Solo piping prizes on the rise in Scotland
In the late-1800s and early-1900s it was possible for the best solo pipers in Scotland to earn a living from competing around the games. While those days are long gone, solo prize money at many Scottish Highland games have been on the rise, and the latest increase is from the Montrose Highland Games, which has just added a prize of £200 to go to the aggregate winner of the solo piping events.
Montrose had already established itself as one of the more lucrative events on the Scottish summer schedule, along with contests at North Berwick and Airth, which also award several hundred pounds in each event.
Competitions are improving prize purses mainly by securing sponsorships from corporations. Montrose has just gained funding by Archibold Accountancy, and the overall award will be called “The Archibold Accountancy Senior Piping Championship.”
“It’s nice to see these events gain prestige by adding more prize-money,” said a Scottish solo piper who asked not to be named. “The ones with the poor prizes are not nearly as well attended, at least by the better players.”
By contrast, first-prize for the regular Professional solo piping events at the large majority of North American Highland games is generally about $100.