Nicol-Brown Amateur plans for contest-by-video
The 2020 Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Solo Piping Competition will happen in October, and organizers have already decided that the event will be done by video submissions with judges assessing performances while at home in Scotland, France and Canada.
Finer details of the 38th running of one of the world’s top amateur solo piping contests are still to being ironed out. For now, it appears that invited contestants will submit video performances in each of the event categories – Piobaireachd, MSR and 6/8 Marches.
Patrick Molard of Brittany and Jack Taylor of Aboyne, Scotland, will judge the ceol mor, and Matt MacIsaac of Stayner, Ontario, and Sarah Muir of Glasgow will assess the light music, with results announced on October 10.
The organizers had planned to move the event from its familiar Albany, New York, location to Philadelphia, intending to make travel and accommodation more convenient and less expensive for competitors and judges.
Even though the event is still just short of five months away, organizer Paula Glendinning said that the plan to hold the event by video is not likely to change.
The competition also typically includes a masterclass workshop for competitors taught by the judges, and an online seminar is tentatively happening.
The Nicol-Brown was the first event for amateur pipers to take an invitational approach. Pipers get invitations typically by merit of prizes gained at various high-profile competitions and seasonal results. With many events cancelled or postponed, the invitation process will likely be changed this year.
With competitors and judges likely spread out by as many as nine time zones, a live-streamed event becomes impractical.
The overall winner of the 2019 Nicol-Brown was Blaise Theriault of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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