August 31, 2002

Speirs Makes Mark in Piping History at Oban by Winning Gold Medal (Updated)

Oban Scotland – August 21, 2002 – Iain Speirs of Edinburgh made his mark in piping history by winning the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal for piobaireachd here today at the 131st Argyllshire Gathering. Speirs won the first of the two medals playing the challenging and esoteric tune “The King’s Taxes.” Second prize went to Stuart Liddell of Inveraray, Scotland.

The contest was of a very high standard, with no breakdowns and even very few wrong notes. The Gold Medal prize list comprised all Scottish players despite over half the contest of thirty being non-Scots.

The Senior Piobaireachd event was won by Willie McCallum of Bearsden, Scotland, who played “Lament for Airds.” McCallum’s draw of first on turned apparent misfortune to fortune with the win. Greg Wilson of New Zealand was second in the event, which is reserved for previous winners of a Gold Medal at either Oban or the Northern Meeting at Inverness.

McCallum went on to win the Former Winners March, Strathspey & Reel in the evening, thus further securing his place as one of piping’s greatest all-round players.

The Silver Medal was won by Innes Smith of Bridge of Allan in a contest known as being one of the hardest in the piping world to get in to.

Gold Medal
1st Iain Speirs, “The King’s Taxes”
2nd Stuart Liddell, “The Vaunting”
3rd Douglas Murray, Springfield, Scotland, “The Rout of Glenfruin”
4th Stuart Shedden, Bishopbriggs, Scotland, “The Gathering of Clan Chattan”
Judges: Jack Taylor, John MacDougall, William MacDonald (Benbecula)

Senior Piobaireachd
1st Willie McCallum, “Lament for Airds”
2nd Greg Wilson
3rd Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland
4th Murray Henderson, Kirriemuir, Scotland
Judges: Andrew Wright, Ronald Lawrie, Donald MacPherson

Silver Medal
1st Innes Smith, Bridge of Allan
2nd Chris Armstrong, Bathgate
3rd Ross Cowan, Annan
4th Matthew Turnbull, Michigan
5th Louise Hay, Blairgowrie

Former Winners March, Strathpsey & Reel
1st Willie McCallum
2nd Iain Speirs
3rd Christopher Armstrong
4th Allan Russell, Kelty

Grade A March
1st Bruce Gandy, “Leaving Lunga”
2nd Robert Watt, Ulster
3rd Gavin Walker, Glasgow
4th Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh
5th Niall Stewart
Judges: Iain MacLellan, John MacDougall, Iain Clowe

Grade A Strathspey & Reel
1st Christopher Armstrong
2nd Alan Bevan, Vancouver
3rd Robert Watt
4th Iain Speirs
5th Gavin Walker
Judges: Malcolm MacRae, John Wilson, Willie Morrison

Grade B March
1st Ross Cowan
2nd Neil Walker, Glasgow
3rd Martin Frewen, New Zealand
4th Gary Watterston
5th Glenn Brown, Ontario
Judges: Andrew Wright, Tom Johnstone, Finlay MacNeill

Grade B Strathspey & Reel
1st Gordon McCready
2nd Brian MacKenzie
3rd Ross Cowan
4th Simon McKerral, Glasgow
5th Neil Walker
Judges: Iain MacFadyen, George Lumsden, Patrick Grant

Open Jig
1st Robert Watt
2nd Alexis Munier, France
3rd Greg Wilson


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