October 31, 2008

Super Saturday for world’s best soloists

The biggest day for competing solo pipers and drummers rolls around again on Saturday, October 25th, when the Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championship and the World Solo Drumming Championship converge in Scotland.

The World Solo Drumming, to be held at Glasgow Caledonian University in Glasgow, brings together the world’s top pipe band snare drummers in an event open to all side drummers older than 18. Several heats will narrow down the field to compete in two final competitions.

ScottishPower lead-drummer Barry Wilson defends his title, while Jim Kilpatrick of the House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band, will try to break his own record of 17 World Solo titles – by far the most ever won. Other perennial favourites in the field are Gordon Brown, Boghall & Bathgate; Stephen Creighton, St. Laurence O’Toole; and Eric Ward, Strathclyde Police.

Another contender for the prize is Reid Maxwell of Simon Fraser University, who has placed in the contest almost every time that he has played in it for more than 20 years, but who has not yet captured the award.
The pipe band world was astonished when Kilpatrick failed to make the final round of the 2007 World Solo Drumming.

Meanwhile at Blair Atholl, Scotland, the Glenfiddich Championships will conclude the 2008 Scottish solo season in an invitational event that pits the winners of the year’s biggest solo piping prizes against each other.

In that competition, Willie McCallum of Bearsden, Scotland, will also be trying to better his own record of victories, going after his ninth Glenfiddich title.

Also competing will be: 

  • Chris Armstrong, Airth, Scotland (Bratach Gorm)
  • Alan Bevan, Surrey, British Columbia (Northern Meeting Gold Medal)
  • Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (USPF, 2nd in Argyllshire Gathering Silver Star)
  • Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia (2nd in Argyllshire Gathering Sr. Piobaireachd)
  • Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland (Argyllshire Gathering Silver Star)
  • Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland
  • Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow (Argyllshire Gathering Sr. Piobaireachd, Silver Chanter)
  • Niall Stewart, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland (Argyllshire Gathering Gold Medal)
  • Gordon Walker, Galston, Scotland (2007 Glenfiddich Champion)
  • Greg Wilson, New Zealand (Northern Meeting Clasp)

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for results and details from both events as they are announced.


  1. They should make a DVD of this event with Royalties going to the competitors, It would be fantastic to see these performances, Good luck to all of these great players.

  2. Just wondering… what about the juvenile competitiors in the World Solo Drumming? Shouldnt they get a mention too?

  3. Man I’d love to get over there for these contests. Agree w/Tripp – I’d pay money for a DVD of either of these. Not a bad competitor in either bunch, eh? Good luck to everyone!

  4. Finalists for the Adult solo drumming are (to the best of my knowledge!): Eric Ward Steven McWhirter Gavin Noade Jim Kilpatrick Derek Cooper Barry Wilson Gordon Brown Chris McNicholl Aaron McCartern J Reid Maxwell William Glenholmes Gordon Lee Just been sent to me via text, assume it is correct!

  5. Wow Congrats to Derek Cooper for making the final (USA!). He is in there with the big boys. No Creighton?

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