McWhirter wins third straight and fourth career World Solo Drumming title

Published: October 19, 2013
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Glasgow – October 19, 2013 – Steven McWhirter gained his third consecutive World Solo Pipe Band Drumming Championship at another large event at Glasgow Caledonian Univistry. It was the fourth time overall that the leading-drummer of the Grade 1 Inveraray & District Pipe Band achieved the award.

Adult Section
1st Steven McWhirter, Inveraray & District
2nd Blair Brown, Shotts & Dykehead
3rd Barry Wilson, ScottishPower
4th Eric Ward, Greater Glasgow Police Scotland
5th William Glenholmes, Cullybackey
6th Stephen Creighton, St. Laurence O’Toole

Newly introduced to the competition was a doubling of each competitor’s scores in the MSR section, so that twice as much weight was given to that event than the Hornpipe & Jig.

The MSR Final judges were Gordon Craig, Gordon Parkes and Paul Turner; Hornpipe & Jig judges were Jim Baxter, David Brown and Greg Dinsdale

Steven McWhirter performing with Inveraray& District Pipe-Major Stuart Liddell at the 2012 Pipes+Drums Recital in Glasgow, sponsored by pipes|drums Magazine.

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  1. JimMcGillivray

    I find it interesting that in the World’s Solo Drumming Championship results, the winners are listed along with the band they play with rather than the place they are from the way pipers would be. It seems quite un-solo-like to me…..

  2. Blair

    Very good question, Jim. We all recognize that drummers are far more corps oriented than pipers… Why, you might ask? In my opinion, it is strongly influenced by the fact that there aren’t many solo competitions for drummers. A fact worth noting: You must be registered with a band to enter the World Solo Drumming Championships. It proves difficult to be a “solo” drummer the way that pipers can be “solo” pipers. A big congrats to Steven (Chuckles) on his 4th World title. A job well done, and surely sweetened by the fact that his infant son was there “cheering” him on!

  3. Lawrie

    Congratulations to Steve, all place-getters and finalists. Drumming solos are really proof that these players are born from a musical ensemble and always require some of a pipe band’s elements in order to compete ‘solo’ and best showcase their craft. A pipe band environment is where all their energies and skills are plied. It is as much about how the pipe score is supported and sympathised with, as it is about technique. It is probably more akin to Jazz and Heavy Metal drumming than it is other snare-orientated disciplines. They don’t just keep the beat, or show off their technique. They have to meld with the pipe music.

  4. AndrewBerthoff

    Jim — I’ve thought about that, too. I think there are a variety of reasons. 1) Drumming events are almost always put on by pipe band associations, 2) Drummers almost always proudly wear their band uniform and have a piper from the band accompany them, and 3) They are rarely purely solo competitions, since they’re playing with another instrument, usually piping and drumming scores set for the band. The direct opposite of those three points is true of top-tier solo piping competitions.

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  • Merge method
    Thu, 1 Oct 2015
    The season’s over in the northern hemisphere. The World Championships and regional events are done and dusted. Pipe bands will take a break for a month or two, recharge the tuning metre, dry out the kitty litter, loosen the lugs, …
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UPCOMING EVENTS October 10, 2015The 33rd Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Piping CompetitionSt. Paul's Episcopal Church, 21 Hackett Blvd., Albany, NY 12208

October 11, 2015Master Class with Callum BeaumontCeltic Hall, 430 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205

October 17, 2015World Solo DrummingGlasgow Caledonia University, Glasgow, Scotland

November 20, 2015The Balmoral Classic: The US Junior Solo Bagpiping and Solo Snare Drumming ChampionshipsMcGonigle Theater, CCHS, 4720 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA. 15213

December 5, 2015Victoria Square DayChristchurch University of Canterbury

Pipers: The trend today is to sink a chanter reed as far as it can go in the reed seat, and then tape all the holes that are sharp, or drill the holes bigger if the note is flat. Raising a reed slightly or just getting the reed placed ideally in the seat can make a world of difference.
Brian Donaldson, Inveran Bagpipes, Edinburgh