As Bagpipe.News suggested almost a month ago, the organisers of The Argyllshire Gathering have decided to hold this year’s MacGregor Memorial competition online.

The organisers haven’t yet discounted holding the final in person, however. A spokesman told us: “Clearly, we [the Argyllshire Gathering] would be guided by the government and scientific advice in this respect”.

‘The MacGregor’ is for pipers aged under 22 and the number of competitors is capped at 30. The competition is organised by the Argylshire Gathering’s Piping Committee but sponsored by the Highland Society of London. No entry fee is required from competitors in the MacGregor Memorial.

The winner is awarded the College of Piping Salver plus a cheque for £100. Interestingly, the winners over the last three years have all been pupils at Dollar Academy.

The Argyllshire Gathering released the following statement: “Against the background of the Covid 19 pandemic a decision on whether to run the Gathering this year has not yet been taken. However, the Highland Society of London and the Argyllshire Gathering believe it is important that the MacGregor Memorial Competition should nonetheless go ahead this year online to give young pipers an event on which to focus.

Lewis Russell, winner of the MacGregor Memorial in 2017.

“As competitors probably know, the MacGregor Memorial Competition consists of two elements; firstly competitors are assessed on a tune chosen from their submiIed list and secondly from that initial run eight competitors are selected for the final and asked to play a different tune chosen by the judges from their initial submission. Having considered the unreliability of live streaming it has been decided that the first stage will require competitors to submit a video recording of their tune chosen by the judges for the first stage.

“The detailed requirements including the cut-off dates for the initial stage of the competition are set out below. Requirements for the second stage of the Competition will be published in due course.”

1. The competition is open to all pipers under 22 on the date of the competition. 2 Those already entered need not reapply.
3. Numbers will be capped at 30.
4. Four tunes of the competitor’s own choice to be submiIed.
5. The decision on whether the winner automatically qualifies for the 2021 Argyllshire Gathering Silver Medal rests with the judges.
6. Timeline: Entries close June 30. Pipers will be no@fied shortly therea`er if they have been successful or not. Tunes must be submiIed to the Piping Convenor by July 15. Tune selected for performance issued to competitors July 22. Performance must be submiIed via YouTube link by July 29; late entries not accepted.
7. Four pipers from each heat of 15 will go forward to a final. The date, time and format of this to be announced later.
8. Dress as per Argyllshire Gathering rules. Read General Rules HERE.
9. Entry is free.
10. The judges’ decisions are final.
11. Prizes are as intimated
12. Further information from Piping Convenor, Torquil Telfer on

The Highland Society of London, founded in 1778, presents the Gold Medals at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting each year. It also supports other piping events including the competitions at London and at Skye Games.