September 02, 2019

Glenfiddich 2019 lineup confirmed

Blair Castle, Glenfiddich Championships venue.

The 10 invitees to the 2019 Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championships have been confirmed by the organizers, pending each piper’s acceptance to the event to be held on October 26 at Blair Castle in Blair Atholl, Scotland:

  • Callum Beaumont, Linlithgow, Scotland – Northern Meeting Clasp winner, overall championship at London
  • Glenn Brown, Glasgow – Bratach Gorm winner
  • Andrew Hayes, Ottawa – Argyllshire Gathering Gold Medal winner
  • Finlay Johnston, Glasgow – 2018 Glenfiddich Championship winner
  • Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia – second prize Northern Meeting Clasp
  • Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland – Masters Championship winner, Argyllshire Gathering Senior Piobaireachd winner, Northern Meeting Silver Star winner,
  • Gordon McCready, Paisley, Scotland – Argyllshire Gathering Former Winners MSR winner
  • Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland – Northern Meeting Gold Medal winner
  • Iain Speirs, Edinburgh – second prize Argyllshire Gathering Senior Piobaireachd
  • Niall Stewart, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland – second prize Northern Meeting Silver Star MSR

Because Stuart Liddell won three and Callum Beaumont won two of the qualifying competitions, organizers went to three second prize-winners to complete the list, so Jack Lee, Iain Speirs and Niall Stewart each get the nod. All three have won at least one Glenfiddich Championship.

Glenfiddich Piobaireachd event judges will be Patricia Henderson, Colin MacLellan and Stuart Samson, and the MSR will be judged by Murray Henderson, Dr. Angus MacDonald and John Wilson.

Interestingly, this year’s Glenfiddich will be a milestone of sorts, due to none of three of the greatest names in piping history who combined have won 17 Glenfiddich Championships, not gaining an invitation for the first time in decades. Angus MacColl (4), Roddy MacLeod (5) and Willie McCallum (8) will be sitting this one out. McCallum’s eight titles are the all-time record.

Twenty-three-year-old Connor Sinclair will make his first appearance at the event.

The event will see a change in the Fear An Tighe (emcee) role, with accomplished piper, scholar and host of BBC Radio Scotland’s Pipeline show, Gary West, lending his voice and pith to the proceedings.

Also awarded at the event is the Balvenie Medal, the highest honour there is for services to piping beyond competition success.

The Glenfiddich is sponsored by the William Grant Foundation, which has staged the contest since 1973. The organization sponsors several piping events, including the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering, the Scottish Piping Society of London competitions, the Captain John MacLellan Memorial Medal and Piping Live!


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