Winter Storm, the popular US Midwest weekend of competitions and workshops, has been cancelled for 2021. Winter Storm was scheduled for January 14-17 in Kansas City, Missouri.
In a sign of increasing concern in the global piping community about the pandemic in some parts of the world, the Midwest Highland Arts Fund has decided not to hold its annual event which it has held annually since 2002. The US, in particular, is being affected badly by the virus, with 2.4 million confirmed infections and 122,370 deaths – more than any other country at the time of posting. The US’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said up to 20 million Americans may have been infected with coronavirus.
“The decision to cancel … was difficult,” said Winter Storm President, Beth Wilson. “But in light of the current public health crisis, directives from local, state, federal and international governments we felt it was necessary.”
“Given the significant amount of advance planning and the significant personal resources that our attendees devote to the event, the Board with this announcement is providing certainty so that the more than 1,000 individuals who travel to Kansas City each year to join in can plan their calendar accordingly.
“We understand this is a disappointment for everyone involved with the annual Winter Storm weekend, which has been presented continuously since January, 2002. However, our primary responsibility is the health and safety of the competitors, workshop attendees, faculty, sponsors, volunteers, and the thousands of supporters who have made our event the success that it is today.”
The Board of Directors is currently evaluating the possible option of offering a virtual competition for some or all of its regularly scheduled events.
Still in the USA, the US Piping Foundation Championship held its 34th Amateur and Professional Piping Championships online recently. Two Canadian pipers, Sandy Adams and Bruce Gandy came out on top overall in the amateur and professional categories respectively.
The results were:
Ceòl Mòr – 1. Stuart Marshall of Stokesdale, North Carolina with The MacLeods’ Salute; 2. Kevin Darmadi of Houston, Texas with Lament for Patrick Òg MacCrimmon; 3. Sandy Adams of Vancouver, British Columbia with MacLeod’s Controversy; 4. Stanton Man of Raleigh, North Carolina with Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay; and 5. Jessica Bain of Halifax, Nova Scotia with Lament for Donald of Laggan.
MSR – 1. Ross Davison; 2. Jessica Bain; 3. Sandy Adams; 4. Stanton Man; 5. Tyler Destremps.
Overall – 1. Sandy Adams; 2. Stuart Marshall; 3. Jessica Bain; 4. Ross Davison; 5. Kevin Darmadi.
Judges: Willie McCallum and Paula Glendinning.
Ceòl Mòr – 1. Derek Midgley of Tinton Falls, New Jersey with Lord Lovat’s Lament; 2. Bruce Gandy of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with Lament for the Children; 3. Ian K. MacDonald of Whitby, Ontario with Lament for Donald Bàn MacCrimmon; 4. Sean McKeown of Bowmanville, Ontario with Battle of the Pass of Crieff; and 5. Andrew Carlisle of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Lament for the Earl of Antrim.
MSR – 1. Bruce Gandy; 2. Alex Gandy; 3. Derek Midgley; 4. Sean McKeown; 5. Nick Hudson.
Overall – 1. Bruce Gandy; 2. Derek Midgley; 3. Sean McKeown; 4. Alex Gandy; 5. Ian K. MacDonald.
Judges: Ian Duncan and Ronnie McShannon.
Held in memory of founder Maclean Macleod, the Ullapool, Scotland native who lilved for years in Delaware. Maclean was awarded the Balvenie Medal for service to piping in 1995. He died in 2013, aged 89. Nearly 70 competitors took part in this year’s online contest.