Brian Pack of Washington state wins Pick the Glenfiddich Five and an heirloom R.G. Hardie Peter Henderson practice chanter!
With 10 elite pipers competing for the Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championship, and every one of the 10 well capable of winning the whole shebang, predicting the top-five aggregate finishers takes some savvy knowledge and a lot of luck.
After the thousand-plus entries were sifted through, Brian Pack of Black Diamond, Washington, emerged the winner of the 2022 pipes|drums Pick the Glenfiddich Five contest. He will be the recipient of an heirloom-quality Celtic Heritage Peter Henderson Blackwood Practice Chanter with a Celtic pattern etched into the blackwood, boxwood sole and a hand-engraved Celtic heritage silver ferrule from R.G. Hardie.
It’s the very first production model of the practice chanter and carries a recommended retail price is £465 ($730).
Brian won the chanter after a random draw, tied with fellow canny prognosticators Alan Ferguson of Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, and Steve Moore of Chicago. We didn’t want Alan and Steve to go away empty-handed, so we’re awarding each of them a 10-year subscription to pipes|drums.
“I’m so excited and feel so lucky and blessed to have won a prize like this practice chanter. It will take a place of honor next to my Henderson pipes and help keep alive the desire to play and learn.” – Brian Pack
Brian started on the pipes in 2005 after he saw 13 regiments of pipe bands marching out onto the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. He says: “I thought to myself, ‘I have no idea what’s involved with learning the pipes, but I’m going to find out!’ In 2007, for my birthday, my wife connected me with a local piping instructor and the journey began.”
He was with the Clan Gordon Pipe Band of Tacoma, Washington, but after a few years of pipe band life he had to take a break due to other commitments. He recently got back at it and has made a few trips to the piping school in Seabeck, Washington, put on by the Celtic Arts Foundation, saying, “Being able to spend time with a roster of teachers like that of Winter School is flat out amazing.”
He adds, “I’m so excited and feel so lucky and blessed to have won a prize like this practice chanter. It will take a place of honor next to my Henderson pipes and help keep alive the desire to play and learn.”
Willie McCallum of Bearsden, Scotland, won his ninth Glenfiddich Championship, breaking his own record. He’d last won it in 2005, so perhaps a 17-year gap made many hedge their bets, even though McCallum was an immensely popular winner.
Bishopton, Scotland’s Fred Morrison finished third, and it might have been his absence from the contest for many years that also threw off some people who somehow forgot that he’s been one of the world’s greatest pipers even when not competing frequently.
Brian Pack, Alan Ferguson and Steve Moore all accrued 10 total points, well ahead of other entries that picked McCallum to win, so it came down to a random draw, as per the rules.
Congratulations to Brian and Alan on their success, and thanks to R.G. Hardie & Co. for contributing the prize and to all who entered our Pick the Glenfiddich Five contest!