January 18, 2020

Lee, Cooper, Johnson, Elliott pile up major Winter Storm hardware

Alastair Lee competing at Winter Storm 2020.

Kansas City, Missouri – January 17, 2020 – Alastair Lee of Coquitlam, British Columbia, won both of the top solo piping events, and Derek Cooper Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania took the top snare drumming prize at the annual Winter Storm competitions held at the Kansas City Marriott – Country Club Plaza hotel. For his success, Lee received the President’s Trophy for best overall piping. Sam Johnson, of Odenton, Maryland, won the Gold Medal Tenor event, and Andrew Elliott of Houston won the Gold Medal for bass drumming. Nearly 170 solo competitors competed across professional and amateur contests.

The event is put on by the non-profit Midwest Highland Arts Fund, and is part of a four-day weekend that also includes teaching, performances and parties.

Solo Piping
United States Gold Medal
(12 competed, sponsored by R.G. Hardie & Co. & Midwest Highland Arts Fund)
1st Alastair Lee, “The Blind Piper’s Obstinacy”
2nd Nick Hudson Houston
3rd James P. Troy, Victoria, British Columbia
4th Andrew Donlon, Washington, DC
5th Ben McClamrock, Washington, DC
6th Derek Midgley, Tinton Falls, New Jersey
Judges: Ian Duncan, Alastair Dunn, Stuart Liddell

United States Silver Medal (23 competed, sponsored by McCallum Bagpipes & Midwest Highland Arts Fund)
1st Brad Davidson, Waterloo, Ontario
2nd James Feeney, West Simsbury, Connecticut
3rd Bobby Durning, Salem, Massachusetts
4th Kate Kimove, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
5th Dan Lyden, Baltimore
6th Jack Williamson
7th Austin Diepenhorst, Santee, California
8th Patrick Regan, Dallas
Judges: Callum Beaumont, Margaret Dunn

Overall professional solo piping winners at Winter Storm 2020 (L-R): Ben McClamrock, Nick Hudson, Alastair Lee, Derek Midgley, Andrew Carlisle, James P. Troy.

MSRHPJ (35 competed)
1st Alastair Lee, “Leaving Lunga,” “Delvinside,” “Loch Caron,” “Mrs. Adeline Duncan,” “Mrs. MacLeod of Raasay”
2nd James P. Troy
3rd Nick Hudson
4th Jack Williamson, Topeka, Kansas
5th Andrew Carlisle, Pittsburgh
6th Campbell Webster, Concord, New Hampshire
Judges: Ian Duncan, Roddy MacLeod, Richard Parkes (Qualifier: Ken Eller, Roddy S. MacDonald, Fred Morrison)

Grade 1
(16 competed)
(sponsored by the Tone Protector @ & Midwest Highland Arts Fund)
1st Charles Morris, Agoura Hills, California
2nd Kevin Darmadi, Houston
3rd Patrick MacDonald, Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia
4th Angus Burke, Bloomington, Indiana
5th Tyler Destremps Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
6th Aaron Malcomb, Bellingham, Washington
Judge: Jack Lee

1st Charles Morris
2nd Ben Peterson, Lombard, Illinois
3rd Liam Murray, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
4th Angus Burke
5th Kayleigh Johnstone, Aurora, Ontario
6th Tyler Destremps
Judge: Jack Lee

Grade 2 (14 competed)
(sponsored by the Tone Protector @ & Midwest Highland Arts Fund)
1st Cameron Bonar, Surrey, British Columbia
2nd Conner Francis, Bellevue, Washington
3rd Hugo Mackay, Redmond, Washington
4th Alexander MacDonald, Pickering, Ontario
5th Heather Pastva, Columbia, South Carolina
6th Samuel Duarte, Erie, Colorado
Judge: Willie McCallum

Light Music
1st Cameron Bonar
2nd Victoria McRae, St. Catharines, Ontario
3rd Hugo Mackay
4th Heather Pastva
5th Joel Hrncir, Houston
6th Emily Feeney, West Simsbury, Connecticut
Judge: Roddy S. MacDonald

Grade 3 (17 competed)
(sponsored by the Tone Protector @ & Midwest Highland Arts Fund)
1st Michael Saxer, East Northpoint, New York
2nd Bridget Englebretson, Raleigh
3rd Clayton Nelson, Franksville, Wisconsin
4th Aidan MacNeil, Christmas Island, Nova Scotia
5th Canaan Strobel, Houston
6th William Fenner, Houston
Judge: Alastair Dunn

Light Music
1st Canaan Strobel
2nd Kim Greeley, Honolulu
3rd Bridget Englebretson
4th Bill Wei. Houston
5th Paula Campbell, Kanata, Ontario
6th Clayton Nelson
Judge: Terry Lee

Overall solo snare drumming winners, Winter Storm 2020 (L-R): Richard Baughman, Eric MacNeill, Stephen Paynter, Derek Cooper, Grant Maxwell, Robert Bruce Graham.

Solo Drumming (sponsored by Cameron Drumming Studio & Midwest Highland Arts Fund)
North American Gold Medal
(14 competed)
1st Derek Cooper
2nd Stephen Paynter, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
3rd Eric MacNeill, Dunedin, Florida
4th Grant Maxwell, Surrey, British Columbia
5th Robert Bruce Graham, Jr., Everett, Washington
6th Richard Baughman Pittsburgh
Judges: Gordon Brown, Stephen Creighton, Steven McWhirter (Qualifier:
John Fisher, Duncan Millar, Eric Ward)

Grade 1 (18 competed)
1st Sebastian Arguelles, Houston
2nd Matthew Page, Hamilton, Ontario
3rd Jake Mix, Port Moody, British Columbia
Judges: Gordon Brown, Hugh Cameron, Jim Sim

Grade 2 (nine competed)
1st Alec Flansburg, Rotterdam, New York
2nd Sanjay Philip, Houston
3rd Aditya Casudevan, Pearland, Texas
Judges: Stephen Creighton, John Fisher, Steven McWhirter

Grade 3 (seven competed)
1st Matthew Seitz, Houston
2nd Tyler Boydstun, Ogden, Utah
3rd Teddy Duarte, Erie, Colorado
Judges: Hugh Cameron, Duncan Millar, Jim Sim

North American Gold Medal
(12 competed)
1st Sam Johnson, Odenton, Maryland
2nd Andrew Elliott, Houston
3rd Brianna McDonald, West Dundee, Illinois
Judges: Jordan Baillie, Simon Hodgett, Norman MacLeod

Intermediate (eight competed)
1st Andrea Jackson, Maitland, Ontario
2nd Fiona McCall, Stirling, Scotland
3rd Mitchell Olding, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Judges: Jordan Baillie, Simon Hodgett, Norman MacLeod

Novice (four competed)
1st Rohan Sankar, Houston
2nd Mikelle Murdoch, Des Moines, Iowa
3rd Kieran Underwood, Houston
Judges: Jordan Baillie, Simon Hodgett, Norman MacLeod

North American Gold Medal
(five competed)
1st Andrew Elliott, Houston
2nd Alexander Kuldell, Falls Church, Virginia
3rd Colin McKail, Hamilton, Ontario
Judges: Steve Foley, Christina Hanks

Intermediate (four competed)
1st David Zimmerman, Minneapolis
2nd Maddison Sprague, Warminster, Pennsylvania
3rd Brian Doefer, Howell, Michigan
Judges: Steve Foley, Christina Hanks


  1. A thought… an event this large, I think its would help to list the total number of competitors in each event…..if not all the names. Just to give a bit better perspective. For example, the overseas contingent has increased dramatically over the years. St Laurence O’Toole was quite prominent this year.



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