Glenfiddich gets set for broadcast
Picturesque Blair Castle in the rolling Perthshire autumn countryside is once again the setting for the Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championships, where 10 of the world’s elite pipers are showing testing their mettle on the stage of the venue’s great hall.
The program of Piobaireachd and March, Strathspey & Reel performances is being packaged in a pay-per-view broadcast beginning at 10 am GMT (6 am EDT) on Saturday, October 31st, with access to the online production priced at £15 (about USD$19.50 / CAD$26). 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.
Contestants reportedly will record their adjudicated performances on Friday, October 30th, the videos pulled into a program, with the “live” nature of the competition altered due to safety measures around Scotland’s COVID-19 protocols. According to several people involved, those involved with the competition have apparently been required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, presumably to mitigate the risk of results becoming known in advance.
2020 Glenfiddich Championships contestants:
- Callum Beaumont, Linlithgow, Scotland (2019 Bratach Gorm and overall London Champion)
- Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada (Glenfiddich Championship runner-up 2016)
- Finlay Johnston, Glasgow (2019, 2018 Glenfiddich Champion)
- Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada (2003, 2017)
- Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland (2009, 2014)
- Angus MacColl, Benderloch , Scotland (1995, 2006, 2010, 2015)
- Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow (1992, 1997, 2002, 2011, 2014, 2016)
- Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland (1990, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005)
- Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland (runner-up 2019)
- Iain Speirs, Edinburgh (2012, 2013)
This year’s event – as a result of all qualifying competitions except for the Scottish Piping Society of London’s November 2019 contest and last year’s Glenfiddich being cancelled – features former winners of the Glenfiddich Championship who are still actively competing.
Gandy and Sinclair, the most recent runners-up in past Glenfiddich Championships, were invited to complete the 10 spots..
Judges for the Piobaireachd event are Iain MacFadyen, Willie Morrison and Jack Taylor. The MSR is being judged by Walter Cowan, Colin MacLellan and Ian McLellan.
The broadcast is hosted via Glasgow’s National Piping Centre’s website. That organization is making a call for donations, too, saying, “The pandemic has hit our charity hard, making it hard to teach piping and continue to develop projects to support piping across the world. We would be grateful if you could make a donation to us to help us continue with our work into the future. If you are having a watch party where there are several of you getting together to watch on one ticket, we hope you could spare us a few extra pounds, euros or dollars, which would help ensure the future of The National Piping Centre and all its projects at this worrying time.”
The system means that Willie McCallum has a shot at breaking his own record of eight Glenfiddich Championships. McCallum had not qualified for the event since 2016.
Gandy and Lee flew from Canada to Scotland more than two weeks ago, quarantining in place before the event under Scotland’s strict measures for foreign visitors. They will each need to shelter in place for two weeks when they return to Canada, committing a month to the event.
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 competitors decided
September 21, 2020
Glenfiddich going pay-per-view online
June 22, 2020