December 31, 2014

The 13th annual pipes|drums New Year’s Honours!

2014 Piping/Drumming Event of the Year

Competitors at the 2014 Glenfiddich. [Photo: Derek Maxwell]
Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championship

The 41st edition of the world’s greatest invitational solo piping event upped its stature several notches with a slicker live-streamed Internet broadcast, complete with suggested contributions to the Donald MacLeod Memorial. While many events tend to amble along doing the same thing year after year, the Glenfiddich has moved with the time, while retaining all the glamour of its four-decade tradition. Other solo piping events are certainly important, but they pale in comparison with the ultra-elite Glenfiddich, where even the ultra-elite competitors are a bit awestruck.

Also considered (alphabetical order):

  • Glengarry Highland Games – the monster two-day competition enjoyed the usual huge crowds and near-flawless execution. It’s one of the very few contests in North America that has actually increased prize money for bands and soloists – still not what it should be, but they’re trying. If you’re a piper or drummer and not at Maxville in early-August, you’re nowhere.
  • Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival – the relocation of the World Pipe Band Championships to include the Friday put a slight dent in the smoothness of this year’s Piping Live!, but it is still the event for all pipers and drummers.
  • Winter Storm – the Midwest Highland Arts Fund continues to deliver a three-day warm-up in the midst of the bleak midwinter. The unlikely location of Kansas City becomes the centre of the piping and drumming world for 72 hours, and the 2014 Winter Storm set new records for attendance.


  1. Always love this year end wrap and seeing the best recognised. Glad that it is not always all about prizes won but also about other accomplishments to piping and drumming. Well done all!!!



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