The 2021 Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championships kicks off this morning from a wet and windy Blair Castle in beautiful, autumnal Perthshire.

Ten of our leading competitive pipers will shortly make their way from the Atholl Palace Hotel, six miles away in Pitlochry, be allocated their tuning rooms in the castle, and prepare to test their mettle in the castle’s Victorian ballroom.

A large, enthusiastic audience is expected in the Ballroom, which can seat around 350 derrières quite comfortably. Many thousands are expected to tune in online on the livestream broadcast commencing at 10:00am GMT (06:00am EDT). Tickets are priced £15/£12 to attend on the day with the livestream also priced at £15. The footage will be available to view over the following week.

Those buying tickets in advance – either in-person or online – will be eligible for two prize draws for a full set of bagpipes from either McCallum Bagpipes (the MacRae SL4) or R. G. Hardie & Co. (Celtic Heritage). A festival pass for next year’s Piping Live! festival is also up for grabs.

The winners will be announced during the event.

Two of this year’s ten competitors were selected from the two qualifying events that took place: Stuart Liddell is the 2020 champion and Callum Beaumont was the overall winner of the Piping Live! Masters Competition. The other competitors were chosen based on previous achievements at the Glenfiddich.

The line-up therefore is: Callum Beaumont, Glenn Brown, Finlay Johnston, Jack Lee, Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl, Roddy MacLeod MBE, Willie McCallum, Connor Sinclair and Iain Speirs.

The judges for the day are: John Wilson, Dr Jack Taylor and Cpt Stuart Samson (Retd.) for the Ceòl Mòr; Iain MacFadyen, William Morrison and Ian Duncan for the MSR.

Bob Worrall will act as Fear an Tighe.

The competition is organised and sponsored by the William Grant Foundation, the charitable arm of the William Grant & Sons.

We will post the results later tonight.