October 20, 2022

After three long years, globe’s greatest pipe band drummers welcome back World Solo Championships

Reigning and 10-time World Solo Drumming Champion Steven McWhirter practicing as lead-drummer of Grade 1 Inveraray & District. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
It was October 19, 2019, at Glasgow Caledonian University when Steven McWhirter brought down his ninth straight World Solo Drumming Championship and his tenth overall.

Now, after an interminable three-year wait due to the global pandemic, McWhirter and the world’s greatest pipe band snare and tenor drummers will compete for 2022 prizes.

An astonishing 122 snare drummers and 46 tenor drummers will compete in various grades and events, chief among them the Adult / 18 and Older MSR and Hornpipe & Jig competitions, the aggregate winner becoming World Champion.

Leading up to the 2022 World Solos, five qualifier events have been held in Scotland, Northern Ireland and North America, allowing UK and non-UK snare drummers to vie for one of the top-four spots in each event to skip the first round and go straight to the Semi-Final.

There are 32 snare drummers competing in the first round, with four from each section of 16 going through to one of two Semi-Final rounds of 14 each.

Pre-qualifying for the Semi-Finals (alphabetical by last name):

  • Miles Bennington, Pittsburgh
  • Blair Brown, Houston
  • Neil Bruce, Cowdenbeath, Scotland
  • Callum Burns, Glasgow
  • Grant Cassidy, Glasgow
  • Derek Cooper, Pennsylvania
  • Stephen Creighton, Dublin
  • William Glenholmes, Cullybackey, Northern Ireland
  • Robert Graham, Seattle
  • Jake Jørgensen, Edinburgh
  • Cameron Lawson, Glasgow
  • Andrew Lawson, Glasgow
  • Eric MacNeill, Dunedin, Florida
  • Mikey McKenna, Ireland
  • Gareth McLees, Belfast
  • Steven McWhirter, Glasgow
  • Michael Schoppe, Dunedin, Florida
  • Steven Shedden, Melbourne
  • Chloe Taylor, Glasgow
  • Rachel Thom, Livingston, Scotland

The top six from each of the Semi-Final heats of 14 will go on to the Final of 12.

Jim Kilpatrick holds the record with 16 World Solo Drumming Championship wins. McWhirter’s nine straight titles is a record for consecutive wins.

The Semi-Final event includes several drummers who have finished second, including Brown, McKenna, and McLees. McKenna has been second four times.

Steven McWhirter first won the event in 2006 when he was a member of the Grade 1 Simon Fraser University. The following four World Solos were won by Barry Wilson of Glasgow, now retired and then lead-drummer of Grade 1 ScottishPower. McWhirter began his streak of wins in 2011 with his second win.

The Juvenile 18 and younger events are equally prestigious. Kerr McQuillan, recently appointed lead-drummer of Grade 1 Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia, returns to compete in the 16 and Older but Younger than 18 Juvenile section after winning the 2019 14 and Older but Younger than 16 Juvenile section.

Cameron Lawson competes in the Adult category as the winner of the 2019 16 and Older but Younger than 18 Juvenile section.

Cameron Sinclair of Fife, Scotland, will compete in the Adult section of the World Solo Tenor Drumming Championship after winning the 2019 16 and Older but Younger than 18 Juvenile section in 2019.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for results from the World Solo Drumming Championship as they become available.





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