September 21, 2020

Glenfiddich competitors decided

Blair Castle, venue for the Glenfiddich Championships.

The 2020 Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championships will take place on October 31st usual, live from the Great Hall of Blair Castle in Blair Atholl, Scotland, but this year with the 10 contestants playing with physical distancing before only the judges, no in-person audience but the event live-streamed to the world.

2020 contestants:

  • Callum Beaumont, Linlithgow, Scotland
  • Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Finlay Johnston, Glasgow
  • Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland
  • Angus MacColl, Benderloch , Scotland
  • Roderick MacLeod, Glasgow
  • Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland
  • Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland
  • Iain Speirs, Edinburgh

With most of the 2020 qualifying events cancelled, the organizers have had to reinvent the selections process. Johnston, by virtue of winning the 2019 Glenfiddich, and Beaumont, by winning both the 2019 Bratach Gorm and the overall championship at the Scottish Pipers Society of London’s annual competitions last November, qualified by the traditional rules.

The rest are either winners of previous Glenfiddich Championship who are still competing or the most recent runners-up who haven’t won the overall title (Gandy, 2016, and Sinclair, 2019).

Of note, the system means that Willie McCallum will get a shot at breaking his own record of eight Glenfiddich Championships. McCallum had not qualified for the event since 2016.

To compete, Gandy and Lee will have to quarantine in place in Scotland for two weeks before the event.

The competition will be live-streamed in a pay-per-view format via the National Piping Centre. Cost is £15 per person for all-day access. Those buying tickets in advance will be eligible for two prize draws for a full set of bagpipes from either McCallum Bagpipes or R.G. Hardie & Co.

The judges are Piobaireachd: Iain MacFadyen, Willie Morrison and Jack Taylor; March, Strathspey & Reel: Walter Cowan, Colin MacLellan and Ian McLellan.

The Fear an tighe (master of ceremonies) will be John Wilson.

Finlay Johnston was the winner of both the 2019 and 2018 Glenfiddich Championship.

The competition is organized and sponsored by the William Grant Foundation, the charitable arm of the William Grant & Sons, the biggest underwriter of piping events worldwide.



Glenfiddich going pay-per-view online





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