Bruce Gandy’s record-tying Big Spree
With his win of the MacCrimmon Memorial Cairn Open Piobaireachd at the 2021 British Columbia Pipers Society’s Annual Gathering, Bruce Gandy made piping history.
Gandy became only the second piper ever to win a major solo piping prize at least once in five consecutive decades, first winning the MacCrimmon Cairn in 1982, and going on to capture the trophy seven more times, in 1991, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2014, 2017 and, of course, 2021.
Only his fellow native of British Columbia, Jack Lee, has equalled the five-straight-decades feat. Lee has won the prize 14 times, beginning in 1977 and most recently in 2019. He did not compete in the 2021 Annual Gathering, which was held online.
The great Donald MacPherson is the only other piper to capture a major prize in five separate decades, albeit it not consecutively. MacPherson first won the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering at Oban, Scotland, in 1948, the same year he won the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal, also at Oban. He would go on to win the prize another 13 times, a staggering record unlikely to be equalled.
MacPherson did not compete for most of the 1970s, and his decades streak skipped that period, but quickly resumed in the 1980s. He last won the prize in 1990, a few weeks before his sixty-eighth birthday.
We are pleased to provide pipes|drums readers with Bruce Gandy’s winning performance of “The Big Spree,” which tied a record and added another feat to his long list of achievements in piping.
The British Columbia Pipers Association’s Annual Gathering was first held in 1933, making it one of the longest-running piping competitions outside of Scotland.
Bruce Gandy the big winner of 2021 BCPA Annual Gathering
April 17, 2021