January 12, 2021

Gandy charitable solo contest already at 50 entries

With still three days left to enter the first Gandy Bagpiping Development Society Charity Competition, the event has seen more than 50 entries from around the world, each prepared to adhere to the event’s novel format.

In only two categories – Professional and Amateur – pipers will have to play one four-part hornpipe and two four-part jigs, including one tune composed by a Canadian-born piper and another tune composed in the 2000s. The third tune, in either idiom, can be whatever the piper wants to play.

“For the contest, we really wanted to make sure it wasn’t another of the same,” said Alex Gandy, who’s organizing the event with his  father, Bruce. “People have been doing mostly online contests for nearly a full year, and I noticed myself it was almost exclusively MSR and Piobaireachd. I wanted to help to raise some money for the charity in a fun manner. A hornpipe-jig-jig is an event that both dad and I felt we would’ve enjoyed playing in. Putting the extra jig on there made us feel like it would be a bit more substantial.”

Another unique approach is that there will be eight judges, each assessing every performance in both the Professional and Amateur categories. But each competitor will have their highest and lowest result dropped from the total.

“We agreed that that would be a great way to keep things fair,” Gandy added. “With eight judges and sets of ears, we thought dropping the high and low would help to make sure the right result came through.”

The eight judges are Andrea Boyd, Andrew Lee, Ian K. MacDonald, Iain MacDonald (Regina), Colin MacLellan, Dani Brin Millar, and Alex and Bruce Gandy. Performances will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube, and judges will take a week to critique and rate them.

Each entry is $10 and all proceeds after costs go the Bruce Gandy Bagpiping Development Society, a charitable organization that helps fund the educational pursuits of young pipers. Deadline is January 15th, and entries can be made by email, and entry fee by PayPal to

Bruce Gandy was voted Piper of the Year in the 2020 pipes|drums New Year’s Honours, in part for his charitable work that includes this competition.



Alex and Bruce Gandy launch innovative solo piping contest for charity (video)
December 7, 2020

The 20th annual pipes|drums New Year’s Honours
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