October 21, 2022

Sun Belt Invitational’s balanced judges bench assigns piobs

The new Sun Belt Invitational Solo Piping Competition (“An Crios Gréine”) on November 12th at the Orlando Sheraton North in Maitland, Florida, is shaping up to be one of the most star-studded contests ever held in North America, with 10 of the world’s top pipers from Scotland, Canada and the USA competing for a rich prize purse totalling US$6,200.

The judges are representative of the countries from which the players come from: Mike Cusack, Houston; Colin MacLellan, Edinburgh; and Jim McGillivray, Aurora, Ontario, will assess both the Medley and ceol mor events, and they have selected the piobaireachds each piper will have to play from the list of eight tunes each submitted:

  • Callum Beaumont, Dollar, Scotland – “The Phantom Piper of Corrieyairack”
  • Glenn Brown, Glasgow – “Lament for the Departure of King James”
  • Angus D. MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland – “Nameless Cherede Darieva”
  • Andrew Donlon, Washington, DC – “The End of the Great Bridge”
  • Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – “The Battle of Waternish”
  • Ian K. MacDonald, Whitby, Ontario – “Lament for MacLeod of Colbeck”
  • Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland – “The Unjust Incarceration”
  • Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland – “The Raising of the Standard at Glenfinnan”
  • Ben McClamrock, Washington, DC – “Scarce of Fishing”
  • Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland – Lachlan MacNeil Campbell of Kintarbert’s Fancy”

The Piobaireachd event starts 1 pm, and the Medley 6 pm.

The Medley is completely free form with neither tune nor time requirements. So, in theory, the competition could last into 2023 or longer.

Underwriting the event is the Feeley Charitable Fund. Kevin Feeley, who manages the fund with his wife Cindy, asked that the event be dedicated to Shirley and George Bell for their contributions to piping, drumming, Highland dancing and the Celtic arts in the eastern United States. Kevin Feeley was a student of George Bell and a member of the Bell’s Kenmure Pipe Band in the 1970s and the Parlin & District under George Bell’s son, Jimmy, in the 1980s and early ’90s.

Funding for the event is also coming from the Piobaireachd Society, R.G. Hardie & Co., and the Royal Scottish Pipers Society, among others.

The competition is being organized by Eric Stein, who managed the Metro Cup Solo Piping Competition in Newark, New Jersey, for many years.

Stein said “Tickets are moving at a great pace. Under 21 are free so, anyone interested should order tickets as soon as possible.”

Tickets and more information can be obtained by email.

The competition received subtstantial funding to ensure its future when Marshall Vashon “Shon” Sanson of Louisiana after he read about the event in pipes|drums.





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