Lewis and Harris Piping Society logo

There will be a change of venue for this year’s annual junior piping competition organised by the Lewis and Harris Piping Society. The competition will move to the Nicolson Institute after outgrowing its previous venue at the Grianan Day Centre.

The date for this year’s competition is Saturday, June 8. To enter, contact piping tutor Ashley MacDonald. Telephone 07919 101011 or email ajnmacdonald1n@gnes.net. The closing date is May 10.

Dr John Smith, Chairman of the Lewis and Harris Piping Society, said: “Organising an annual competition for juniors is very much in line with the founding principles of The Lewis and Harris Piping Society, which says the object of the society ‘shall be to promote, in the interests of social welfare, the encouragement of piping in all of its aspects with particular emphasis in the fields of tuition, competition and recital’.

Emily Phipps and John Kennedy
Former Lewis & Harris Piping Society Chairman, John Kennedy presenting last year’s under-18 overall winner Emily Phipps with her trophy.

“We are delighted to support and encourage the tutors in schools and also those who are providing private tuition for the pipes, by organising this competition. It’s most encouraging to see the interest and enthusiasm in the area to play the pipes, which is a fundamental component of our traditional heritage.”

Finlay MacLeod, Secretary, added: “I think the competitions are important because they give the pupils a platform to play and express all the music they have been playing through the course of the year, and it helps build their confidence.

“They make friends through the competitions as well. There is the camaraderie that goes along with it and getting the feedback from the judge to see how you can improve yourself and make it onto the next level.”

A concert will be held in Stornoway Town Hall at 19:00 and will feature performances from some of the participants as well as a recital by chief judge, Jonathan Simpson from Bo’ness, a Grade 1 player and Pipe Major of Boghall and Bathgate’s juvenile pipe band. He will be joined in the judging by Allan MacDonald, former Pipe Major of the Lewis Pipe Band, and others.

Entry is free for both the competition and the evening performance, although donations will be taken at the door and go towards the Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band.