re-updated) Armstrong Wins Inverness Gold Medal

Inverness, Scotland – September 10-11, 2003 – Chris Armstrong of Bathgate, Scotland, won the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal for piobaireachd playing “The McIntyres’ Salute” here today at Eden Court Theatre, thus adding his name to one of the most heralded lists in piping. Thirty pipers from around the world are chosen to play in the event.

It was Armstrong’s first time playing in the contest. Coincidentally, all three Gold Medal judges gained their Inverness medal on their first attempt, John Burgess, 1950; Iain MacFadyen, 1957; and John Wilson, 1968.

In other Thursday events, Simon McKerral of Glasgow won the B Grade March, and Ontario’s Glenn Brown took the B Grade Strathspey & Reel. Alan Bevan of British Columbia won the Hornpipe & Jig event, reserved for pipers Graded A in light music by the Competing Pipers Association.

On Wednesday, Alasdair Gillies of Pittsburgh won his eleventh Former Winners March, Strathspey & Reel Silver Star at the Northern Meeting Piping Competitions today at Eden Court Theatre.

Earlier in the day, Murray Henderson of Kirriemuir, Scotland, won the Clasp, piping’s most coveted prize for piobaireachd playing “Spaidearachd Bharrach,” the same tune with which Mike Cusack won the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering in August of this year.

Henderson returned to competitive piping late in 2001 after being away from it for almost 10 years. The Clasp event is reserved for those who have won a Highland Society of London Gold Medal at either Inverness or Oban.

By virtue of their victories, Henderson, Gillies, and Armstrong qualify for the Glenfiddich Piping Championships at Blair Atholl, Scotland, in late October.

Perennial favourite Willie McCallum of Bearsden, Scotland, withdrew from both the Clasp and Silver Star due to illness.

Dr. Brendon Eade of Inverness took the Silver Medal, thus catapulting him into future Highland Society of London Gold Medal events.

This year’s Northern Meeting has had an unusual number of North American pipers withdraw due to other commitments or poor health, including Bill Livingstone, Ian K. MacDonald, Andrew Berthoff, Iain Macey, and Michael Grey.

Gold Medal
1st Chris Armstrong, “The McIntyres’ Salute”
2nd Brian Donaldson, Loanhead, Scotland
3rd Andrew Hayes, Ottawa
4th Jori Chisholm, Seattle
5th Richard Hawke, New Zealand
Judges: John Burgess, Iain MacFadyen, John Wilson

Clasp
1st Murray Henderson, “Spaidearachd Bharrach”
2nd Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
3rd Mike Cusack, Houston
4th Roddy MacLeod, Cumbernauld, Scotland
Judges: Walter Drysdale, Jack Taylor, Andrew Wright

Silver Medal
1st Brendon Eade, Inverness, “You’re Welcome, Ewen Lochiel”
2nd Neil Stewart, Alness, Scotland
3rd Gregor Speirs, Edinburgh
4th Margaret Houlihan, Glasgow
5th James MacPhee, Glasgow
Judges: Ronnie Lawrie, John MacDougall, Iain Morrison

Silver Star Former Winners MSR
1st Alasdair Gillies
2nd Mike Cusack
3rd Alan Bevan, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
4th Jack Lee
Judges: Donald MacPherson, Gavin Stoddart, George Lumsden

A Grade March, Strathspey & Reel
1st Douglas Murray, Cupar, Scotland
2nd Gavin Walker, Glasgow
3rd Andrew Mathieson, Glasgow
4th Robert Watt, Northern Ireland
Judges: John Burgess, Barry Donaldson, John Wilson

B Grade March
1st Simon McKerral, Glasgow
2nd James MacPhee
3rd Gregor Speirs
4th Roderick Weir, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
Judges: Ronnie Lawrie, Alan Forbes, Walter Drysdale

B Grade Strathspey & Reel
1st Glenn Brown, Milton, Ontario, Canada
2nd Neil Smith, Bridge of Weir
3rd Ryan Lessels, Coventry, England
4th James MacPhee
Judges: Barry Donaldson, Jack Taylor, James Burnett

A Grade Hornpipe & Jig
1st Alan Bevan
2nd Chris Armstrong
3rd Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland
4th Niall Stewart
Judges: Donald MacPherson, Hugh MacCallum, Andrew Wright

Faye Henderson of Kirriemuir, Scotland, won the Under 15 March competition, She is 11 years old.

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