August 13, 2020

Callum Beaumont wins Alasdair Gillies Memorial Recital Challenge

Callum Beaumont on his way to winning the 2020 Alasdair Gillies Memorial Recital Challenge.

Glasgow – August 13, 2020 – Callum Beaumont of Linlithgow, Scotland, was the winner of the 2020 Pipe-Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Recital Challenge, held this year before a worldwide audience via £10 pay-per-view live-stream.

Also performing were Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland; Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland; Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow; and Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland.

The five invited players performed a recital of tunes of their own choice, the only rules being that they had to include a “big” MSR and the ground of a piobaireachd at some point, and that the entire performance is no longer than 40 minutes.

There was no cash award to the winner, and each performer received the same appearance fee.

The contest began in 2003 as a small and fairly impromptu event at the Lord Todd Bar at the University of Strathclyde, where many visiting bands stayed during their visit to Glasgow for the World Pipe Band Championships.

The event was in many ways a precursor to and inspiration for the Piping Live! festival, realizing a captive audience of music tourists eager to be entertained between the monotony of band practices and fish suppers.

Gillies Challenge emcee Andrew Bova.

The event shifted this year to the auditorium of the National Piping Centre, the in-person audience comprising only the emcee Andrew Bova and the live-stream crew. The contest was carefully social-distanced, and the players convened at the end wearing face masks.

Staying with the tradition of the event, the five judges were scattered among the live-stream audience, identities kept secret from the performers, with only the organizer, Willie McCallum, knowing their identities.

Audience at its peak reached about 300 viewers.

Callum Beaumont was also the winner of the 2019 Pipe-Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Recital Challenge, which took on the name in 2016 in homage to the late, great piper. Until then, the contest had been on hiatus for a few years.

Alasdair Gillies died in 2011, and was easily one of the greatest Highland pipers in history.

The five competitors at the end wearing face masks.



Beaumont prevails at Gillies Memorial
August 15, 2019

Angus MacColl wins Alasdair Gillies Challenge
August 16, 2018

Liddell wins Gillies Challenge
August 10, 2017

Liddell wins P-M Alasdair Gillies Memorial
August 11, 2016

Alasdair Gillies Memorial event coming to Piping Live!
April 27, 2016

Remembering Alasdair Gillies: Willie McCallum
November 30, 2011

Remembering Alasdair Gillies: Colin MacLellan
October 31, 2011

Alasdair Gillies, 1963-2011
August 31, 2011




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