November 29, 2023

Part 2 of our “Competing Older” panel discussion with four pipers still razor sharp after decades in the art

ditor’s note: with an aging population in most parts of the world’s more significant piping and drumming countries, pipes|drums will explore the challenges pipers and drummers face with getting older and remaining in our competition avocation with various features over the next year.

While there are extraordinary examples of older pipers and drummers like Bruce Gandy, Jack Lee, Roddy MacLeod, Reid Maxwell, and Willie McCallum still winning at an elite level, we wanted to tap into the thoughts of players whose experiences could be perhaps more relatable to pipes|drums readers.

In Part 1 of our Competing Older panel discussion with Charlie Martin, Brian Pollock, Iain Simpson, and Anne Spalding, the group of actively competing 55+ pipers talked about some of the challenges and rewards of staying in the game.

They discussed how they stayed motivated and sharp and offered advice to others who might also want to keep going with competing pipe bands or in solo events.

“We have a lot of older competitors, and when they get into the prize lists, they have as much joy as Callum Beaumont winning the Glenfiddich, because they work so hard at it and have so much heart.” – Charlie Martin

In Part 2, the accomplished quartet delves into ideas and possible solutions to help retain members and foster participation.

We thank Charlie Martin, Brian Pollock, Iain Simpson and Anne Spalding for sharing their thoughts and contributing to the conversation.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for more interviews and discussions with leading lights in the piping and drumming world.

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