•MacRae SL4 pipes

The Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming invites young pipers to apply to participate in the 2022 Balmoral Classic: US Junior Solo Bagpiping Championship. The competition will be held on November 12, in Pittsburgh, PA.

Pipers will compete in MSR and in Piobaireachd. The competition’s Overall prize is decided by a combination of scores from Piobaireachd and MSR and the winner will receive a set of MacRae pipes, donated by McCallum Bagpipes. Applications should be made by October 1 on the Balmoral Classic website here.

The judges for 2022 are: Robert Wallace (Scotland) is a double Gold medalist and President of the Piobaireachd Society. Since retiring from competition he is in much demand as a teacher and judge. For 15 years he was Editor of the Piping Times magazine and Principal of the College of Piping where he was instrumental in rebuilding their premises in Otago Street, Glasgow. Robert is editor of Piping Press web magazine. A professional journalist and writer, he has used his musical skill to produce many books including the Glasgow Collection of Bagpipe Music, Bagpipe Tutor (Vols 1–3), and the Bagpiper’s Handbook.

Amy Garson (Canada) was the first woman to win the Silver Medal for Piobaireachd at the Northern Meeting in Inverness (1981). She placed third at the Argyllshire Gathering Gold Medal competition for Piobaireachd in Oban (1984), and third, fourth and fifth for the Northern Meeting Gold Medal for Piobaireachd in Inverness (1983-86). The first woman to be invited to compete at the Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championship (1988), she won the Cambridge, Ontario Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (1989), the Gold Medal at the Fair Hill Games (mid 1980s), and the Gold Bar for former winners (1988).

Lezlie Webster (USA) has been a professionally-ranked piper since 1973 and has had much success in international competitions. The first female piping judge in the United States, she continues to judge at Highland Games and piping competitions around the US and Canada. Lezlie founded the Boston Police Pipe Band and the Gaelic Fire Brigade Pipe Band in Boston, and currently instructs the New Hampshire Police Pipe Band and the New Hampshire Pipes and Drums grade 5 band. A Graduate of the Institute of Piping, she counts many top professional pipers among her students.

The Balmoral’s director, George Balderose, said: “For our first live Classic since 2019, we will be hosting only a piping competition, as we are trying return to in-person events as safely as possible. We plan to reestablish the drumming contest in future Classics.”

Weekend Classic events include the piping competition on Saturday from 8:00am to 3:00pm, a concert featuring Celtic-fusion band Seven Nations at 7:00pm on Saturday night, and a free Piobaireachd workshop with Robert Wallace, open to all 2022 applicants and former Classic competitors, on Sunday morning.

•Seven Nations