Further to yesterday’s announcement of the PipingLive! festival going online for 2020, another iconic event is following suit.

Cowal Highland Gathering has announced it will run a Virtual Gathering for 2020, from August 27-29. It will stream on the Gathering’s social media and YouTube channels over the three days.

Organisers say the Virtal Gathering will feature interviews with past and present competitors and “personalities”, archive film together with more recent broadcast footage, and music from some of the acts that have played at Cowal’s ‘Gig at the Gathering’ and ‘Ceilidh Tent’ stages. A spokesman said it is working on something to cover the event’s pipe band and solo piping elements.

The Virtual Gathering is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

The Argyllshire Gathering has selected the competitors and their tunes for the heats at this year’s MacGregor Memorial online competition:

Heat A – To be judged by Bill Livingstone.
Jordan Ednie, Monifeith (Battle of Auldearn No 2);
Hazel Whyte, Larkhall (The Groat);
Chris Happs, Gorebridge (Lament for Mary MacLeod);
Hamish Drennan, Drumnadrochit (The Old Men of the Shells);
Ian Hamilton, Paisley (MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart);
Anna Smart, Dunfermline (Too Long in This Condition);
Ross Conner, Campbeltown (Lachlan MacNeil Campbell of Kintarbert’s Fancy);
Abbas Manchandi, Brisbane, Australia (Lament for Donald of Laggan);
Andrew Orr, 17, Fort William (Battle of the Pass of Crieff);
Lewis Maxwell, Alva (Catherine’s Lament);
Bobby Allen, Chryston (Lament for the Viscount of Dundee);
Bede Patterson, Balmain, NSW, Australia(The Little Spree);
Finlay Frame, West Kilbride (The Vaunting);
Kyle Shead, Selby, North Yorkshire, England (Rory MacLoude’s Lament);
Thomas McCollom, Deerton, USA (Sir James MacDonald of the Isles’ Lament);
Tomas Young,Dunoon (Lament for Donald of Laggan);
Henry Paluch, Ontario (Black Donald’s March);
Eala Niamh McIlhinney, Duntocher (Struan Robertson’s Salute).

Heat B – To be judged by Stuart Samson.
Kevin Darmadi, Houston, Texas, USA (MacDougall’s Gathering);
Owen Muir, Lockerbie (The Little Spree);
Alistair Williams, Dunblane (Cabar Feidh Gu Brath);
Gregor MacDonald, Oban (MacFarlane’s Gathering);
Cameron May, Lesmahagow (Lament for Captain MacDougall);
Campbell Wilson, Christchurch, New Zealand (The Old Men of the Shells);
Dugald MacKechnie, Bridge of Allan (Too Long in This Condition);
Archie MacLean, Edinbane, Isle of Skye (Lament for the Viscount of Dundee);
Luke Kennedy, Strathaven (Lady MacDonald’s Lament);
Eosaph Campbell, Kyle (Earl of Seaforth’s Salute);
Kyle Cameron, Rosemarkie (Lament for Donald of Laggan);
David Stulpner, Perth, Australia (Corrienessan’s Salute);
Brodie Watson-Massey, Edinburgh (King’s Taxes);
Harris MacLennan, Polton (End of the Great Bridge);
Connor Kellet, Kyle (MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute);
Aiden Bestwick, Sydney, (Kinlochmoidart No 2);
Angus MacPhee, Inverness (Battle of Auldearn No 1);
Liam MacDonald, Ontario (Marquis of Argyll’s Salute).

All performance recordings must be sent to the Piping Convenor, Torquil Telfer by midnight on July 29.

Competitors must wear Highland dress during their performance.

It is usual that the winner of the MacGregor is promoted to the following year’s Silver Medal at Oban. This year that will be at the discretion of the judges.

Our recent post on the late Hugh MacInnes has caused quite a number of readers to contact us with their memories of him. Jimmy Dunn of Cambuslang near Glasgow spoke warmly of Hugh’s immaculately set-up bagpipe and his advice on how to prepare for competition. Jimmy also sent us this photograph of Hugh (centre) with Pipe Major Angus MacDonald MBE and Campbell McGougan. The photo, says Jimmy, was included in the Piping Times report of Hugh’s death, and was taken at Luss Highland Games in 1982:

Thank you to all who contacted us.