January 31, 2012

pipes|drums’ 2011 New Year’s Honours

It’s a whole New Year now, and that means that there’s a whole year past, so pipes|drums Magazine, as is our tradition, presents our annual pipes|drums New Year’s Honours awards!

This year we asked a panel of 30 expert and informed pipers and drummers around the world for their votes across several categories for the people, bands and products that made the most news, the biggest impact and the best contributions in the piping and drumming world in 2011. (The editor of pipes|drums was not a panelist.)

Nominations were based on those people, bands, recordings and products that we felt made the most news, the biggest impact and the best contributions in the piping and drumming world in 2011.

Once again, there are two Piper of the Year categories: one for Solo Competition Piper of the Year, the other for all-round Piper of the Year, taking into consideration of course their work with bands, teaching, festivals and other elements. For the first time, we have included an “Event of the Year” award, allowing us to choose a concert, competition or festival that stood apart from all others.

Voting was by an electronic survey that allowed panelists to make comments if they wished. Panelists again remain anonymous – Why? Because this approach allows them to choose and comment freely, without the possibility of being swayed or challenged by nominees.

Interestingly, every nominee in each category received at least one vote and, in each category, panelists could make only one selection.

And, now, the winners . . .


  1. I’ll try that comment again, can’t you have a pipesdrums book of the year award (any book pipe/drum or pipe band related) and also a separate product award?

  2. While I can see this is rather novel and might interest some, I think it actually serves to do little else but highlight just how small the top of the pyramid is (and that our focus is always up there). With the very rare exception, it’s the ‘same olds’ year after year. Band of the year: FMM. How many ‘experts’ are required to deliberate and agree on that…? It would be better if the ‘panel’ had carte blanche to dissect the year that was and make some statements about what was good, bad or otherwise, and not restricted to the elite level. Some commentary about the grades around the globe – comparisons etc. Readers might benefit a bit more if the expert panel was engaged to express its views on the broader scene, not simply be polled or asked to recite results that we all know already.

  3. Thanks, @uilleannonlooker. If you look back at the awards over the years (see links at article end), you’ll see that some years there are enough books to warrant that. 2011 saw relatively few collections being released. @Lawrie – thanks for your, as usual, frank feedback. Similarly, you’ll see in past years it’s not so straightforward. I agree that a lively debate with a panel of experts on the good and the bad of the year would be fun and enlightening, but the awards are structured as such to make them relatively straightforward. Panelists did in fact mention people, bands, events and products that they thought merited nomination, and, interestingly, every band nominated had at least one vote, so the winner was not unanimous.



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