March 25, 2024

April 5th Donald MacLeod Memorial Invitational will feature great senior and junior pipers, plus John Morrison of Assynt House’s pipes

James Duncan MacKenzie and Callum Beaumont (middle) with Donald MacLeod’s daughters Fiona and Susan at the 2023 P-M Donald MacLeod Memorial.

Not only will the annual Pipe-Major Donald MacLeod Memoria Invitational Solo Piping  Competition feature eight top-flight contestants, but the pipes once owned by the John Morrison of Assynt House will be on hand and played during a break by Stuart Liddell.

Liddell will join Callum Beaumont, Alasdair Henderson, Finlay Johnston, Angus MacColl, James Duncan MacKenzie, Roddy MacLeod and Innes Smith in the competition, which showcases MacLeod’s original music in both light music and piobaireachd.

After winning the 2023 Highland Society of London Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting, Smith will make his first appearance in the prestigious contest, held again at the Caladh Hotel in Stornoway on MacLeod’s native Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.

The senior competition begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 5th, and a junior contest starts at 1.30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4th. Isabel Beaton, Innes Begg, Mairead Gailbraith, Eilidh MacDonald (Lewis), Ruairidh MacDonald, Seamus Mackay, Micheal MacLellan, and Charlie Shirkie will compete. Each will receive a practice chanter from McCallum Bagpipes. The overall winner will be awarded the Norman S. Morrison Trophy.

John Morrison’s pipes, made in 1843 by Donald MacKay, piper to the Duke of Sussex at Kensington Palace and brother of the legendary Angus MacKay, with a chanter made by John Ban MacKenzie, are owned by Tabby Angier, who is bringing them to the event. John Morrison of Assynt House is immortalized in Lewis native Peter R. MacLeod’s reel, “John Morrison, Assynt House,” one of the great compositions in the idiom.

Callum Beaumont was the overall winner of the 2023 P-M Donald MacLeod Memorial.






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