Prairie Piping Invitational Draws Full House

Published: May 20, 2013
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Regina, Saskatchewan – May 18, 2013 – The revived Prairie Piping Invitational drew roughly 100 people for two hours of excellent piping. Organized by the Saskatchewan Highland Gathering & Celtic Festival, and sponsored by the City of Regina Pipe Band, the event featured six professional players competing with an 8-10 minute medley that had to include both the urlar of a piobaireachd, and also at least one tune by a Canadian composer.

A special feature of the contest was that the audience admission ticket was also a ballot, so that audience members got to select their favourite player. The six featured performers were Ann Gray, Calgary; Josh McFarlane, Winnipeg; Raphael Mercier, Saskatoon; Alex Rasmussen, Regina; Stewart Smith, Calgary; and Sean Somers, Calgary.

Adjudicator Bob Worrall selected three prizes, and a count of the audience ballots selected another.

1st Sean Somers
2nd Ann Gray
3rd Stewart Smith

Audience Favourite: Raphael Mercier

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Pipers: If your bass drone wants to roar when struck in, it might be riding high on the bottom pin. If so your reed might be too sharp. A quick fix, if time is short, is to put a bit of tape over a third to half of the bush at the top. This will flatten the drone and allow you to shortenit by moving the middle joint down the bottom pin.
Charley Kron, C.E. Kron Bagpipes