April 29, 2024

New European solo piping contest could be coming with enough support

Eric Stein in a 2016 photo. [pipes|drums]
He’s created the Sun Belt Invitational, the Ardmore Cup, and the Metro Cup. Now, solo piping competition impresario Eric Stein is hoping to create a new event in continental Europe if he can garner enough interest and organizational support.

Stein’s vision is for solo pipers of Open/Professional or “high-level amateur” status to meet at knockout-style events in various European countries, with a final competition held in Germany later in the year.

The events would be a freestyle medley judged by the audience, and the organizers could be pipe bands, piping clubs, or simply a group of enthusiasts who put on the knockouts.

“It’s an idea that I had that would rely on local groups or an individual to organize events,” Stein said. “I picked Germany for the final because they have a vibrant piping community and I wanted the final to be in a place other than the UK and Ireland.”

Stein added that he and his wife would put up a “nice cash prize and trophy” for the final winner.

“I am still trying to get folks involved, and so far, Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands have shown interest. Any country that has two players can get in the game. This will work well if we can get some local support.”

He’s seeking volunteers from any country who would like to participate and invites them to contact him directly at 1-631-241-5757 or by email. He’s targeting the preliminary legs to start this year and the final in Germany in March 2025.

What’s motivating Eric Stein to develop the event? “The purpose is to promote piping and have some fun while doing it.”

Since launching the Sun Belt Invitational in 2022, the competition has quickly emerged as one of the world’s premier solo piping competitions. The event inspired the launch of the Ardmore Cup in Ireland, which uses a similar format and operates without an association’s strictures.

He was also behind an attempt to form a coalition to purchase the Husabost estate on the Isle of Skye to develop the derelict Victorian-era house into a centre for piping.






Forgotten Password?