Organisers of two of the piping world’s three major solo competitions are looking ahead to 2021 with optimism and have made a joint announcement advising that they are now accepting entries for next year’s competitions.
The Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting will be held on August 25-26 and September 2-3 respectively.
Piping Convenor Torquil Telfer said in a statement: “The Argyllshire Gathering and the Northern Meeting would like to invite entries for their 2021 competitions in the hope that they will go ahead.
“We understand that it will be difficult to decide whether to enter or not in these abnormal times when the future is so uncertain. The decision as to who will be accepted will be made at the Joint Meeting which will be held as normal towards the end of February.
“We understand that CPA gradings will be on similar lines as 2020. The Piobaireachd Society has also confirmed the retention of the 2020 Set Tunes.”
For Oban, successful applicants will be contacted by the end of March, and then asked to pay the £40 entrance fee (where appropriate) and submit their selection of tunes.
For Inverness, a registration form will appear on the website as soon as is possible. Competitors will need to complete this and their application will be assessed and, if approved, the competitor will receive a username and password to access the entry forms.
With around a third of competitors living furth of Scotland, the announcement at this juncture will be welcomed and will allow both pipers and judges to plan their travel arrangements
As usual, entries will be limited to around 25 in the Gold Medal competitions and around 30 in the Silver Medal competitions.
Plans are underway to launch a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Piping next summer.
Since 2016, pipers have been able to study for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Piping through the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, Scotland. It is hoped the new new course will be open next September, subject to approval from the Scottish Qualifications Authority, the official Scottish government body that offers accredits and awards qualifications.
In the meantime, the NPC is offering a ‘bridging course’ for those who already have an HNC Music – Piping and who would like to continue their studies to HND level. The NPC hopes to release further information about this early in 2021.