Transvaal Scottish takes Benoni; secures title

Published: July 29, 2015

Johannesburg – July 25, 2015 – Benoni High School was the location of the final contest of the South African season. The day started very cold with sleet and hail. By noon the sun was out, though with cold winds continued, making the day event extra challenging. By winning Grade 2, Transvaal Scottish also secured the overall Champion of Champions title.

Grade 2
1st Transvaal Scottish (1,1,3,2)
2nd Benoni MacTalla (4,2,2,1)
3rd African Skye (2,4,1,3)
4th 1 Medical Battalion ‘A’ (3,3,4,5)
5th MacChamberlain Richmond Avenue (5,5,5,4)
Judges: Geoff Irvine, Jim Murray (piping); Gary Potter (drumming); Ewen Gilchrist (ensemble)

1st Transvaal Scottish (1,2,3,1)
2nd Benoni MacTalla (2,1,1,3)
3rd African Skye (4,5,2,2)
4th 1 Medical Battalion ‘A’ (3,4,4,4)
5th MacChamberlain Richmond Avenue (5,3,5,5)
Judges: Greg Lloyd, Jim Murray (piping); Gary Potter (drumming); Adrian Haddow (ensemble)

Grade 3
1st Knysna & Districts
2nd Sandton Scottish (Champion of Champions)
3rd Glen Allen
4th SA Irish
5th Transvaal Scottish Grade 3

Grade 4
1st Lyttelton Manor
2nd African Skye (Gr4) (Champion of Champions)
3rd Pretoria Highlanders
4th De La Salle Combined

1st St. Benedict’s Juvenile
2nd Pretoria Boys Juvenile (Champion of Champions)
3rd Jeppe CBC Boksburg

Novice Juvenile
1st Benoni Novice Juvenile (Champion of Champions)
2nd St. Benedict’s Novice Juvenile
3rd Cornwall Hill
4th Pretoria Boys Novice Juvenile

p|d Survey: Almost two-thirds of Grade 1 P-Ms favour size limits

Published: July 28, 2015

It could be the issue of our piping and drumming times: should there be size limitations on competing pipe bands?

In 2008 the 78th Fraser Highlanders took 30 pipers onto the competition arena at the World Pipe Band Championships and, since then, Grade 1 bands have routinely competed with more than 20; the current World Champions Field Marshal Montgomery typically with 23 to 25.

In 2014 Field Marshal Montgomery won another World Championship with 24 pipers.

Around the world bands in every grade seem to be trying to attract as many members as possible so that they can compare well against other larger bands in their grade. More and more there appear to be “have” and “have-not” groups: those with lots of personnel and those without. Judges are tasked with comparing bands competing with a smaller pipe- and/or drum-section, even those with minimum numbers, against those that bulge at the circle, frequently with numbers double or even triple the minimum requirement.

There are of course minimum numbers. But the question remains to be resolved: should there be maximum numbers? Should there be a limit on the number of competing players in each section? Or should there be a limit on overall band roster size?

Since no organization seems terribly interested in investigating let alone resolving the matter, pipes|drums took it . . .


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Boderiou gains first annual Erwan Ropars Memorial

Published: July 27, 2015

Xavier Boderiou at the first annual Erwan Ropers Memorial.

Quimper, Brittany, France – July 23, 2015 – Xavier Boderiou emerged victorious against six other pipers who competed in the first annual Erwan Ropars Memorial Solo Piping Competition, held during the Festival de Cornouailles and sponsored by McCallum Bagpipes and Ti ar Sonerien. The competition is named in honour of the late Breton piper, who was a driving force in the area for more than 40 years. Judges for all events were Yann Cariou, Jordane Guilloux and Kenny MacLeod.

1st Xavier Boderiou
2nd Hervé Le Floch
3rd Gweltas Lever

Breton Music
1st Xavier Boderiou
2nd Sylvain Hamon
3rd Hervé Le Floch

1st Xavier Boderiou
2nd Sylvain Hamon
3rd Hervé Le Floch

BCPA announces 2015 Grand Aggregate winners


The British Columbia Pipers Association concluded its season at the annual Pacific Northwest Highland Games at Enumclaw, Washington, over the July 25-26 weekend, and with it determined its Grand Aggregate award winners for most aggregate points over designated competitions throughout the spring and summer. For the twenty-fifth straight year, Simon Fraser University won the award in Grade 1. Alastair Lee of Surrey, British Columbia, captured his first Grand Aggregate in Open Solo Piping, while Grant Maxwell of Vancouver repeated the feat in Open Solo Snare Drumming.

Pipe Bands
Grade 1:
Simon Fraser University
Grade 2: Robert Malcolm Memorial II
Grade 3: Greighlan Crossing
Grade 4: Northwest Junior
Grade 5: Robert Malcolm Memorial V

Pipe-Majors of the five BCPA Grand Aggregate winning bands at the Pacific Northwest Highland Games.

Solo Piping
Alastair Lee
Grade 1: Kevin McLean
Grade 2: Alexander MacLeod
Grade 3: Alistair Bevan
Grade 4: Peyton Stewart
Grade 5: Weston Kennedy
Beginner: Callum Bevan
Adult: Maureen Soichuk

BCPA Solo Piping Grand Aggregate winners Alastair Lee (Open), Kevin McLean (Grade 1), Alexander MacLeod (Grade 2), Alistair Bevan (Grade 3), Peyton Stewart (Grade 4), Weston Kennedy (Grade 5) and Callum Bevan (Beginner). Not pictured: Maureen Soichuk (Adult).

Solo Drumming
Grant Maxwell
Grade 1: Kelsey Dougan
Grade 2: Jake Mix
Grade 3: Aidan Palmer
Grade 4: Alonso Cruz
Beginner: Meriel McLaughlin

BCPA Solo Snare Drumming Grand Aggregate winners Grant Maxwell (Open), Kelsey Dougan (Grade 1), Jake Mix (Grade 2), Aidan Palmer (Grade 3) and Alonso Cruz (Grade 4). Not pictured Meriel McLaughlin (Beginner).

Terrance Cadiente
Grade 1: Bridget Hall
Grade 2: Lochlynn Camp & Courtney Kay
Beginner: Dana Johnston

BCPA Solo Tenor Drumming Grand Aggregate winners Terrance Cadiente (Open), Bridget Hall (Grade 1), Lochlynn Camp and Courtney Kay (Grade 2). Not pictured: Dana Johnston (Beginner).


SFU sweeps all four Grade 1 events at Enumclaw


SFU-logo-07Enumclaw, Washington – July 25-26, 2015 – Some 93 solo contestants and 14 pipe bands competed at the annual Pacific Northwest Highland Games in unusually sunny and warm conditions for the area, but typical this year in at times heavy rain, welcome as the region has endured a serious ongoing drought. Simon Fraser University swept the four two-band Grade 1 events, but on ensemble preference in both the Medley and MSR on the Sunday, with Dowco-Triumph Street taking all four firsts in piping. Alastair Lee and Grant Maxwell were overall winners of the Professional Solo Piping and Snare Drumming, respectively.

Grade 1
1st Simon Fraser University
2nd Dowco-Triumph Street
Drumming: SFU

1st SFU (1,1,1,1)
2nd Dowco-Triumph Street (2,2,2,2)

1st SFU (1,1,1,2)
2nd Dowco-Triumph Street (2,2,2,1)

1st SFU (ens.pref.) (2,2,1,1)
2nd Dowco-Triumph Street (1,1,2,2)

1st SFU (ens.pref.) (2,2,1,1)
2nd Dowco-Triumph Street (1,1,2,2)

Grade 2
1st Robert Malcolm Memorial II
2nd Portland Metro
Drumming: Robert Malcolm Memorial II

1st Robert Malcolm Memorial II
2nd Portland Metro
Drumming: Robert Malcolm Memorial II

1st Robert Malcolm Memorial II
2nd Portland Metro
Drumming: Robert Malcolm Memorial II

Grade 3
1st Greighlan Crossing
2nd Robert Malcolm Memorial III
3rd Columbia Regional
Drumming: Greighlan Crossing / Robert Malcolm Memorial III

1st Greighlan Crossing
2nd Robert Malcolm Memorial III
3rd Columbia Regional
Drumming: Greighlan Crossing

1st Robert Malcolm Memorial III
2nd Greighlan Crossing
3rd Columbia Regional
Drumming: Robert Malcolm Memorial III

Grade 4
1st Northwest Junior
2nd Keith Highlanders IV
3rd Portland Metro Youth
Drumming: Northwest Junior / Clan Gordon

1st Northwest Junior
2nd Portland Metro Youth (ens.pref.)
3rd Keith Highlanders IV
Drumming: Northwest Junior

Quick Marches Set
1st Northwest Junior
2nd Keith Highlanders IV
3rd Portland Metro Youth
Drumming: Clan Gordon


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Duncan, Hazzard in form at Airth

Published: July 25, 2015

Ben Duncan [photo: Derek Maxwell]

Airth, Scotland – July 25, 2015 – Two Edinburgh pipers, Ben Duncan and Jenny Hazzard, had excellent days at the Airth Highland Games in sunny and warm weather. Roderick Livingstone and Neill Mulvie judged everything.

1st Jenny Hazzard, “MacNeill of Barra’s March”
2nd Ben Duncan, “The MacDougalls’ Gathering”
3rd Rebecca Tierney, Strathhaven, Scotland, “Too Long in This Condition”

1st Ben Duncan
2nd James Miller, Falkirk, Scotland
3rd Jenny Hazzard

Hornpipe & Jig
1st Ben Duncan
2nd Jenny Hazzard
3rd Rebecca Tierney

Scottish Champions 2015: St. Laurence O’Toole


Dumbarton, Scotland – July 25, 2015 – The penultimate major contest in the RSPBA season was held in warm and breezy weather at Levengrove Park, where St. Laurence O’Toole were named 2015 Scottish Champions. It was the last championship before the World’s on August 14-15 in Glasgow, and was an upset to Field Marshal Montgomery who had won the previous three majors in 2015 and had a string of seven consecutive championship wins broken. Field Marshal Montgomery could not recover from an eighth in drumming, while St. Laurence O’Toole had solid marks across the board. Only a drumming mark of second or better would have gained FMM the title, all else being equal. Shotts & Dykehead and ScottishPower maintained their presence, with the latter zooming up in drumming with a second under first-year Leading-Drummer Jake Joergensen. The win was the first championship victory for St. Laurence O’Toole Pipe-Major Alen Tully, who took on the top spot after the 2013 season.

A victorious St. Laurence O’Toole walks off the park as 2015 Scottish Champions.

Grade 1 (medley, 12 competed)
1st St. Laurence O’Toole (2,1,1,2)
2nd Field Marshal Montgomery (1,2,8,1)
3rd Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (3,6,3,3)
4th ScottishPower (7,3,2,5)
5th Inveraray & District (4,4,6,4)
6th Greater Glasgow Police Scotland (6,5,5,7)
Judges: Sam Young, Jim Wark (piping); Greg Dinsdale (drumming); John MacInnes (ensemble)

Field Marshal Montgomery coming on to to the contest park at the 2015 Scottish Championships.

Shotts & Dykehead after competing at the Scottish Championships.

Grade 2 (MSR, 19 competed)
1st Bleary & District (1,1,4,1)
2nd Johnstone (2,2,1,3)
3rd Police Service of Northern Ireland (4,5,2,2)
4th Lomond & Clyde (3,3,7,4)
5th Buchan Peterson (6,4,3,7)
6th MacKenzie Caledonian (5,6,5,5)
Judges: Ian Wood, John Connor (piping); Paul Turner (drumming); Alan Ronaldson (ensemble)


Piper raises funds to mark century since The Somme

Published: July 24, 2015

Evan Finnegan playing at a First World War gravesite.

Piper Evan Finnegan of Falkirk, Scotland, is busy training and blogging before he embarks on a charitable cycling and running campaign to arrive at in France in July 2016 to make the one-hundredth anniversary of the one of the most significant conflicts in the history of piping and warfare, the Battle of the Somme.

Finnegan’s charity challenge will raise money for Poppy Scotland and his regimental association, the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He will eventually set out from Edinburgh by bike, also running along the way as he gets to France and the battle site, where more than one-million soldiers were killed or wounded between July 1 and November 18, 1916, making it one of the most horrific battles in history.

Finnegan has already started a blog that catalogs his preparations, and he has and will highlight various soldiers who were killed, and then be at the graveside 100 years after he died. Readers can also donate on his website as he hopes to raise at least £1,000 for the cause.

Finnegan served with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers for more than eight years and has been closely involved with commemorations of the Great War, frequently returning to the battlefields in France and Belgium. He has been a member in the past of the Grade 1 Torphichen & Bathgate and the Grade 2 52nd Lowland Regiment.

While more than 16-million soldiers and civilians died as a result of the First World War, the four-year conflict produced some of the greatest pipe music ever created by some of the greatest pipers ever, including Willie Lawrie’s 9/8 march “The Battle of the Somme.”


MacColl, Beaumont on top at Inveraray Games

Published: July 21, 2015

Inveraray, Scotland – July 21, 2015 – Although every first prize went to a different piper, Angus MacColl of Benderloch, Scotland, and Callum Beaumont of Bo’ness, Scotland, had the most overall success at the annual Inveraray Highland Games, probably the biggest solo piping event of the year apart of the major gatherings at Inverness and Oban. In B-Grade Piobaireachd Final, adjudicator Murray Henderson recused himself from judging a pupil, a policy to which the event worked to adhere. Close to 25 competed in the A-Grade events, and there were 35 in the B-Grade and 17 in the C-Grade.

1st Angus MacColl Sr.
2nd Callum Beaumont
3rd Roddy MacLeod
4th Angus MacColl Jr.
5th Jamie Forrester
6th Gordon Bruce
Judges: Patricia Henderson, Ronnie McShannon

1st Callum Beaumont
2nd Donald MacPhee
3rd Roddy MacLeod
4th Steven Gray
5th Jamie Forrester
6th Greg Wilson
Judges: James Banks, Walter Cowan

Strathspey & Reel
1st Alasdair Henderson
2nd Donald MacPhee
3rd Angus MacColl Sr.
4th Steven Gray
5th Michael Fitzhenry
6th Andrew Carlisle
Judges: Andrew Frater, Iain MacLellan

Angus MacColl Sr. at the 2014 Glenfiddich Championships  [photo: Derek Maxwell]

(10 competed from two heats, each producing five finalists)
1st Graham Mulholland
2nd Kris Coyle
3rd Sarah Muir
4th Keith Bowes
5th Ben Duncan
6th Steven Gray
Judges: Heat 1: Colin MacLellan, Murray Henderson. Heat 2: Malcolm McRae, Tom Speirs. Final: Malcolm McRae, Colin MacLellan, Tom Speirs

1st Angus MacColl Jr.
2nd George Stewart
3rd Scott Barrie
4th Connor Sinclair
5th Andrew Hall
6th Jamie Elder

Strathspey & Reel
1st Keith Bowes
2nd George Stewart
3rd Connor Sinclair
4th Graham Mulholland
5th Andrew Hall
6th Euan Dewar

1st Callum Wynd
2nd Jonathan Simpson
3rd John McDonald
4th Ben Mulhearn
5th Josien Teerlink
6th Charles MacDonald
Judges:Chris Armstrong, Stuart Shedden

1st Bruce McDonald
2nd Jack Williamson
3rd Ciaran Ross
4th John McDonald
5th John McLeod
6th Greig McAllister

Strathspey & Reel
1st Jack Williamson
2nd Greig McAllister
3rd Jonathan Simpson
4th John McDonald
5th Katherine Belcher
6th Ciaran Ross

Do you have results that you would like to share with the world? Just send them on to us by email, along with a photo or two and various other details.

SFU gets ready for Glasgow show

Published: July 20, 2015

Ticket sales are reportedly strong and another sell-out is anticipated for this year’s Pre-World’s Concert in Glasgow, featuring the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band.

“Nous Sommes Prets” will be the first major concert for Pipe-Major Alan Bevan, who took over the top-spot after the 2013 season, replacing the iconic Pipe-Major Terry Lee, who had led the band since 1980. The title of the concert is the French motto of Clan Fraser, meaning “we are ready.”

“The band has been working very hard over the past two years to put together a great concert,” Bevan said. “We’ll be featuring some vintage SFU material, some fresh twists on classic tunes, as well as some new and exciting music. While the sets we are playing will feature innovative and interesting arrangements, in developing them we have taken considerable care to start with great tunes that the band loves to play. We think the result will be a night of great music played with passion.”

The concert will mark the band’s first return to the Glasgow show since its sold-out 2009 “Affirmation” show.

The Pre-World’s Concert is thought by many to auger well for the performing band when it competes two days later at the World Championships. Bands can benefit, at least in the minds of others, by creating extra buzz from a successful show before a packed hall. Those that have outright won the title following the concert include Field Marshal Montgomery (2002, 2007) and St. Laurence O’Toole (2010). The pre-world’s concert tradition started in 1987 when the 78th Fraser Highlanders performed in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, and then went on the capture the title.

“We’re also working very hard for the Worlds, and we feel the band is peaking at just the right time,” Bevan added.

SFU performing at the Lincoln Center in New York City in May 2012.

The SFU “Nous Sommes Prets” concert will be staged on Wednesday, August 12th, at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and tickets are available from the venue’s online box office.

The Glasgow concert has been promoted annually by the Grade 2 Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band since the 1990s.

SFU is hoping to return to the World’s prize-list after finishing seventh in 2014, the first time in 19 years that the band did not feature in the top-six.

“Nous sommes prets” was also the title of an album that the band released in 1985. More than any other Grade 1 band, SFU has performed at major venues around the world, including the Carnegie Hall in New York; Australia’s Sydney Opera House; and the Lincoln Centre, also in New York.


Wind at Inverness blows Forrest’s way

Published: July 18, 2015

Decker Forrest

Inverness, Scotland – July 18, 2015 – Decker Forrest won both the Piobaireachd and MSR at the Inverness Highland Games in atrocious conditions that included the same strong winds that belted Fife and caused the cancellation of the third round of the Open Championship of Golf at St. Andrew’s. Eleven competed at the “character building” event.

1st Decker Forrest
2nd Graham Mulholland
3rd Gordon Barclay
4th Stephen Spencer
5th Jenny Hazzard
Judges: Rhona Lightfoot, Iain MacFadyen

1st Decker Forrest
2nd Graham Mulholland
3rd Jenny Hazzard
4th Euan MacCrimmon
5th Stephen Spencer
Judges: Jimmy Jackson, Andy Venters

Hornpipe & Jig
1st Stephen Spence
2nd Euan MacCrimmon
Judges: Jimmy Jackson, Andy Venters

Do you have results? Please do share them with us by email, using the above format along with a few photies and some detauls about the day, like weather, bouncy castles and the like.


Toronto Police win at Cambridge


Cambridge, Ontario – July 18, 2015 – The Grade 1 Toronto Police won for the first time in the Ontario season with a victory in the MSR event at the annual Cambridge Highland Games. The contest was held in the usual sweltering conditions, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures hovering around 33 degrees. The 78th Fraser Highlanders, who had won the previous two events, finished third. Ian K. MacDonald was the Professional Solo Piper of the Day and Kyle Wardell the Professional Solo Snare Drummer of the Day.

Grade 1 (MSR, three competed)
1st Toronto Police (2,1,2,1)
2nd Peel Regional Police (1,2,3,2)
3rd 78th Fraser Highlanders (3,3,1,3)
Judges: Eddie Gorman, Michael Grey (piping); Greg Dinsdale (drumming); John Elliott (ensemble)


The Peel Regional Police leaving the contest field after competing at a very warm Cambridge Games.

Grade 2 (medley, one played)
1st Paris Port Dover
Judges: Eddie Gorman, Michael Grey (piping); Greg Dinsdale (drumming); John Elliott (ensemble)

Grade 3 (medley, eight competed)
1st Toronto Police (Gr3) (1,2,3,1)
2nd Windsor Police (3,1,2,2)
3rd Rob Roy (2,3,5,3)
4th Glengarry (5,4,4,5)
5th Hamilton Police (7,8,1,4)
6th Chicago Celtic (4,5,8,6)
7th Durham Regional Police (6,7,6,7)
8th Penetangore (8,6,7,8)
Judges: Peter Sinclair, Iain Symington (piping); Brian McCue (drumming); Andrew Berthoff (ensemble)

Grade 4 (mini MSR, six competed)
1st Guelph (2,1,2,2)
2nd Arnprior MacNab (1,4,4,1)
3rd Grand Celtic (3,2,6,3)
4th Hamilton Police (Gr4) (6,6,1,4)
5th Chatham Kent Police (5,5,3,5) (ens.pref.)
6th Paris Port Dover (Gr4) (4,3,5,6)
Judges: Peter Sinclair, Iain Symington (piping); Brian McCue (drumming); Andrew Berthoff (ensemble)

Grade 5 (march medley, 11 competed)
1st Niagara Regional Police (1,3,1,1)
2nd Barrie (2,2,2,2)
3rd Ryan Russell Memorial (6,4,4,3)
4th Durham Regional Police (Gr5) (3,1,10,5)
5th Cambridge & District (5,6,3,6)
6th Grand Celtic (Gr5) (4,5,8,4)
7th Forest City Celtic (8,8,5,7)
8th St. Andrews Mississauga (7,7,11,8)
9th Dundas (9,9,9,9)
10th Scarborough (11,11,6,10)
11th Tunes of Glory (10,10,7,11)
Judges: Eddie Gorman, Michael Grey (piping); Greg Dinsdale (drumming); John Elliott (ensemble)


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World’s to be streamed again by BBC

Published: July 15, 2015

For the seventh straight year, pipes|drums has confirmed that most of the Grade 1 events from the World Pipe Band Championships will be broadcast live on the Internet, according to several sources close to the matter.

BBC Scotland has reportedly completed another licensing agreement with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and Glasgow Life, the organizers of the August 14-15 event at Glasgow Green in Glasgow, that gives the public broadcaster the rights to the complex production that involves dozens of professionals, a multitude of high-definition cameras and a fleet of editing trucks on-site.

As in past years, the Grade 1 Qualifier events held in the main arena will go out live on Friday, August 14th, but without commentary, and the entire Grade 1 Final and prize-giving will be broadcast on Saturday, August 15th.

A few of the BBC Scotland trucks behind the scenes at the 2009 World Championships, the first year that the public broadcaster streamed the event live.

The BBC first broadcast the event in 2009, and since that time has returned to the comepttion annually. The first broadcasts were made available only within the United Kingdom, due to the broadcaster being funded by licenses paid by each British citizen. The broadcast has subsequently been made available to all with an Internet connection.

To broadcast or reproduce the event legally in any form, a series of licenses are required, and every performer, composer and arranger needs to agree to a compensation deal, assign their rights to another party, or formally waive their rights altogether. The terms of the licensing agreements have not been publicly divulged.

78th Halifax takes 152nd Antigonish

Published: July 13, 2015

78th-Highlanders-logoAntigonish, Nova Scotia – July 11-12, 2015 – It was the 152nd annual Antigonish Highland Games, held in sunny and warm weather, with temperatures reaching the high 20s. The 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) won both Grade 1 events, edging the Ottawa Police by ensemble preference in the Sunday Medley. Alex Gandy of Halifax, Nova Scotia, won the aggregate award in the Professional piping, and James Dyson took the same in the Grade 1 amateur category. Devin Paynter of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, was the Grade 1 Drummer of the Games. The Ian Green Award for Best Bass and Mid-Section went to the Ottawa Police.

Nova Scotia Pipe Band Championships (Saturday)
Grade 1
1st 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel (1,1,1,1)
2nd Ottawa Police Service (2,2,2,2)

Grade 2 (MSR)
College of Piping

Grade 3 (MSR)
1st Dartmouth and District
2nd 78th Highlanders

Grade 4 (Quick March Medley)
1st College of Piping
2nd Clan Thompson
3rd Antigonish Highland Society Old Scotia

Grade 5 (March)
1st Ontario Fire Service
2nd Fredericton Society of St Andrew
3rd Dartmouth and District

Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Championships (Sunday)
Grade 1
1st 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) (1,2,2,1) (ens.pref.)
2nd Ottawa Police Service (2,1,1,2)

Grade 2 (Medley)
1st College of Piping
2nd Dartmouth and District

Grade 3 (Medley)
1st 78th Highlanders (ens.pref.)
2nd Dartmouth and District

Grade 4 (Medley)
1st College of Piping
2nd Clan Thompson
3rd Belfast

Grade 5 (Medley)
1st Fredericton Society of St Andrew
2nd College of Piping
3rd Dartmouth and District

Judges for all band competitions: Colin MacLellan, John Elliott (piping); Hugh Cameron (drumming); James P. Troy (ensemble)

Professional Solo PIping
1st Bruce Gandy
2nd Alex Gandy
3rd Jacob Dicker
Judge: Colin MacLellan

1st Alex Gandy
2nd Bruce Gandy
3rd James MacHattie
Judge: John Elliott

Strathspey & Reel
1st Alex Gandy
2nd Andrea Boyd
3rd James MacHattie
Judge: John Elliott

1st Bruce Gandy
2nd Alex Gandy
3rd James MacHattie
Judge: James P Troy

Transvaal Scottish clinches Regional Champions title


transvaal_scottish_logoBedfordview, South Africa – July 11, 2015 – St. Benedict’s College in hosted the penultimate gathering of the South African piping and drumming outdoor season. Weather was colder and cloudy for the most part. In Grade 2, the Transvaal Scottish took the overall and with it the title of Regional Champions 2015. Transvaal’s drum section also won on the day, along with the regional drumming title. African Skye won the Grade 2 Medley event.

Grade 2
1st African Skye (2,1,2,1)
2nd Transvaal Scottish (1,2,1,2)
3rd Benoni MacTalla (3,3,3,3)
Judges: Adrian Haddow, David Harris (piping); Dave Jeffrey (drumming); Thomas Fuller (ensemble)

1st Transvaal Scottish (2,2,1,1)
2nd Benoni MacTalla (1,3,3,2)
3rd African Skye (3,1,2,3)
Judges: Thomas Fuller, Craig Herwill (piping); Clinton Miles (drumming); Ewen Gilchrist (ensemble)

Grade 3
1st Sandton Scottish (Regional Champions 2015)
2nd Glen Allen
3rd SA Irish
4th Transvaal Scottish (Gr3)

Grade 4
1st African Skye (Gr4) (Regional Champions 2015)
2nd Pretoria Highlanders
3rd De La Salle Combined
4th Cornwall Hill

1st St Benedict’s Juvenile (Regional Champions 2015)
2nd Jeppe CBC Boksburg
3rd Pretoria Boys Juvenile

Novice Juvenile
1st Benoni Novice Juvenile (Regional Champions 2015)
2nd St Benedict’s Novice Juvenile
3rd Cornwall Hill

Do you have results that you’d like to share with the piping and drumming world? Just send them along win the above format with a photo or two and a few details about the event to

Hazy and hot at Fort Edmonton


Edmonton, Alberta – July 11-12, 2015 – The Fort Edmonton Highland Games attracted large crowds over the two-day event, despite the continuing heatwave across the Canadian prairies, with temperatures climbing over 30, permeated with a thick smoky haze from wildfires across the west. Grade 2 was another well contested event, with Vancouver-based Robert Malcolm Memorial talking Saturday and Rocky Mountain of Calgary winning Sunday.

Robert Malcolm Memorial at Fort Edmonton Highland Games.

Grade 2 (Medley)
1st Robert Malcolm Memorial
2nd Rocky Mountain
3rd Viscount Park
4th North Stratton
5th Ogden Legion
Judges: Neil Dickie, Dan Deisner (piping); Jim Sim (drumming); John Fisher (ensemble)

Rocky Mountain (1,1,3,1)
2nd Robert Malcolm Memorial (3,4,1,2)
3rd Viscount Park (4,3,2,3)
4th North Stratton (2,2,4,4)
Judges: Dave Hicks, Dan Deisner (piping); John Fisher (drumming); Jim Sim (ensemble)

Grade 3 (MSR)
1st Ogden Legion Pipe Band (1,1,1,1)
Grade 4 Medley
1st Edmonton Youth (1,1,2,1)
2nd Edmonton and District (2,2,1,2)
Judges: Neil Dickie, Dan Deisner (piping); Jim Sim (drumming); John Fisher (ensemble)

1st Ogden Legion Pipe Band (1,1,1 ,1)
Grade 4 March Medley
1st Edmonton Youth (1,1,2,1)
2nd Edmonton and District (2,2,1,2)
Judges: Dave Hicks, Dan Deisner (piping); John Fisher (drumming); Jim Sim (ensemble)


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Carnegie Mellon graduates to drumming instructor


The Carnegie Mellon University piping degree program started by Jimmy McIntosh in the 1990s, continued by the late Alasdair Gillies in the 2000s, and since 2010 delivered by Andrew Carlisle has apparently proven so successful that the Pittsburgh-based university is looking for a drumming instructor.

Described by Carlisle as a “huge step forward” for the university and band, which started in 1939 and today operates Grade 3 and Grade 5 competing groups. Whereas Carlisle’s role is full-time teaching piping and running the degree program, the new drumming instructor position is part-time and strictly teaching about 20 hours per week at regular band practices. Pay would be around US$20,000 per year (as much as US$2,100/month for 10 months) and work well as supplementary income for an established drummer who would want to teach privately.

The Carnegie Mellon band playing at the university’s commencement ceremonies. Andrew Carlisle is at froint right.

“It makes sense that [Carnegie Mellon] is now recognizing that we need to invest in a proven drumming instructor with the background and experience leading a top-quality corps that will help our band continue to grow,” Carlisle said. “I am excited that Carnegie Mellon is now investing in a more substantive drumming instructor position that can provide talent, leadership, time and dedication to the band.”

To date all snare, bass and tenor drumming instruction been only during a weekly two-hour band practice. The expanded position will result in 10 times the training for drummers.

Under Carlisle the once competition-dormant band has been resurrected to delivering a solid Grade 3 standard. Through teaching raw beginners, Carlisle has created the Grade 5 “development” band, all while helping to rebuild the bachelors and masters piping degree programs.

More details about the drumming instructor job at Carnegie Mellon can be found at the university’s website under the careers section.

The university was started in 1900 by the Dunfermline, Scotland-born steel magnate Andrew Carnegie who contributed almost all of his massive wealth to eductaion and learning projects and other philanthropic causes. Carnegie had a personal piper for most of his life in the United States.

Bready takes heart with bass dedication

Published: July 7, 2015

The Grade 4A Bready Ulster Scots Pipe Band of Northern Ireland sadly lost piper Andrew Duncan last November to dilated cardiomyopathy, but the group will continue to remember and memorialize him fondly while also drawing attention to the British Heart Foundation after the dedication of the their bass drum in Duncan’s honour.

The Bready Ulster Scots Pipe Band and members of the late Andrew Duncan’s family at the All-Ireland Championships with the newly dedicated bass. [Photo: Darren Milligan]

The band made an official dedication at the All-Ireland Championships in Omagh, Northern Ireland, on July 4th, where Duncan’s wife, Suzanne; children Aimee and Robbie; mother Nan; sisters, nieces and a nephew gathered for the occasion.

“Andrew was a very talented piper and much-loved member of the band,” band organizer Bertie Campbell said. “We feel we owe it to his memory to stand up and support the excellent work of the British Heart Foundation, especially since it was an organization so close to Andrew.”

The new memorial bass in competition action with the Bready Ulster Scots. [Photo: Darren Milligan]

During his last months, Andrew Duncan worked tirelessly to heighten awareness of and donations for organ donation and the British Heart Foundation, raising more than £2,000 before dying during his own marathon walk around the Peace Bridge and Craigavon Bridge in Omagh.

The band will continue to work with Duncan’s family for the causes that the late Andrew Duncan fought for.

pipes|drums launches new iTunes and Android app

Published: July 6, 2015

pipes|drums Magazine today launched new stand-alone apps for the iTunes/iOS and Android mobile platforms, making the publication even more accessible to readers regardless of the device.

The new mobile app allows casual readers and subscribers access to all written content on the magazine in a more mobile-friendly manner. While the desktop version is already “mobile-friendly,” the apps take the mobile experience to an even higher level of readability and accessibility.

To download the new pipes|drums app:

“Almost half of our readers’ visits to the publication are already from mobile devices, so it only made sense to expand further with a stand-alone version that fits into every piper and drummer’s sporran,” said pipes|drums Editor Andrew Berthoff. “The new app makes pipes|drums that much more accessible wherever you are – at band practice, at a recital or at an interminably long massed bands when you want to catch up on the latest from around the piping and drumming world, even including the results that you missed that were announced only a few seconds earlier.”

Before the latest iteration of pipes|drums that was launched in April 2014, the publication had a separate mobile-friendly version of the site that debuted in 2011 and enjoyed good readership.

Development of the new standalone apps was made possible through advertising and subscription revenues, which are deployed to improve the publication. As a nonprofit, pipes|drums commits additional proceeds to worthwhile nonprofit piping and drumming initiatives around the world, including competitions and recitals, charities, and bands that have come up on hard times.

“All this is a labour of love for the piping and drumming world,” Berthoff continued. “I’ve been involved with the magazine for more than 30 years now, and to see the evolution of journalism in our small but important world is gratifying. I really hope that pipers, drummers and enthusiasts around the world use and enjoy the new pipes|drums mobile app.”

Field Marshal edges SLOT at All-Ireland


Banbridge, Northern Ireland – July 4, 2015 – Field Marshal Montgomery and defending champions St. Laurence O’Toole went head-to-head at the 2015 All-Ireland Championships along with Cullebacky and Ravara, and it was FMM that emerged overall champions. But SLOT gave the 2014 World Champions a run for their money by obtaining a tie in the Medley section, with FMM wining on ensemble preference. FMM had staright firsts in the MSR.

Grade 1
1st Field Marshal Montgomery (2,1,2,1)
2nd St. Laurence O’Toole (1,2,1,2)
3rd Ravara (3,4,4,3)
4th Cullybackey (4,3,3,4)
Judges: Tone Sloane, Frank Connolly (piping); Gordon Craig (drumming); Peter Snaddon (ensemble)

1st Field Marshal Montgomery (1,1,1,1)
2nd St. Laurence O’Toole (2,2,2,2)
3rd Cullybackey (4,3,3,3)
4th Ravara (3,4,4,4)
Judges: John Moles, Winston Pollock (piping); Sandy Steele (drumming); Ciaran Mordaunt (ensemble)

Grade 2
1st Bleary & District (1,2,2,1)
2nd Police Service of Northern Ireland ( 2,1,1,3)
3rd Mannorcunningham (3,4,3,2)
4th Thiepval Memorial (4,3,4,4)
Judges: John Moles, Winston Pollock (piping); Sandy Steele (drumming); Ciaran Mordaunt (ensemble)

Do you have competition results? We encourage you to send them in so that they are preserved for history. Just use the format above and include a photo or two and a few other details and send by email.

“Live In Ireland 87 In Scotland” on for Celtic Connections

Published: July 5, 2015

LiveInIreland87-5Twenty-nine years after the concert took place in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, resulted in a landmark recording for the pipe band world, the music of “Live In Ireland” will be re-orchestrated in a show at the 2016 Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow in January 2016.

The brainchild of former 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band Leading-Drummer (and current Simon Fraser University L-D) Reid Maxwell, surviving members of the band from 1987 and several special guests will deliver items like “Journey To Skye,” “The Mason’s Apron,” and “The Clumsy Lover,” which took the world by storm, and, in some ways, set a new direction for pipe band music.

The show is set for the afternoon of January 30, 2016, at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, with tickets becoming available on August 10th during the 2015 Piping Live! festival.

In addition to Maxwell, former Pipe-Major Bill Livingstone and piper Michael Grey are on board for the event, and members of the 1987 band such as Bruce Gandy, Iain Donaldson, Brian Pollock and drummer Stu Liddell, as well as Tom Bowen, who is a piper with the current 78th Frasers Highlanders are confirmed. Sean Allan, son of the late bass drummer Luke Allan, will take the big drum. Sean Allan was a tenor drummer with the band in 1987. Former Pipe-Sergeant John Walsh and pipers Mike Baker and Syd Girling declined the invitation to participate.

A photo from the original 78th Fraser Highlanders concert in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, in August 1987. [Photo: Janet Pollock]

Pipers from the 1987 band who were interested in participating but have been relatively inactive in Grade 1 bands reportedly had to submit an audition recording of the difficult eight-part reel “Charlie’s Welcome,” which was a signature piece for the band for many years.

Joining members from the ’87 band will be some of the pipe-majors and leading-drummers from today’s UK-based Grade 1 bands, including . . .


Continue reading

HD video: 78th Fraser Highlanders take Grade 1 at Kincardine

Published: July 4, 2015

PPBSOlogoKincardine, Ontario – July 4, 2015 – The annual Kincardine Scottish Festival attracted its customary large crowd with its typically perfect weather on the shores of Lake Huron. The 78th Fraser Highlanders emerged victorious in the three-band Grade 1 medley competition. Despite the national holiday in the USA, Grade 2 benefited from two American bands making the trip, with Great Lakes and Greater Midwest competing. The George Watson’s College Juvenile Pipe Band made  of Edinburgh their third trip to Kincardine in the last six years and won the Grade 3 event. The band received a warm ovation from the crowd for the commitment they have shown by travelling so far to compete in Ontario.

Grade 1 (medley, three competed)
1st 78th Fraser Highlanders (2,2,1,1)
2nd Peel Regional Police (1,1,3,3)
3rd Toronto Police (3,3,2,2)
Judges: Andrew Berthoff, Bob MacCrimmon (piping); Brian McCue (drumming); Ken Eller (ensemble)

Grade 2 (MSR, three competed)
1st Greater Midwest (1,1,1,1)
2nd Paris Port Dover (2,2,3,2)
3rd Great Lakes (3,3,2,3)
Judges: Andrew Berthoff, Bob MacCrimmon (piping); Brian McCue (drumming); Ken Eller (ensemble)

Grade 3 (MSR, seven competed)
1st George Watson’s College (1,1,1,1)
2nd Windsor Police (3,2,2,2)
3rd Toronto Police (5,3,4,4)
4th Rob Roy (2,4,5,5)
5th Hamilton Police (6,5,3,3)
6th Durham Regional Police (4,7,6,7)
7th Penetangore (7,6,7,6)
Judges: Andrew Berthoff, Bob MacCrimmon (piping); Brian McCue (drumming); Ken Eller (ensemble)

George Watson’s College pipe-major shakes hands with ensemble judge Ken Eller before competing in the Grade 3 MSR at Kincardine.

Grade 4 (medley, six competed)
1st Guelph (2,1,3,1)
2nd Grand Celtic (1,2,5,2)
3rd Paris Port Dover (Gr4) (3,3,2,3)
4th Chatham Kent Police Services (4,6,4,4)
5th Hamilton Police (Gr4) (6,5,1,6)
6th Flint Scottish (5,4,6,5)
Judges: Andrew Berthoff, Bob MacCrimmon (piping); Brian McCue (drumming); Ken Eller (ensemble)

Grade 5 (march medley, nine competed)
1st Barrie (Gr5) (1,1,1,1)
2nd White Heather (2,4,2,4)
3rd Durham Regional Police (5,3,6,2)
4th Ryan Russell Memorial (4,5,5,3)
5th Grand Celtic (Gr5) (3,2,7,6)
6th Dundas (9,6,3,8)
7th Fergus (Gr5) (8,8,4,7)
8th Beinn Gorm Highlanders (7,9,9,5)
9th Forest City Celtic (Gr5) (6,7,8,9)
Judges: Terry Cleland, Barry Conway (piping); Steve Hill (drumming); Adrian Melvin (ensemble)

Professional Solo Piping

1st Sean McKeown
2nd Doug MacRae
3rd Callum Harper
4th Ian K. MacDonald
5th Steven Tripp
6th Glenn Walpole
Judge: Peter Aumonier

1st Doug MacRae
2nd Ian K. MacDonald
3rd Sean McKeown
4th Nick Hudson
5th Glenn Walpole
6th Aidan Bowen
Judge: Bill Livingstone

Strathspey & Reel
1st Ian K. MacDonald
2nd Sean McKeown
3rd Nick Hudson
4th Callum Harper
5th Aidan Bowen
6th Glenn Walpole
Judge: Ken Eller

1st Callum Harper
2nd Ian K. MacDonald
3rd Glenn Walpole
4th Sean McKeown
5th Aidan Bowen
6th Nick Hudson
Judge: Jake Watson

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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 9, 2015Callum Beaumont Concert (A Nicol-Brown event)St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 21 Hackett Blvd., Albany, NY 12208

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

Drummers: Relatively speaking, compared with a practice pad, a soft tap on a drum will sound fairly loud unless it is exaggerated. To get a light sound on a drum you have to play extra quiet.
Michael Hunter, Toronto