The 40th Nicol-Brown Invitational took place yesterday, October 7 at St. Mark Presbyterian Church, Rockville, Maryland. The competition invited ten of the top young amateurs from North America to play in elite solo competition consisting of three events: 6/8 Marches, Piobaireachd and MSR.
The competitors were Gillian Blaney, Cameron Bonar, Thomas Cangelosi, Colin Forrest, Kayleigh Johnstone, Malachi Johannesen, Henry Michael Paluch, Magnus Stone, William Shropshire and Michael Trenor. The judges were Dr. Jack Taylor and Nick Hudson.
The overall winner was Colin Forrest and the full results are:
Overall Nicol-Brown Championship
- COLIN FORREST (21 points)
Prizes: The 2023 Nicol-Brown Champion’s Chanter — a McCallum “CeòL” blackwood pipe chanter with a custom-designed sole — donated by McCallum Bagpipes (Kilmarnock, Scotland); plus travel expenses up to $1000, donated by the NHSCOT Fund (Concord, New Hampshire), to be used to compete in a major solo contest in 2024 to be approved by the Nicol-Brown committee; plus the Lee & Sons pipe bag of the winner’s choice, donated by Lee & Sons Bagpipes Ltd. (British Columbia).
- CAMERON BONAR (18 points)
Prize: $250 piping scholarship donated by Cathi Nixon (Tennessee) in memory of her father, Sandy Jones; plus a $50 credit for tunes from Bagpipemusic.com donated by Lee & Sons Bagpipes Ltd.
- GILLIAN BLANEY (13 points)
Prize: $200 piping scholarship sponsored by Doreen Forney (Vermont) in memory of Pipe Major Angus Macdonald, 1st Battalion Scots Guards; plus a $25 credit for tunes from Bagpipemusic.com donated by Lee & Sons Bagpipes Ltd.
- WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE (8 points)
Prize: $150 piping scholarship sponsored by Doreen Forney in memory of Pipe Major Angus Macdonald, 1st Battalion Scots Guards.
- HENRY MICHAEL PALUCH (5 points)
Prize: $100 piping scholarship sponsored by Doreen Forney in memory of Pipe Major Angus Macdonald, 1st Battalion Scots Guards.
Robert Nicol-Robert Brown Chalice for Piobaireachd
- COLIN FORREST (9 points) – The Groat
Prize: A bound Piobaireachd Society Collection, Volumes 1-16, donated by Jon Maffett from The Piper’s Hut (Pickerington, Ohio).
- GILLIAN BLANEY (7 points) – The Rout of Glenfruin
- CAMERON BONAR (6 points)
“Black Donald’s March”
- WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE (5 points) – MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart’s Lament, No. 1
- MAGNUS STONE (4 points) – Lament for Mary MacLeod
William Ross Challenge Targe MSR Competition
- CAMERON BONAR (8 points) – Inveran, Top of Craigvenow, and The Little Cascade
Prize: A McCallum CeòL blackwood pipe chanter donated by The Piper’s Dojo (Troy, New York).
- COLIN FORREST (6 points) – Jimmy Young, Cabar Feidh and The Sheepwife
- HENRY MICHAEL PALUCH (5 points) – The Argyllshire Gathering, Delvinside and Tom Kettles
- GILLIAN BLANEY (4 points) – Mrs. Alex Johnstone, Dornie Ferry and Willie Murray
- WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE (3 points) – John MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage, Duncan Lamont and Kalabakan
Donald MacLeod Memorial 6/8 March Competition
- COLIN FORREST (6 points) – Rab’s Wedding and Miss Ishabel T. MacDonald
Prize: The Donald MacLeod Memorial Silver Buckle created and donated by Stephen Walker of Walker Metalsmiths (Andover, New York).
- CAMERON BONAR (4 points) – Meg MacRae and Cameron MacFadyen
- KAYLEIGH JOHNSTONE (3 points) – Ian M. Campbell of Oban and Captain John Maclellan
- GILLIAN BLANEY (2 points) – The Scottish Division and Kirkhill
- MICHAEL TRENOR (1 point) – Pipe Major Donald MacLean of Lewis and A Cold Wind from Ben Wyvis
Dress and Deportment
Judged by Donald F. Lindsay (Petersburg, New York). This prize is a special recognition for the effort and thought put into the presentation of performances, showing respect for the contest and love for the music.
- MALACHI JOHANNSEN
Prize: A $100 gift certificate for Walker Metalsmiths in Andover, New York, sponsored by Jane and Jim Spicer (Maryland).