May 04, 2023

Auditions for Pipe Idol open up; young hotshots can vie for 16 spots

The National Piping Centre’s Finlay MacDonald (left) congratulates 2022 Pipe Idol winner Luke Kennedy. [Photo John Slavin]
If you’re a piper younger than 21 and believe you have the chops to qualify for the 2023 Pipe Idol competition at Piping Live! in August, you have from now until June 2nd to prove it.

Organizers are looking for private video submissions from any pipers interested in competing one of four four-piper heats during the Piping Live! festival from August 14th to August 17th.

One piper from each heat will be chosen to go through to a final held later on August 17th, with one winner taking the title and receiving a set of Fred Morrison Reelpipes.

Your video needs to be a performance of an MSR and a hornpipe & jig. Those who qualify will have to play an MSR, a hornpipe & jig, and a five-to-seven-minute freeform medley of whatever they’d like. Everything is assessed by anonymous judges in the audience at the festival’s Street Cafe.

Videos are best as unlisted on YouTube. Pipers can then simply send a link to the video, along with their name, date of birth (you need to be younger than 21 as of August 14, 2023). Here’s a how-to video. Alternatively, you can send the video via Dropbox or WeTransfer.

All aplications should go to

Applications close on Friday, June 2nd, at 17:00 GMT, and all applicants will be notified the following week as to whether thy got in or not.

Pipe Idol contestants often go on to do big things in piping. Winners over the years include Calum Brown, James Duncan MacKenzie, Connor Sinclair, Brodie Watson-Massey, and Luke Kennedy was the 2022 winner.






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