Stellar lineup for 2020 Glenfiddich


The 10 invitees to compete at the 2020 Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championships have been confirmed. The pipers who will take to the stage – and, in brackets, the number of times they have won the overall title – are:

Finlay Johnston, overall winner of last year’s Glenfiddich. (Photo: Derek Maxwell).

• Finlay Johnston (2)
• Callum Beaumont
• Jack Lee (2)
• Roddy MacLeod MBE (5)
• Angus MacColl (4)
• Stuart Liddell (2)
• Iain Speirs (2)
• Willie McCallum (8)
• Connor Sinclair
• Bruce Gandy

The list was compiled commencing with the defending Glenfiddich Champion and the winner of The Bratach Gorm and Overall Champion from the 2019 Scottish Piping Society of London Annual Competition – the only qualifying event to take place. To bring the total to ten, invitations were extended to still competing past Glenfiddich champions and, because of duplications, to second overall placings.

The judges for the Ceòl Mòr competition are Iain MacFadyen, Willie Morrison and Dr. Jack Taylor.

Walter Cowan, Colin MacLellan and Ian McLellan will adjudicate the MSR. The fear an tighe (emcee) is John Wilson.

A spokesman said: “The event will take place behind closed doors at Blair Castle, with competitors, judges and a small technical team. It will all adhere to strict COVID-19 risk assessment and guidelines, like the recent Silver Chanter and other Piping Live! events.

“To ensure a musically enhanced and faultless experience, all the performances will be recorded live from Blair Castle and premiered online from 10:00am UK time on Saturday, October 31. The stream will remain online for 24 hours after the event for viewers to re-watch.”

The Balvenie Medal, awarded for services to piping, will not be conferred this year.

The online ticket price is £15.00 and everyone that buys a ticket will be entered into a prize draw to win one of two sets of pipes: a set of MacRae Bagpipes (SL4) from McCallum Bagpipes and a set of Peter Henderson (PH1HT) Heritage bagpipes from R.G. Hardie & Co have been donated by these companies.

Go online to to register now, then on the day simply log back in and refresh the stream at 10:00am.

The Glenfiddich is sponsored by the William Grant & Son via the William Grant Foundation. The company has staged the contest since its inception in 1974 when Jimmy McIntosh became its first winner. The Foundation also supports other piping events, including the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering, the Scottish Piping Society of London’s competitions and Piping Live!

Blair Castle in autumn.
Blair Castle in autumn.