Young pipers and drummers in Perthshire, Angus and Fife are preparing to compete in the first junior competition of the year. The Vale of Atholl Pipe Band’s annual competition will take place on Saturday, January 20 at Pitlochry High School. This will be the 48th year of the popular contest.

The closing date for entries is January 13. Email Gillie McNab for more information or an entry form. Full Event listing and rules are below.

Vale Secretary, Gillie McNab, said: “We’re all looking forward to the competition again. All the usual categories are open.

“Our first competition was in 1976 and it was sponsored by the Bank of Scotland, hence why there are quite a few Bank of Scotland trophies and shields. There are also various trophies donated by well known members of the Vale going back years, such as those donated by PM Allan Cameron, Ian Duncan, Andy Renwick, Drum Major Ian Cramb and so on. 

“It’s very much a Tayside contest as entrants must reside in Perthshire, Angus and Fife. Other trophies reflects this, such as the trophy donated by the Pitlochry butcher, McDonald Bros., and the Atholl Estates Trophy.”

In the days when it was a piping-only contest, the competition was held in the famous Scotland’s Hotel – which also used to host the post-competition Glenfiddich shindig – then moved to Fisher’s Hotel. When drumming categories were added, the organisation decamped to Pitlochry High School.

The competition is sponsored by McCallum Bagpipes, Kintail Bagpipe Makers and the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust.

•Winners at the Vale of Atholl Junior Competition in 2023.


  1. Piobaireachd under 15
  2. Piobaireachd 15-18
  3. March under 15
  4. M.S.R. 15 – 18
  5. Jig under 15
  6. Jig 15 – 18
  7. Chanter 9yrs and under
  8. Chanter 10 and 11 years
  9. Chanter 12 – 18
  10. Novice Piping 12 yrs and under
  11. Novice Piping 13 – 18
  12. (a) Drumming on pad 10 and under
  13. (b) Drumming on pad 11 – 18
  14. Novice Side Drumming
  15. Side Drumming 18 and under, March
  16. Side drumming 18 and under, M.S.R
  17. Novice Tenor Drumming
  18. Tenor Drumming 18 and under, March
  19. Tenor Drumming 18 and under, M.S.R.


  1. Confined to competitors, resident or at school in Perthshire, Dundee, Angus and Fife, or in a band in our local branch (Dundee, Perth and Angus). All competitors must play in their own age group.
  2. Competitors for chanter are allowed to enter novice piping only. Novice pipers can enter events 3 or 4 and drummers on pad can enter novice drumming.
  3. Competitors entering the novice side and tenor drumming can enter the 18 and under March also. Non novice competitors can enter No 14 in side drumming / No 17 in tenor drumming if in Grade 4 /Novice, or No 15 side drumming/ No 18 tenor drumming if in Grade 3 or higher.
  4. Entries for chanter, novice piping, drumming on pad and novice drumming are confined to players who have never won a first prize in their relevant competition. Sheet music is not permitted.
  5. Previous winners of a 12 & under nov piping comp can play in 18 and under novice.
  6. In events 7, 8, and 9 and 12 a and 12b, competitors will play two parts march tempo.
  7. In events 3, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16 and 17 competitors will play four parts march tempo.
  8. In events 15 and 18, competitors will play MSR minimum 4 parts each.