At the Livingstone Invitational on Saturday a friend remarked that it’s now usual for professional-level solo competitions not to have a single player make a serious blunder, much less a breakdown. This is true. I can’t remember listening to a big event in the last few years where someone has completely lost the bottle.
Competitors don’t necessarily play to a higher technical or musical standard, but they do avoid “shooting themselves in the foot,” as the person said. The eight pipers at the Livingstone “got through it,” as they say, with relative ease. Some were clearly on edge, but never to the point of crumbling.
And this included a few very young players, like Will Nichols, Jacob Dicker and Lionel Tupman, all of whom showed up ready to play their best. There was not that much, really separating many of the competitors
The professionalism in professional-level solo piping continues to rise. Solo pipers today mean business, and they’re not going to let mental blunders due to nerves or lack of practice put them out.