June 17, 2020

Argyllshire Gathering takes MacGregor Memorial online

The Argyllshire Gathering at Oban, Scotland, has held off officially cancelling its in-person August events, but organizers have announced that at least one contest will go ahead online.

The MacGregor Memorial piobaireachd competition for pipers 21 and younger will be staged via the Internet.

As always, the event will be limited to 30 entrants, each submitting four piobaireachds of their own choosing. Judges will pick one to submit by video uploaded to YouTube. From there, eight – four from two heats of eight – will be selected to go through to the final round.

Finalists will have to then play a tune different from the one picked for the first round, but a decision on whether the final round will be conducted by submitted video, live-stream or some other format is still to be made.

Entries are due by June 30th and, from those, the 30 contestants will be chosen. It is not known what the criteria is for selection or who exactly will do the choosing.

“Selection will be made by the Argyllshire Gathering Piping Committee using their own selection criteria,” said Argyllshire Gathering Piping Steward Torquil Telfer.

While most online solo competitions are not requiring players to wear Highland dress, competitors in the MacGregor Memorial will have to abide by the usual Argyllshire Gathering stipulations.

The MacGregor Memorial was started in 1984. Originally, the competition was shared between the Argyllshire Gathering and the Northern Meeting at Inverness, Scotland, with pipers performing at each of those events for aggregate prizes. The competition eventually went under the sole purview of the Argyllshire Gathering.

Ruraidh Brown was the winner of the 2019 MacGregor Memorial.



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