May 02, 2022

Idol hands make a devilish playground for hotshot young pipers at Piping Live!

Brodie Watson-Massey of Edinburgh was the winner of the last Pipe Idol round robin competition at the 2019 Piping Live! festival, joining past winners like Callum Brown, Sarah Muir, James Duncan MacKenzie and Connor Sinclair and, after a two-year hiatus, the event is back.

Brodie Watson-Massey competing in the final of the 2019 Pipe Idol competition for pipers 21 and younger. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Fast- and accurate-fingered pipers younger than 21 (on August 11, 2022) from around the world are being encouraged to apply for one of the 16 spots. All they have to do is send in a video playing a hornpipe & jig and a march, strathspey & reel before 5 pm GMT, May 27.

Those accepted will play in one of the qualifying heats at Piping Live!’s Street Café between between Monday, August 8th, and Thursday, August 11th, where one of four players is picked to go through to the four-piper final in the auditorium of the National Piping Centre later on August 11th.

They play an MSR, a HP&J and a five-to-seven-minute medley of their own choice in the heats and the final. Each heat and the final are judged by a bunch of “secret” judges scattered through the audience.

Apart from the glory of the Pipe Idol title, the winner gets a set of Fred Morrison Smallpipes.

If you’re young, keen and talented, and planning to be in Glasgow for Piping Live!, just record and upload your video(s) unlisted to YouTube of your sample MSR and HP&J and send in the link(s) and your name, age, date of birth and where you live by email to the organizers. Or you can Dropbox or WeTransfer them.

Here’s a little instructional video to make sure you get it right.

Pipe Idol was first held in 2004, and, in addition to a few of the winners listed above, accomplished pipers like Emmett Conway, Alex Gandy and David Wilton – all current Grade 1 band pipe-majors – have participated in the competition.





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