September 25, 2019

Ten top amateurs ready to tackle 2019 Nicol-Brown Invitational

The Chalice for Piobaireachd, the emblematic award at the Nicol-Brown.

The 10 leading pipers to compete at the 37th annual Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Solo Piping Championship, to be held on October The 37th Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Piping Competition on October 12 at the First Reformed Church of Scotia in Scotia, New York, have been decided, and the list features the usual cream of the crop from across North America:

Alistair Bevan, Abbotsford, British Columbia – winner of the 2019 BC Pipers’ Association Grade 1 Amateur Grand Aggregate; 4th Place in Under-18 MSR at the 2019 Northern Meeting in Inverness, Scotland; Overall Champion at the 2017 Nicol-Brown and the 2017 George Sherriff.

Adam Blaine, Cupertino, California – Grade 1 Piper of the Day at the 2019 New Hampshire Highland Games on September 21 ( an automatic qualifying event).

Kevin Darmadi, Houston – Amateur Piobaireachd Champion and Overall Amateur Champion at the 2019 US Piping Foundation contest.

Tyler Destremps, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – first out of 65 Grade 1 pipers in the EUSPBA Season Standings for Light Music and Piobaireachd combined; Amateur MSR Champion at the 2019 US Piping Foundation.

Joseph Horwath, Saginaw, Michigan – first in 2019 MWPBA combined Grade 1 Champion Supreme Standings for Light Music and Piobaireachd.

Colin Johnstone, Aurora, Ontario – PPBSO Champion Supreme in Grade 1 Light Music and first in combined PPBSO Champion Supreme standings.

Liam Macdonald, Wellesley, Ontario – PPBSO Champion Supreme in Senior Amateur Piobaireachd.

Stuart Marshall, Greensboro, North Carolina – second in EUSPBA Overall Season Standings.

Charlie Morris, Agoura Hills, California – first in WUSPBA Grade 1 Aggregate standings for Piobaireachd and Light Music combined.

Blaise Theriault, Halifax, Nova Scotia – first in combined Champion Supreme standings in Atlantic Canada for Grade 1 Light Music and Piobaireachd.

Invitations are based on the year’s success in top amateur events and overall within their home association, and competitors pay their own way to attend the Nicol-Brown, but can receive assistance from the event’s long list of sponsors.

pipes|drums has once again supported the event with a monetary contribution to the Nicol-Brown, a registered charity.

Tori Killoran of Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, and Filemon Tan of Bellaire, Texas, last year’s Nicol-Brown Champion, were invited but were unable to attend.

The competition, which comprises Piobaireachd, MSR and 6/8 March events, will be judged by Callum Beaumont, Faye Henderson and Matt MacIsaac.

“The Nicol-Brown committee is proud to announce the list of competitors for 2019, selected from Grade 1 pipers across North America, all with exceptional results in Piobaireachd and Light Music.,” said organizer Paula Glendinning. “Our generous donors (many of whom are former competitors or their families) have once again provided an outstanding list of prizes to be awarded. But first, the weekend will begin with a Friday night concert by Matt MacIsaac and Callum Beaumont in the incredible Troy Music Hall. I’ve already bought my ticket for the concert and am looking forward to hours of great music all weekend. (Admission to the contest on Saturday is free!) Before leaving Albany, everyone is invited to attend a Master Class given by the judges, a tradition started years ago at the Nicol-Brown with Silver Medal tune workshops taught by Jack Taylor and John Wilson.”

The Nicol-Brown was started in 1982 as a way to promote amateur solo piping success with a top-flight competition. Since then it has inspired others around the world to create similar amateur events. The Nicol-Brown can often be a final amateur appearance for the overall champion before moving to the Professional or Open class, but in recent years winners have elected to stay in the amateur ranks.


Related articles

Filemon Tan: 2018 Nicol-Brown Champion
October 7, 2018


2017 Nicol-Brown Champion: Alistair Bevan
October 8, 2017






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