August 24, 2023

Argyllshire Gathering Day 2: Bevan and Beaumont win A-Grade events; Donlon and Cameron win B-Grade; Jig goes to MacKenzie

Oban, Scotland – August 24, 2023 – The second day of the Argyllshire Gathering took the world’s top solo pipers outdoors to Mossfield Park on the east side of the Highland town. The light music competitions were held as always among a traditional Highland games.

The weather was challenging, and the rain, according to one contestant, went from “mild and intermittent to aggressive.” Some competitors decided not to play rather than risk wrecking their instruments before the Northern Meeting. There were very few spectators who weren’t directly involved with the event.


The scene at a very wet Mossfield Park on Day 2 of the 2023 Argyllshire Gathering in Oban, Scotland.

In the first results, Andrew Donlon of Washington, DC, and Sandy Cameron of Roy Bridge, Scotland, won the B-Grade March and Strathspey & Reel, respectively.

James Duncan MacKenzie braving the elements at the Argyllshire Gathering.

There were two heats for each A-Grade event, and then a final contest consisting of six for each of the March and the Strathspey & Reel.

A-Grade March finalists: Callum Beaumont, Alan Bevan, Abbotsford, British Columbia; Steven Leask, East Kilbride, Scotland; Ian K. MacDonald, Whitby, Ontario; James Duncan MacKenzie, Back, Isle of Lewis, Scotland; and Fred Morrison Bishopton, Scotland. The judges for the heat were Barry Donaldson, Murray Henderson, and Michael Grey.

A-Grade Strathspey & Reel finalists: Callum Beaumont, St. Andrews, Scotland; Calum Brown, Petercoulter, Scotland; Andrew Hayes, Nepean, Ontario; James Duncan MacKenzie; Sarah Muir, East Kilbride, Scotland; and Calum Watson, Bathgate, Scotland. The judges for the heat were Ronnie McShannon, Bob Worrall, and John Wilson.

The judges for the heats swapped events for the finals.

Sarah Muir playing a march at Oban.

March final
(submit six tunes, play one as selected by judges twice through; 42 competed overall, six in final)
1st Alan Bevan (£140)
2nd Callum Beaumont (£110)
3rd Steven Leask (£85)
4th Fred Morrison (£70)
5th James Duncan MacKenzie (£60)
Judges: Ronnie McShannon, John Wilson, Bob Worrall

Callum Beaumont on his way to winning the A-Grade Strathspey & Reel in the teeming rain. The judges selected “The Little Cascade” for him to play twice over.

Strathspey & Reel final (submit six of each tune type, play one of each as selected by judges once through, six in final)
1st Callum Beaumont (£140)
2nd Calum Brown (£110)
3rd Sarah Muir (£85)
4th Andrew Hayes (£70)
5th Calum Watson (£60)
Judges: Barry Donaldson, Michael Grey, Murray Henderson

B-Grade (submit six tunes, play one as selected by judges once through; 33 competed)
1st Andrew Donlon  (£95)
2nd Jamie Elder, Auchtermuchty, Scotland(£70)
3rd Bradley Parker, Milngavie, Scotland (£60)
4th Angus MacPhee, Inverness, Scotland (£50)
5th Fraser Allison, Balfron, Scotland (£40)
Judges: Bruce Hitchings, Jim McGillivray, Malcolm McRae

Strathspey & Reel (submit six of each tune type, play one of each as selected by judges once through)
1st Sandy Cameron (£95)
2nd Bobby Allen, Chryston, Scotland (£70)
3rd John Dew, Edinburgh (£60)
4th Jacob Dicker, Hammond, Ontario (£50)
5th Matt Pantaleoni, St. Louis (£40)
Judges: Robert Barnes, Patricia Henderson, Bill Livingstone

Intermediate MSR (for pipers graded C in light music by the CPA, submit three of each tune type and play one of each as chosen once through each; 29 competed)
1st Cameron Bonar, Surrey, British Columbia (£60)
2nd Hector Finlayson, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland (£50)
3rd Colin Forrest, Mission, British Columbia (£40)
4th Alistair Bevan, Abbotsford, British Columbia (£30)
5th Kyle Cameron, Fortrose, Scotland (£200)
Judges: Ian Duncan, Derek Fraser, Robert Wallace

Open Jig (submit six tunes, play one)
1st James Duncan MacKenzie (£90)
2nd Angus MacPhee (£65)
3rd Steven Gray, Lockerbie, Scotland (£55)
4th Fred Morrison (£45)
5th Bobby Allen (£35)
Judges: Willie Morrison, Jack Taylor




  1. Absolutely nonsensical holding the event outside, when it could easily be taken inside. I presume this is another ridiculous tradition that cannot be tampered with? And in an empty field for 140 quid prize money. Piping doesn’t do itself any favours at times



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