February 03, 2021

Gandy charity contest goes to Watson and Biggs

The Internet – February 2, 2021 – The first Bruce Gandy Bagpiping Development Society charitable Open Professional and Open Amateur solo piping competitions were won by Calum Watson of Glasgow and Joe Biggs of Lombard, Illinois, respectively, after nearly 82 recorded video entries were assessed by a panel of eight judges. Watson received a custom flask donated by McCallum Bagpipes, and Biggs got a pipe bag of his choice from Lee & Sons Bagpipes.

There were two “open” categories for pipers with a professional grading and those with an amateur classification at any level.

Each competitor had to play one four-part (minimum) hornpipe and two four-part (minimum) jigs, including one of the tunes composed by a Canadian-born piper and another tune composed in the 2000s. The third tune, in either idiom, had no author or date stipulations.

The overall results were determined by taking all rankings in each category and then throwing out both the high and the low scores from the eight judges, leaving the other six ratings to decide the prize lists.

Open Professional
1st Calum Watson, “The Henningham Reunion” (by Bruce Gandy); “The Hen’s March” (by Donald MacLeod); “The Killer Bees” (by Calum Watson)
2nd James MacHattie, Summerside, Prince Edward Island
3rd Daniel Carr, Collingwood, Ontario
4th Andrew Donlon, Washington, DC
5th Ross Miller, Linlithgow, Scotland
6th Aidan Bowen, Pickering, Ontario

“The Henningham Reunion” by Bruce Gandy and Donald MacLeod’s “The Hen’s March” are well known published tunes, but “The Killer Bees” by Watson himself isn’t yet. The name of the 12/8 jig is actually from the headline to a pipes|drums article reporting on the 2018 Argyllshire Gathering when Watson and Liam Kernaghan of New Zealand won each of the B-Grade events. We are pleased to publish the composition for the first time here with Watson’s permission. Just click on the image:

Open Amateur
1st Joe Biggs, “Colin Mackay” (by Reay Mackay); “The Geese in the Bog”(by Donald MacLeod); “Callum Moffat’s” (by Chris Armstrong)
2nd Kyle Cameron, Rosemarkie, Scotland
3rd Connor Eckert, Fallbrook, California
4th Henry Paluch, Aurora, Ontario
5th Jessica Bain, Halifax, Nova Scotia
6th Liam Murray, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

The judges for each event were: Andrea Boyd, Alex Gandy, Bruce Gandy, Andrew Lee, Colin MacLellan, Ian K. MacDonald, Iain MacDonald and Dani Brin Millar.

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.



Gandy charitable solo contest already at 50 entries
January 12, 2021

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






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