September 07, 2020

RSPBA cancels 2020 World Solo Drumming Championship

Steven McWhirter competing in the 2018 World Solo Drumming Championships with Inveraray & District piper Daniel McDermott accompanying.

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association has announced the inevitable cancellation of the 2020 World Solo Drumming Championship, originally scheduled to take place on October 24th at Glasgow Caledonian University in Glasgow.

In a statement, the organization said that “we have made this difficult decision based on Scottish Government and Event Scotland guidance that no events involving the gathering of people should be taking place until further guidance on the easing of restrictions are published.”

Snare and tenor drummers and pipe band enthusiasts around the world had held out hope that the event might still take place, either in-person or online.

The major non-invitational solo piping events, the Northern Meeting at Inverness, Scotland, and the Argyllshire Gathering at Oban, Scotland, each cancelled 2020 competitions several months ago, with only the Argyllshire Gathering staging an online video-upload edition of its MacGregor Memorial piobaireachd contest for those 21 years old and younger.

The Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championships announced proactively in June that it would stage its 2020 event in-person at Blair Castle in Blair Atholl, Scotland, as a pay-per-view live-stream broadcast on October 31st. Competitors, judges, organizers and audio-visual crew are to follow physical distancing guidelines.

The RSPBA stated that Glasgow Caledonian University is allowing only “essential” student activities to occur on its campus.

“Having considered a number of different options for the event, we believe that it is the right decision to postpone until 23rd October 2021,” the association continued.

The next  World Solo Drumming & International Juvenile Tenor Drumming Championships will see Steven McWhirter defend his adult snare drumming title, going for his tenth consecutive victory to break his record. McWhirter has gained 11 World Solo Drumming Championships over his career.

The record for wins of the event is held by Jim Kilpatrick, who captured the prize 16 times in his competition career.

The cancellation puts paid to the entire 2020 RSPBA competition year. The organization relies on contest revenue, entry fees, and membership dues for nearly all of its operating income. The association reported at its June annual general meeting that it had received loans and grants to remain solvent.

The RSPBA recently announced that Executive Officer Ian Embelton would retire in November after holding the job for nearly 20 years.



RSPBA looking for leadership as Embelton retires
September 5, 2020

Glenfiddich going pay-per-view online
June 22, 2020

Steven McWhirter: 2019 World Solo Pipe Band Drumming Champion
October 19, 2019





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