Eight young pipers head to Benderloch for the Lochnell Championship 2023


The Argyllshire Gathering Trust’s Lochnell Intermediate Piping Championship will take place tomorrow, Saturday, October 21. The venue is the chapel at Lochnell Castle, near Benderloch, PA37 1QT, by kind permission of the Earl of Dundonald and hosted by his son Lord Archie Cochran.

The competition is by invitation only and features Scotland’s finest young pipers aged under 22 –

  • Ruairidh Brown (2022 Champion)
  • Andrew Ferguson (2022 Piobaireachd winner)
  • Luke Kennedy (CPA Bronze Medal 2023)
  • Gregor MacDonald (3rd MacGregor)
  • Cameron May (3rd NM Silver Medal)
  • Brodie Watson-Massey (5th AG Silver Medal)
  • Bobby Allan (multiple B grade prizes)
  • Liam Nicholson (MacGregor finalist) – who is all the way from Australia.

Invites are based on a piper’s track record, including placings at previous year’s Lochnell Championships and, in the case of overseas qualifiers, ability to travel.

Pipers compete in Piobaireachd and March, Strathspey and Reel, four tunes of each asked for. The 2023 judges are P/M Jimmy Banks MBE, P/Sgt Alasdair Henderson of Inveraray Pipe Band and John Wilson. Fear an Tighe is Robert Wallace, President of the Piobaireachd Society.

There are four prizes in each event: £120, £80, £60, £40. There are trophies for each section of the Championship, the Jimmy McIntosh MBE Memorial Trophy for Piobaireachd was presented last year by Mrs Joyce McIntosh. The trophy for the MSR is presented by McCallum Bagpipes in memory of Mr Willie McCallum Snr., Campbeltown, a man who dedicated his life to promoting piping in his native town and in wider Argyll. In addition to these trophies the Champion Piper with most points in both disciplines receives a trophy and a Bronze Star presented by the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society.

Competition organiser Torquil Telfer said: “We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Lochnell for the second annual Intermediate Youth Championship.

This competition fills a gap in the calendar for the young aspiring professional piper and encourages them on to even greater effort and success. The venue is perfect for both pipers and audience alike.”

The promoters would like to thank sponsors Alik Campbell, the Duncan Louis Stewart Foundation, Andrew Holman, the Piobaireachd Society and the Royal Scottish Pipers Society. For more information about the Argyllshire Gathering Trust please email argyllshiregatheringtrust@gmail.com.