The 51-year-old Silver Chanter invitation piobaireachd competition at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye has been given a new lease on life, with a joint funding initiative for the next few years between the National Piping Centre and the William Grant Foundation.
The event was thought to have been lost after the Grant Foundation pulled back on sponsorship, along with other piping competitions and causes that the organization has dutifully supported over the last 50 years.
“The National Piping Centre is pleased to take on the running of this landmark event in the piping calendar which has been a high point in the solo piping season for the last 50 years,” National Piping Centre Principal Roddy MacLeod said in a statement. “Through the generosity of the William Grant Foundation and with the support of the Isle of Skye Piping Society we aim to preserve the traditions of the event which celebrates the music of the MacCrimmon composers.”
The 2018 event will be held on August 4th at the National Piping Centre, and, starting in 2019, will be combined with the Piping Live! Glasgow International Festival of Piping, held the week prior to the World Pipe Band Championships.
“The William Grant Foundation remains committed to supporting piping as part of its increasingly broad charitable interests,” said Nick Addington, Chief Executive of the William Grant Foundation. “Alongside ongoing funding for the Glenfiddich Piping Championships we continue to support a number of other solo piping competitions. At the request of both organizations, we are pleased to transfer the funding we had already pledged for this year’s Silver Chanter to allow the National Piping Centre to organize a successor competition in Glasgow on the traditional date. We have pledged funding for three years, subject to a review after year two.”
The event has severed ties with the independent Skye Piping Society, but that organization expressed its “delight” that the Silver Chanter will continue.
The 2017 Silver Chanter was won by Cameron Drummond of Edinburgh.
The Silver Chanter was started in 1967 by Seumas MacNeill and John MacFadyen as an exclusively invitational competition to honour the music of the MacCrimmon dynasty of pipers. Each piper is assigned a piobaireachd composed by or associated with the MacCrimmons.