Inverness Day 2: Iain Speirs wins Clasp, Leask B-MSR, MacColl HP&J

Published: September 1, 2017
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Iain Speirs with the Clasp trophy.

Inverness, Scotland – September 1, 2017 – The Northern Meeting continued at Eden Court Theatre with the Clasp for winners of the Inverness Gold Medal and the balance of the light music competitions. Iain Speirs of Edinburgh won the Clasp, considered the highest award in solo piping for piobaireachd. It was his second time winning the event, his first being in 2014. Speirs also gained the Northern Meeting Quaich for overall best performance across the Premier and A-Grade events. For his win, Speirs gets an invitation to the 2017 Glenfiddich Championship.

Steven Leask of Glasgow took the B-Grade MSR, catapulting him into the A-Grade light music competitions, while Angus D. MacColl took his eighth Premier / A-Grade Hornpipe & Jig title at Inverness.

Stuart Easton of Palmerston North, New Zealand, won the overall trophy in the B-Grade events.

Of note, the legendary solo piper Willie McCallum’s streak of 29 consecutive inviiations and appearances at the Glenfiddich will likely come to an end. Between him and his uncle, Hugh MacCallum, there have been 43 successive years of the family competing at the contest since its inception. Stuart Liddell will also likely not gain a Glenfiddich invitation.

First prize winners and organizers at the 2017 Northern Meeting. [Photo by Alister Sinclair, used with permission]

The first day of the Northern Meeting saw Ali Henderson, Cameron Drummond, Stuart Easton and Ben Duncan win, respectively, the Gold Medal, Silver Star, Silver Medal and A-Grade MSR.

+ Inverness Day 1: Henderson takes Gold, Easton Silver, Duncan: A-MSR, Drummond: Silver Star

Iain Speirs competing in the Clasp with Stuart Shedden, John Wilson and Jack Taylor on the bench. [Photo by Alister Sinclair, used with permission]

Clasp (for winners of the Gold Medal at Inverness, 20 entered)
1st Iain Speirs, “Lament for Colin Roy MacKenzie”
2nd Angus D. MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland
3rd Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland
4th Glenn Brown, Glasgow
5th Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth Nova Scotia
Judges: Stuart Shedden, Jack Taylor, John Wilson

B-Grade MSR (34 entered)
1st Steven Leask, Glasgow
2nd Jonathon Simpson,Bo’ness, Scotland
3rd Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland
4th Sandy Cameron, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland
5th Andrew Lee, Surrey, British Columbia
Judges: Ian Duncan, Ronnie McShannon, Iain Morrison

Premier & A-Grade Hornpipe & Jig (41 entered)
1st Angus D. MacColl
2nd Stuart Liddell
3rd Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh
4th Ian K. MacDonald, Whitby, Ontario
5th Sean McKeown, Toronto
Judge: Walter Cowan, Dr. Angus MacDonald, Iain MacFadyen,

B-Grade Hornpipe & Jig (32 entered)
1st Sandy Cameron
2nd Stuart Easton
3rd Ursa Beckford, Clifton, Maine
4th Callum Watson, Lockerbie, Scotland
5th Greig Wilson, Cardenden, Scotland
Judges: Ian McLellan, Robert Wallace

Under 18
1st Finlay Cameron
2nd Martin MacRae
3rd Jordan Ednie
4th Andrew Ferguson

1st Robbie MacIsaac
2nd Finlay Cameron
3rd Calum Craib
4th Andrew Ferguson

Under 15
1st Peyton Stewart
2nd Kyle Cameron
3rd Ciaran Kellet
4th Robert Allan

1st Robert Allan
2nd Kyle Cameron
3rd Paul Christie
4th Eosaph Caimbeul

The Northern Meeting’s sister competition, the Argyllshire Gathering, was held last week in Oban, Scotland.

+ Oban Day 1: Sutherland takes Gold; Brown, Sr.; MacDougall Silver

+ Oban Day 2: Alex Gandy gets a double

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UPCOMING EVENTS October 28, 2017Glenfiddich Solo Piping ChampionshipBlair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scotland

November 4, 2017London CompetitionsKensington Conference & Events Centre, The Town Hall, Hornton Street London

November 5, 2017Bloomington Pipers’ Society November GatheringSt Thomas Lutheran Church, Bloomington, IN

November 10, 2017Silicon Valley Pipe & Drum WorkshopSaratoga, CA

December 3, 2017Bloomington Pipers’ Society December GatheringSt Thomas Lutheran Church, Bloomington, IN

Quality reed selection is a pre-requisite to obtaining a good tone in a pipe corps. Four criteria to consider when testing reeds are balance, vibrancy, volume and strength. Check the High A Low A balance against a single sounding tenor drone – if these two notes are in the ballpark chances are the rest of the notes can be tuned.
Stewart MacKenzie, P-M, Manawatu Scottish