The 15th annual Winter Storm competition, workshop and recital in Kansas City next year January 15-17 will see another new record number of registrations to the solo competitions and workshops, with more than 200 and 300, respectively.
And to cope with the higher numbers, Winter Storm organizer Cliff Davis said that the teaching faculty for the workshops is also the biggest ever, with no fewer than 26 pipers, drummers and drum-majors on the roster. Pipe band luminaries Richard Parkes, pipe-major of Field Marshal Montgomery; Terry Tully, former pipe-major of St. Laurence O’Toole; and RSPBA adjudicator Paul Turner each are making their first appearance at the popular event.
Davis said that the order-of-play for the solo competitions will be posted in the coming weekend, and that the closing concert is projected to sell-out at its earliest point ever.
Following the concert another new element has been added to the “Winter Steam” celebration: a free-form contest for “any and all pipers and drummers to enter” on-site, carrying a US$1,000 prize for first and a prize of US$500 for second.
Winter Storm also again plans to livestream the highest-grade competitions, including the Gold Medal Ceol Beag qualifying contest, the Gold Medal Piobaireachd, the Ceol Beag final, the Gold Medal Snare Drumming final and the awards ceremony.
Winter Storm was first staged in 2002 and is organized by the non-profit Midwest Highland Arts Fund. The event has inspired similar competiton-recital-workshops, most recently the 2015 Spring Gatherin’ event in Belfast.