August 14, 2023

Bruce Gandy wins marathon Masters Solo Piping and earns another invite to the Glenfiddich

Bruce Gandy with the Masters Championship trophy. [Photo Derek Maxwell]
Glasgow – August, 14, 2023 – Against 24 other top-tier solo pipers, Bruce Gandy of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, emerged the overall winner of the Masters Solo Piping Competition held at the National Piping Centre as part of the 2023 Piping Live! Festival.

With the win, Gandy earned one of the 10 spots for the 2023 Glenfiddich Championships on October 28th in Blair Atholl, Scotland, but Gandy had already qualified with his win of the Bratach Gorm at London.

The two prize lists featured altogether different players. When a piper qualifies more than once for the Glenfiddich, second prizes in prestigious events like the Clasp at the Northern Meeting, the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering, and other competitions gain pipers an invitation.

Bruce Gandy on his way to victory. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Masters contestants were informed of what they were to play days before the competition, which started at 8 am. The results were announced at around 10:15 pm.

The event was emceed over the entire 14+ hours by Highland Society of London Gold Medallist and National Piping Centre instructor Wilson Brown.

R.G. Hardie & Co. sponsored the live-stream of the competition.

Piobaireachd (20 competed)
1st Bruce Gandy, “The Unjust Incarceration”
2nd Callum Beaumont, St. Andrews, Scotland, “The Phantom Piper of Corrieyairick”
3rd Finlay Johnston, Glasgow, “My Dearest on Earth, Give Me Your Kiss”
4th Angus D. MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland, “The Phantom Piper of Corrieyairack”
5th Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow, “Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay”
Judges: Patricia Henderson, Colin MacLellan, Malcolm McRae

Sarah Muir. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Also competing: Alan Bevan, Abbotsford, British Columbia, “In Praise of Morag”; Glenn Brown, Glasgow, “Lament for the Laird of Anapool”; Brian Donaldson, Lexington, Virginia, “The Bells of Perth”; Jamie Forrester, Haddington, Scotland, “MacIntosh of Borlum’s Salute”; Alasdair Henderson, “The Battle of Waternish”; Nick Hudson, Houston “The Daughter’s Lament”; Ian K. MacDonald, Whitby, Ontario, “Mary’s Praise”; Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, “Lament for MacLeod of Colbeck”; Donald MacPhee, Alexandria, Scotland, “The Red Speckled Bull”; Peter McCallister, Dunblane, Scotland, “Lament for the Only Son”; Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland, “Lament for the Earl of Antrim”; Fred Morrison, “Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon”; Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland, “Nameless – Cherede Darieva”; Iain Speirs, Edinburgh, “Lament for Colin Roy MacKenzie”; and Craig Sutherland, Perth, Scotland, “Nameless – Cherede Darieva.”

Alasdair Henderson. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
MSR (25 competed, once through)
1st Alasdair Henderson, “Colonel MacLean of Ardgour,” “Piper’s Bonnet,” “Restalrig Road”
2nd Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland, “Mrs. Duncan MacFadyen,” “Shepherd’s Crook,” “Roddy MacDonald’s Fancy”
3rd Sarah Muir, Irvine, Scotland, “Allan Dodd’s Farewell to Scotland,” “Lady MacKenzie of Gairloch,” “Dr. McPhail’s Reel”
4th Cameron Drummond, Edinburgh, “The Lochaber Gathering,” “The Caledonian Society of London,” “The Little Cascade”
5th Ben Duncan, Edinburgh, “The Duchess of Edinburgh,” “Dora MacLeod,” “Neil Angus MacDonald”
Judges: Murray Henderson, John Wilson, Bob Worrall

MC Wilson Brown on the mic. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Also competing: Callum Beaumont, “The Glasgow Skye Association Centenary,” “Bob of Fettercairn,” “Ca’ the Ewes”; Alan Bevan, “John McDonald of Glencoe,” “Blair Drummond,” “John Morrison, Assynt House”; Glenn Brown, “Bonnie Ann,” “Peter Hunt,” “The Sound of Sleat”; Andrew Carlisle, Pittsburgh, “P-M George Ross’s Farewell to the Black Watch,” “Loch Loskin,” “Bessie McIntyre”; Angus D. MacColl, “The Cowal Gathering,” “Atholl Cummers,” “The Rejected Suitor”; Brian Donaldson, “Angus Campbell’s Farewell to Stirling,” “Highland Harry,” “Broadford Bay”; Brendan Eade, New Zealand, “Clan McColl,” “Monymusk,” “The Cockerel and the Creel”; Bruce Gandy, “Major Manson at Clachantrushal,” “Winnie Roberts,” “Stornoway Castle”; Angus J. MacColl, Oban, Scotland, “John McFadyen of Melfort,” “Susan MacLeod,” “Captain Lachlan McPhail of Tiree”; Finlay Johnston, “Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque,” “Islay Ball,” “Alick Cameron, Champion Piper”; Ian K. MacDonald, “P-M John Stewart,” “John Roy Stewart,” “The Brown-Haired Maiden”; Alastair Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, “Kantara to El-Arish,” “Delvinside,” “Loch Carron”; Jack Lee, “The Braes of Castle Grant,” “Arniston Castle,” “The Rookery”; Cameron MacDougall, Nigg, Scotland, “The Ross-shire Volunteers,” “Caber Feidh,” “The Sheepwife”; Roddy MacLeod, “The Marchioness of Tullibardine,” “Maggie Cameron,” “The Smith Chilliechassie”; Donald MacPhee, “Captain Carswell,” “Inveraray Castle,” “Malcolm Johnstone”; Fred Morrison, “Inveran,” “The Cameronian Rant,” “Pretty Marion”; Connor Sinclair, “David Ross of Rosehall,” “Catlodge,” “Drumlithie”; Iain Speirs, “P-M J. McWilliams,” “Tulloch Gorm,” “The Grey Bob”; and Craig Sutherland, “MacLean of Pennycross,” “Islay Ball,” “Miss Proud”;

Laura Mullin reports:

On a day forecast to be only 14°C and rainy, Glasgow proved sunny and much warmer. It was perfect weather for the outdoor practices of visiting bands and the numerous Piping Live! events. In the upstairs auditorium of the National Piping Centre, the morning Piobaireachd event began at a pleasant 21°. By evening, however, the MSR competition began at a hot and muggy 25°, with the shoulder-to-shoulder sold-out crowd helping it get even warmer as the event went along.

Clearly, though, the temperature and humidity agreed with the contestants’ hands, as the crowd was treated to some excellent music. The pipes were in fine sound, even with the tight three-minute tuning limit to keep the 25-person light music contest moving along.

A special shout-out to the outnumbered, but certainly not outplayed, Sarah Muir, who shone as the lone female representative, proving that though still few in numbers, the woman pipers at these events continue to play with equal tone, volume and musicality.






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