Hamish Moore

By HAMISH MOORE.

I’d like to announce news of a newly devised piping competition with none of the conventional rules or standards applying.

The rationale behind establishing this competition is: piping has, over time, consistently been losing connections with its Gaelic roots. This connection was once central to, and at the heart of, how our music was interpreted and played. It is hoped that this competition will significantly contribute to reconnecting piping with its Gaelic roots and grow in popularity and significance year by year.

It is being sponsored by award winning Isle of Raasay Distillery, and it will be held on the island of Raasay on Saturday, September 7, 2024.

The competition will take the following form: a slow air seann nós style or a piobaireachd song followed by a selection of dance music (Strathspeys and Reels) to be played with a tempo and rhythm suitable to be danced to by a hard shoe percussive Scottish step dancer.

The four judges who will invigilate are: Dr. Angus MacDonald and Anna Murray for the slow air/piobaireachd song, and Angus MacKenzie and Frank McConnel for the dance music.

First Prize to be a small cask of Raasay Whisky worth £3,000. Second Prize to be a selection of bottles of Raasay Whisky.

  • Twelve competitors are being invited to take part.
  • There will neither be a performance fee nor an entry fee.
  • Pipes to be played are standard Highland pipes.
  • The competition will be set up so that the judges will not be able to see who is playing.
  • Tickets will be available from The Raasay Distillery – raasaydistillery.com

The competitors confirmed so far are: James MacKenzie, Angus Nicolson, Michael Grey, Hector Henderson, Decker Forrest, Lorne Cousin, Duncan Nicholson, Simon MacKerrell, Ben Duncan, Micheal Steele and Ciar Milne.

Programme for September 7 on Raasay.

10.00 am. Introduction followed by a talk given by Hugh Cheape on The MacKays of Raasay.

10.30 – 12.00 Competition first half.

12.00 – 14.00 Lunch in Raasay Distillery.

14.00 – 15.30 Competition second half.

15.30 onwards. Drinks Reception/Whisky Tasting in Raasay Distillery during which it is hoped that a session of music will break out which will, inevitably, ‘lead to dancing’.

Ferry Departures – 17.00 – 18.05 or even 20.30.


Because Hamish Moore is not on social media, he has requested that if anyone has any questions or comments about the Isle of Raasay Distillery competition on September 7, that people get in touch with him directly either by phone (07595 599 849) or by email hamishmoore@outlook.com


James Duncan MacKenzie will be one of the competitors in the inaugural Isle of Raasay competition.