Stuart Liddell continued his incredible run of success in recent weeks by winning the Silver Star Former Winners MSR tonight at the end of the first day of competitions at The Northern Meeting here in Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.
This contest is for previous winners of the A Grade MSR and the winner earns an invitation to the 2019 Glenfiddich. Liddell has already qualified twice – through winning the Masters and the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering last week – so we await confirmation as to whether Iain Speirs, who placed second at last week’s Senior Piobaireachd, receives an invite.
Competitors play two marches, two strathspeys and two reels. Liddell placed second in this competition at last year’s event.
Earlier, Connor Sinclair from Crieff, Scotland won the Highland Society of London Gold Medal for piobaireachd. The win means Sinclair gains an invitation to the 2019 Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championships at Blair Castle on October 26. Connor’s winning tune was The End of the Great Bridge, the same tune he competed in the Gold Medal at last week’s Argyllshire Gathering.
James MacKenzie of Back, Isle of Lewis Scotland, win the Silver Medal for piobaireachd. His winning tune was The Bicker. MacKenzie’s win means he gains entry to the Gold Medal in 2020. MacKenzie is known for his folk playing and has released two solo recordings and plays with the Breabach and Tryst groups. MacKenzie was second-last on in the contest of 26 competitors.
Gordon McCready of Renfrew, Scotland, won the A Grade March, Strathspey & Reel, making him eligible to compete in the Silver Star Former Winners MSR next year
Silver Star Former Winners MSR (22 competed) – 1. Stuart Liddell; 2.Niall Stewart; 3. Finlay Johnson; 4. Angus MacColl; 5. Callum Beaumont.
Judges: Willie Morrison, Ian MacLellan and Dr Angus MacDonald.
Highland Society of London Gold Medal (25 competed) – 1. Connor Sinclair (End of the Great Bridge); 2. Stuart Easton (Rout of Glen Fruin); 3. Cameron Drummond (Lachlan MacNeill Campbell of Kintarbert’s Fancy); 4. Andrew Donlon (Lachlan MacNeill Campbell of Kintarbert’s Fancy); 5. Sarah Muir (End of the Great Bridge).
Judges: Bill Wotherspoon, Tom Speirs and Stuart Samson.
Silver Medal (25 competed) – 1. James MacKenzie (The Bicker); 2. Alex Gandy (Salute to Donald); 3. John Dew (Marquis of Argyll’s Salute); 4. Steven Leask (Massacre of Glencoe); Xavier Boderiou (Marquis of Argyll’s Salute).
Judges: John Wilson, Stuart Shedden and Neill Mulvie.
A Grade MSR (35 competed) – 1. Gordon McCready; 2. Craig Sutherland; 3. Sarah Muir; 4. Angus MacColl; 5. Ally Henderson.
Judges: Walter Cowan, Barry Donaldson and Roddy Livingstone.
Tomorrow, sees the Clasp competition. The Clasp is open only to previous winners of the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting or the Argyllshire Gathering. This year it has attracted a sponsor, the Clan Donald Lands Trust, which has agreed to sponsor the contest with £5,000 annually and with a further £500 added to the first prize which now totals £1,000. A new trophy, a targe (shield), will also be presented to the winner to keep.
The competitions taking place tomorrow, and the judges for them, are:
Clasp – Iain MacFadyen, Malcolm McRae and Ian Duncan. Timekeeper: Bruce Hitchings.
Hornpipe & Jig – Iain Morrison, Willie Morrison and Neill Mulvie.
March Strathspey & Reel ‘B’ – Bill Wotherspoon, John Wilson and Stuart Samson.
Hornpipe & Jig ‘B’ – Ian MacLellan and Barry Donaldson.
Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP), Grades 1-3 – Alex Gandy.
Under 18 Piobaireachd – Stuart Shedden and Logan Tannock.
Under 15 Piobaireachd – Angus MacDonald and Lewis Barclay.
Under 18 March Strathspey & Reel – Stuart Shedden and Lewis Barclay.
Under 15 March Strathspey & Reel – DrAngus MacDonald & Logan Tannock.
The Northern Meeting is the second major event in the solo piping calendar, the first being The Argyllshire Gathering in Oban. BBC Radio Scotland is recording as it has done for many years and many performances will be heard on its ‘Pipeline’ programme in due course.