Scottish Pipers going online despite Scotland’s lifting of restrictions
The venerable Scottish Pipers’ Association has elected to go online with its annual Professional Solo Competition, and event that goes back more than 100 years, despite recent lifting of pandemic restrictions in Scotland.
The contest will include events for players grade Premier, A, B and C by the Competing Pipers Association, and open to any piper in the world with those credentials, and a paid membership (£7.50 annually) with the Scottish Pipers’ Association, too.
Entries close June 5th, and contestants will have their tunes assigned by June 9th, pipers uploading recorded video performances for so far unannounced judges to assess.
“We must put the safety of our members, volunteers and the wider public at the forefront of our preparations for 2021, and for this reason we have decided that the most sensible course of action is to promote an online event for 2021,” competition organizer Gary Nimmo said in a statement. “We are preparing a calendar of events going forward that will take into account any changes in the guidance set out by the Scottish Government.”
The organization hopes to broadcast a pay-per-view program online on June 26th that showcases the A-Grade events.
We must put the safety of our members, volunteers and the wider public at the forefront of our preparations for 2021.
SPA President Logan Tannock said that there would be a total prize pool of £1,300 to be divided between the competition events.
“Gary has worked wonders to get it all up and running on the website so quickly,” Tannock said. “The competition is in place of our normal offering, but as it is online we are looking at it as separate from the live version of the SPA Professional competition. We did, however, want to give players of all grades the chance to perform hence the reason we are having the three categories.”
The SPA has decided not to hold its traditional Former Winners MSR event and the famous trophies, some of which go back to the 1930s, will not be presented.
Winners of the SPA Solo Piping Competition feature some of the greatest names in piping history, including John MacFadyen, Donald MacLeod and John D. Burgess.
The organization celebrated its centenary in 2019. It was forced to cancel its professional competition in 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation.
The professional solo piping world is awaiting decisions by the Northern Meeting at Inverness and the Argyllshire Gathering on whether the August events will go ahead this year. The competitions feature the Highland Society of London Gold Medals for piobaireachd, and typically attract an entry from non-UK pipers of about a third.
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