Marshall fields 2020 Nicol-Brown Amateur Championship
The Internet – October 10, 2020 – Stuart Marshall of Stokesdale, North Carolina, gained the most aggregate points from results of the three events to win the 2020 Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Solo Piping Championship, held online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Marshall edged out Tyler Destremps of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, by one point, while Henry Paluch of Aurora, Ontario, took two first prizes but, with no prize in the Piobaireachd event, settled for third overall.
Competitors submitted performances by uploaded video, and the judges assessed them over the span of a few days. The competition’s organizing committee analyzes amateur results and season standings from various associations, along with other non-sanctioned contests, or competitors placing well in large contests outside of their home association. A list is then put together for the 10-player Nicol-Brown, which has been running since 1982. The announcement of the prizes was made live via the Internet.
Piobaireachd (Nicol-Brown Chalice)
1st Stuart Marshall, “The MacLeods’ Salute”
2nd Tyler Destremps, “I Got a Kiss of the King’s Hand”
3rd Sandy Adams, Vancouver, “Hector MacLean’s Warning”
4th Justin Howland, Salt Lake City, Utah, “The MacDougalls’ Gathering”
5th Jessica Bain, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, “Lament for Donald of Laggan”
Judges: Patrick Molard, Jack Taylor
MSR (William Ross Challenge Targe)
1st Henry Paluch, “The Argyllshire Gathering,” “Caledonian Society of London,” “Tom Kettles”
2nd Tyler Destremps, “The 74th’s Farewell to Edinburgh,” “Loch Loskin,” “Broadford Bay”
3rd Jessica Bain, “The Braes of Castle Grant,” “Kirstie MacCallman’s Favourite,” “Peter MacFarquhar”
4th Stuart Marshall, “Donald MacLellan of Rothesay,” “Bob of Fettercairn,” “Dr. McPhail’s Reel”
5th Justin Howland, “Allan Dodd’s Farewell to Scotland,” “Catlodge,” “Traditional”
Judges: Matt MacIsaac, Sarah Muir
6/8 Marches (Donald MacLeod Memorial)
1st Henry Paluch, “The Hills of Kowloon,” “The Goldfinch”
2nd Liam MacDonald, Wellesley, Ontario, “Dr. Ross’s 50th Welcome to the Argyllshire Gathering,” “MacLeod of Mull”
3rd Stuart Marshall, “The Braemar Gathering,” “The Trees of North Uist”
4th Tyler Destremps, “Cameron MacFadyen,” “Jean Mauchline”
5th Jessica Bain, “Tug Argan Gap,” “Angus Mackinnon”
Judges: Matt MacIsaac, Sarah Muir
Also competing were Kevin Darmadi, Houston; Ross Davison, Ottawa; and Laura Neville, North Hanover, New Jersey.
The Nicol-Brown has been the inspiration for other similar events around the world. Last year’s competition was held in Troy, New York, and the 2020 edition was to have been held in the more central Philadelphia, but the COVID-19 situation forced the organizers to move to an online version.
The Nicol-Brown is run by a committed team of volunteers, and supported by numerous sponsors. Non-profit pipes|drums once again gave a monetary sponsorship to the event, and provided each competitor with a subscription to the online magazine.
The Ontario-based George Sherriff Amateur Invitational, which was started many years after the Nicol-Brown and uses the identical format, was cancelled outright.
Next year’s Nicol-Brown has already been scheduled for October 9, 2020, in Philadelphia.
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