Donald MacDonald Cuach moves online for 2021

2019 winner Glenn Brown is presented with the Donald MacDonald Cuach by clan chief and CDLT trustee Godfrey, Lord Macdonald

The Clan Donald Lands Trust’s annual invitational ceòl mòr competition, the Donald MacDonald Cuach, will be held online this year for the first time in its 35-year history.

Convenor, Dr. Angus MacDonald will host the event live from Armadale Castle, Isle of Skye, the five-star visitor attraction located in the heart of a 20,000 acre estate that was once part of the traditional lands of Clan Donald. Dr. Angus will be accompanied by adjudicator Dr. Jack Taylor. The live broadcast will be combined with filmed performances from the five competitors and streamed free on the social media platform, Facebook at 19:00 on Friday, June 11.

This year’s selected competitors and tunes are:

  • Stuart Liddell -– Moladh Morag (In Praise of Morag)
  • Callum BeaumontCumha Mhic a h-Arasaig (MacKintosh’s Lament)
  • Andrew HayesPiobaireachd Cheann Deise (The Earl of Ross’s March)
  • Finlay JohnstonCumha an Aona Mhic (The Lament for the only Son)
  • Glenn BrownFailt a Bhodaich (The Duke of Argyll’s Salute)

The competition is free to watch and will be streamed on the Armadale Castle Facebook page at: It will also be viewable after the event on Facebook and Vimeo. More information can be found at

Dr Angus MacDonald commented: “Having cancelled the 2020 competition due to Covid-19 we were determined to find to way to run the competition this year. In the light of ongoing uncertainties around the pandemic we have taken what I believe to be a wise and pragmatic decision to take the competition online. We have put rigorous systems in place for recording and judging to ensure that our competition standards are not compromised. As ever, the calibre of the competitors is first-class and I am sure we can all look forward to an excellent evening of piobaireachd.”

The Donald MacDonald Cuach is one of the more interesting invitational piping competitions in that the distinctive settings for all the tunes played are based on those found in the collections of Donald MacDonald, the Skye-born pipemaker and music publisher who was active in Edinburgh during the first half of the 19th century.

Armadale Castle estate is now run by Clan Donald Lands Trust, a Scottish Registered Charity whose mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of the history and traditions of Clan Donald, the Lordship of the Isles and the Highlands & Islands.