Beaumont wins Gillies Invitational Recital Challenge
Glasgow – August 12, 2021 – Callum Beaumont of Dollar, Scotland, gained back-to-back victories at Piping Live! by winning the annual Pipe-Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Recital Competition, held in-person to small audience at the National Piping Centre’s auditorium the day after he took the overall prize at the Masters Solo Piping at the same venue.
It was the third straight year that Beaumont has won the Gillies Memorial.
Also performing were Finlay Johnston, Glasgow; Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland; Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland; and Sarah Muir, Glasgow.
The event, sponsored by McCallum Bagpipes, continued the tradition of the innovative competition that really inspired the festival, each player performing a number of selections, mostly of their own choice, but having to include certain requirements, like the ground of a piobaireachd and a traditional MSR.
The winner was decided, as always, by “secret” judges – this year, three adjudicators in the hall and two assessing the performances via the pay-per-view online broadcast.
The roots of the event are from the late 1990s, when the great piper Willie McCallum, then an employee of the University of Strathclyde, put together an impromptu event at the Lord Todd Bar on the university’s campus, mainly to entertain a captive and otherwise bored audience of international visitors in town for the World Pipe Band Championships.
The popularity of the Lord Todd Recital-Challenge made the National Piping Centre realize that the same audience would like more events, and Piping Live! (originally called Piping Hot) was born.
Over time, the Lord Todd event became too big for McCallum to manage, and it was taken over by Piping Live!, and the name changed to honour the late, great piper Alasdair Gillies, who won the Lord Todd contest several times, often with virtuoso performances for the ages.
A. John Wilson was the emcee for the event.