World Solo Drumming qualifiers scheduled to start February 19th in Florida
The first of the scheduled qualifying competitions for the 2022 World Solo Drumming Championships will take place in Dunedin, Florida, when the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association stages the Intercontinental Solo Drumming Championship at the Dunedin Community Centre on February 19th.
The event kicks off a series of five in-person events designed to narrow the field of competitors who will ultimately vie for the World Solo title, date and venue still to be announced by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.
The qualifying system was introduced in 2019 and the US event was held in 2019 and 2020 at the annual Metro Cup Solo Piping Competitions in New Jersey only to see the 2020 and 2021 World Solo Drumming scuttled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The February 2020 Metro Cup was one of the last major in-person competitions in North America to be held. Eli Fugate of San Diego; Derek Cooper of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania; Eric MacNeill, Dunedin, Florida; and Richard Baughman, Pittsburgh each qualified for the 2020 World Solo Drumming semi-final, which never took place.
Organized by the Metro New York branch of the EUSPBA, the Florida qualifier was secured after the 2022 Metro Cup was cancelled, securing a partnership with the Dunedin Scottish Arts Foundation.
The RSPBA qualifying system takes the best accrued results by those who have not pre-qualified for the semi-final of the World Solo Drumming. With no events for the last two years, it is unclear whether those who placed highly in the adult final of the 2019 World Solo Drumming will still pre-qualify for the 2022 event.
There is currently no contingency plan in the event that the competition must be cancelled due to the pandemic, but planning discussions are going on.
At the Florida contest, prizes in the Adult Open MSR are $500, $400, $300, $200 and $100, the top-four finishers getting a spot in the semis at the World Solos. Cash prizes in the Hornpipe & Jig event are the same.
There are also two Martin Duffy Memorial events for amateur juvenile snare drummers, with scholarships of $500, $300, and $150 up for grabs, as well as sponsor prize packages. Duffy was a prominent drumming teacher in the eastern United States.
Deadline for entry is January 19, 2022, and the fee to enter is US$20.
The other four 2022 qualifiers are the Scottish Solo Drumming Championship, April 2nd, James Young High School, Livingston, Scotland; the Kingdom Thistle / European Championship, April 23rd, Beath High School, Cowdenbeath, Scotland; the British Solo Drumming Championship, August 8th, place and venue in the Glasgow area TBD; and the United Kingdom Solo Drumming Championship, September 3rd, place and venue in Northern Ireland TBD.
With the World Pipe Band Championships scheduled for August 12-13, the August 8th solo drumming event in the Glasgow area could potentially attract a large number of top-flight snare drummers.
Organizer Matthew Wood said that there is currently no contingency plan in the event that the competition must be cancelled due to the pandemic, but that planning discussions are going on. Throughout the pandemic, the state of Florida has had less-stringent rules, enabling resident bands and competitions to continue in-person in a limited manner.
Steven McWhirter of Glasgow would be going for his eleventh World Solo Drumming Championship, and tenth in a row, at the 2022 competition in October.
RSPBA cancels 2020 World Solo Drumming Championship
September 7, 2020
World Solo Drumming judges asked to work for free
October 22, 2019
McWhirter chasing down 10th World Solo Drumming title
October 17, 2019
EUSPBA negotiates World Solo Drumming qualifying event
December 15, 2018