Pipers can now go for the Bronze
The Competing Pipers Association has created an annual Bronze Medal piobaireachd event to be held at the National Piping Centre for the first time on August 28, 2022.
The event is designed to accommodate those with a Grade b or B-minus Piobaireachd rating from the CPA, whose applications to compete in the Silver Medal events at the Argyllshire Gathering at Oban, Scotland, and the Northern Meeting at Inverness, Scotland, were declined.
The addition of the Bronze Medal is the first significant new piobaireachd prize to be associated with the two major gatherings since the the Silver Medal was launched in 1977. The Silver Medal was intended to alleviate the 60-plus contestants competing the Highland Society of London Gold Medal events, which would go from early morning to late at night.
The CPA, with the help of the William Grant Foundation, perennial solo piping sponsors, and the Piobaireachd Society, have designed and cast a new medal and a total prize purse of more than £800, £300 going to the winner.
We hope that by creating a Bronze Medal contest, it will provide an outlet for the continued growth of piping in Scotland and on the world piobaireachd stage. – CPA President Derek Midgley
“For many years the Competing Pipers Association has been trying to find a way to help the oversubscription issue with regards to the Silver Medal,” said CPA President Derek Midgley. “We hope that by creating a Bronze Medal contest, it will provide a dynamic solution to this problem and an outlet for the continued growth of piping in Scotland and on the world piobaireachd stage. I’m personally very excited by this opportunity for our membership and hope it is well received.”
With the Gold and Silver Medal events each limited to about 25 competitors, approximately the same number of applicants are rejected for the Silver. The Bronze Medal will strive to accommodate all who enter, but if there are more than 25 registrations heats will be held to determine those in a final. Competitors will have to submit only four tunes of their own choice, though future years might see the year’s Silver Medal tune requirements adapted.
In the wake of the pandemic, both the Northern Meeting piping competitions were cancelled outright in 2020 and 2021. The Argyllshire Gathering was cancelled in 2020 but managed to hold limited in-person outdoor events last August.
A new qualifying system for the Silver Medal was introduced in 2018.