The Sherriff is coming / Atholl Highlanders to mark members’ 50 years’ service / Books imminent

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The Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario has announced that the George Sherriff Memorial Amateur Invitational Solo Piping Competition will be held in November. It will be held online. The contest did not take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will be the 25th year of the popular contest named in honour of the Glasgow-born stalwart of Ontario piping. The contest sees ten of North America’s leading amateur pipers play a 6/8 march, a piece of ceòl mòr and an MSR through the day and evening. The ten players invited to compete are based on the 2021 results for Grade 1 amateur pipers from the different jurisdictions throughout North America.

The ten pipers invited for 2021 are:

Jessica Bain (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia); Callum Bevan (Abbotsford, British Columbia); Sean Buchta (Tampa, Florida); Zippa Curiskis (St. Paul, Minnesota); Trevor DeMass (Murray, Utah); Mark McClennan (Guelph, Ontario); Stuart Marshall (Greensboro, North Carolina); Charles-David Mitchell (Kingston, Ontario); Andrew Prioli (Cranston, Rhode Island) and Caleb Thibodeau (Toronto, Ontario).

The judges will beChris Armstrong and Richard Parkes, MBE will judge the 6/8 Marches and MSR while Bruce Gandy and John Wilson will assess the Ceòl Mòr.

The results will be announced on the November 20.

The ‘George Sherriff’ is is usually held in in St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Hamilton. Colin Johnstone of Aurora, Ontario [pictured] was the overall winner in 2019.


Pipe Major Ian Duncan and Drum Major Alister Walker at the Atholl Highlanders Parade in 2013.

The annual parade of the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s last remaining private regiment, takes places next month. The event is usually held at the end of May but due to COVID-19 restrictions it did not take place last year and this year has been put back until October 9. The venue is, as ever, the regiment’s headquarters of Blair Castle in Perthshire, where the Glenfiddich has taken place since its inception.

The regiment’s Pipe Major, Ian Duncan and Drum Major, Alister Walker joined 50 years ago (1971). Their milestone of service will be recognised at the parade.

The Duke of Atholl, however, will not be present to inspect his regiment. His son, Michael Murray (the Marquis of Tullibardine) will stand in for him. The current Duke, the 12th, Bruce Murray, resides in South Africa.

After her visit to Blair Castle in 1844, Queen Victoria gave the Duke of Atholl and his descendants the unique privilege of raising a private regiment.

• The Glenfiddich takes place at the castle at the end of next month. Tickets are £15 per person or £12 for a concession and can be secured HERE.


A new edition of William Donaldson’s best selling book, Pipers, will be printed next February. Publisher, Birlinn has delayed publication twice due to the pandemic.

The book was first published in 2005.

• Still on the subject of books, we understand Jeannie Campbell’s long-awaited book, Pipe Bands has been printed but confusion between the printer and courier has delayed delivery. It is expected to be on sale in the next couple of days.

Bagpipe.News hopes to have more details on this landmark publication tomorrow.


We hear the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society will be holding a teaching class in Milngavie near Glasgow next month with a syllabus focusing on lowland music. We hope to have more details soon.