October 23, 2021

Nashville and Andrew Walker rock Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain, Georgia – October 16, 2021 – A bright sunny day greeted crowds who turned out for the 49th Annual Stone Mountain Highland Games, in Stone Mountain, Georgia, the second major competition of the Southern USA fall season. Sixteen bands competed and there was a slightly reduced, yet still healthy, turnout of soloists. A new layout of the games site to reduce crowding due to COVID concerns was well received.

Nashville Pipe Band, winners of Grade 3 at the 2021 Stone Mountain Highland Games.

In the band competitions, the Grade 3 competition saw the debut performance of Nashville, which won the event with the local Grade 3 Atlanta taking second.

Grade 3
1st Nashville (1,1,1,1)
2nd Atlanta (2,2,2,2)
Judges: Sandy Jones, Eric Ouelette (piping); June Hanley (ensemble); Jon Quigg (drumming)

In Grade 4, North Texas Caledonian of Dallas won first, followed by Chattanooga and Atlanta (Gr4) third. It should be noted that all three of these bands are either feeder programs for an upper-grade band or have feeder programs with a lower graded band, boding for a strong future.

Grade 4
1st North Texas (1,1,1,2)
2nd Chattanooga (2,2,2,3)
3rd Atlanta (Gr4) (3,3,3,1)
4th City of Greenville (4,5,4,4)
5th Clan Lindsay (5,4,6,6)
6th Charleston Police(6,6,5,5)
Judges: Andrew Walker, Maureen Connor (piping); Bill Caudill (ensemble); Scott Fletcher (drumming).

Stone Mountain 2021 Grade 5 winners Harvey E. Ritch Memorial.

The Grade 5 contest was the largest contest with nine bands competing with a high standard among the prize-winners, and again promising future advancement in the post-pandemic era. First were Harvey E. Ritch Memorial of North Carolina, which is named in honor of that late stalwart of the southern scene who did so much to promote piping in the Carolinas from the 1960s until his passing a few years ago. The band also won the Southern Branch Championship for their grade at the Scotland County Games two weeks previous in only their second outing since their formation in the fall prior to the pandemic. Second went to North Texas Caledonian (Gr5), and third place to Baton Rouge Caledonian, a testimony to the spread of piping and drumming in areas that only a few years back were bereft of quality playing.

Grade 5
1st Harvey E. Ritch Memorial (2,3,1,1)
2nd North Texas Caledonian ( 1,1,4,2)
3rd Baton Rouge Caledonian (3,2,2,4)
4th Jamestown (4,4,3,6)
5th Chattanooga (Gr5) (5,6,6,3)
6th Nashville (Gr5) (8,5,5,5)
7th John Mohr MacKintosh (6,7,7,7)
8th Charleston Police (7,8,8,8)
Judges: Sandy Jones, Eric Ouelette (piping); June Hanley (ensemble); Jon Quigg (drumming)

Professional solo piping events were held on Friday night at the host hotel with a somewhat small entry. Eric Ouelette was the winner of the MSR, followed by Andrew Walker and Jim Feeney third. Andrew Walker edged out Ouelette for the Piobaireachd first prize. Andrew Walker was the overall winner with a piobaireachd preference.

Professional Solo Piping
1st Andrew Walker
2nd Eric Ouelette
3rd Jim Feeney
4th Tyler Destremps
5th Grace Abernethy
Judge: June Hanley

1st  Eric Ouelette
2nd Andrew Walker
3rd Jim Feeney
4th Tyler Destremps
5th Grace Abernethy
Judge June Hanley
Judge: Bill Caudill

Do you have results? You’re encouraged to send them to pipes|drums, along with a photo or two, so they can be recorded in perpetuity.– contributed by Bill Caudill




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