Meghan Bielski plays before Duncan Bell, Andrew Wright and Scot Walker at the 2013 Balmoral Classic.

The 13th annual Balmoral Classic takes place this weekend in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from November 15-17. The competition has been a popular one since its inception and around 1,000 patrons are expected.

The event kicks off on Friday night with a welcome reception featuring Breton dance. The competition kicks off on Saturday with the US Junior Solo Piping and Snare Drumming Championships for pipers and drummers aged 21 years and younger. The piping judges are Ian Duncan, Bruce Gandy, and Lezlie Patterson. The drumming judges are Gordon Bell and Jon Quigg.

Californian, Charlie Morris – this year’s CLASP winner at Piping Live! – was the overall winner at the 2018 event.

An evening concert from Eabhal, the award-winning Scottish folk group, follows the prize giving.

Meanwhile, also taking place this weekend is the 24th George Sherriff competition for amateur pipers. This takes place on Saturday in Hamilton, Ontario, around 290 miles to the north of Pittsburgh.

Ian Duncan presents Austin Diepenhorst with the McCallum Bagpipes’ prize pipe at the 2015 ‘Sherriff’.

Named in honour of the Glasgow-born stalwart of Ontario piping, this contest is for the top ten amateur pipers selected from North America and the venue is St Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Hamilton.

The format at ‘the Sherriff’ sees competitors play two 6/8 marches of their own choice in the morning, a piobaireachd in the afternoon, then an MSR the evening. 

The competitors are: Alistair Bevan (British Columbia); Kevin Darmadi (Texas); Tyler Destremps (Pennsylvania); Joseph Horwath (Michigan); Colin Johnstone (Ontario); Stuart Marshall (North Carolina); Liam Melville (Ontario); Liam MacDonald (Ontario); Charlie Morris (California) and Blaise Theriault (Nova Scotia).

Judges: Glenn Brown, James McGillivray and Michael Grey.

Fear an tighe: Lynda MacKay (Chairman of the Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario Music Committee).

Filemon Tan of Houston, Texas won the 2018 event.

We will post the results when we have them.