Sutherland wins, Drummond nets hat-trick and Ross scores in Wheel of Fortune

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•Craig Sutherland (WoF winner, with Debbie and Sharon from Unison Lothian Health Branch)(21 April 2024)

The City of Edinburgh Pipe Band hosted their legendary Pipe Major’s Wheel of Fortune competition yesterday, Sunday, April 21, at Danderhall Miners Club in Midlothian. Craig Sutherland of Crieff took top prize, winning the Wheel of Fortune medley.

Cameron Drummond of Edinburgh enjoyed treble success, winning the March, Strathspey and Reel (MSR) and best joke competitions and taking the runner’s-up prize in the medley. Ciaren Ross of Glasgow – making his debut in the competition – took third place in the medley.

•Craig Sutherland with Debbie and Sharon from Unison Lothian Health Branch.

Also competing in a star-studded line-up were Ben Duncan, Craig Muirhead, John Mulhearn, Angus Nicolson and Callum Wynd.

For the medley, pipers must spin the golden chanter on the Wheel of Fortune to determine the types of tune they must play.  Sutherland’s spins required him to play a medley comprising a GS McLennnan tune, a tune he has composed, a polka, two Irish jigs and two Irish reels.

Sutherland treated an appreciative audience at Danderhall Miners’ Club to a medley which comprised Biddy from Sligo, Islay’s Bow (a self-penned tune about his dog), Liberton Pipe Band, Elizabeth Kelly’s Delight, Plevin Jig, Mrs Crechan and McFadden’s Reel.

The competition rules allow competitors to add up to three tunes to those selected by the Wheel of Fortune.  Sutherland performed two Gordon Duncan tunes, Alex’s Haircut and The Fourth Floor.

Drummond’s winning MSR was Donald MacLellan of Rothesay, The Ewe with the Crooked Horn and Drumlithie.    His winning joke featured the gates of heaven, Gwynneth Paltrow, three well-known faces in the world of piping – and a wicked witch.

Judges at the event were Pipe Major Robert Barnes BEM, Pipe Major Ian Duncan and the audience. 

Event sponsors included The Eagle Pipers Society, the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust, Kilberry Bagpipes, McCallum Bagpipes and Unison Lothian Health Branch.

Gary West, the voice of piping, compered the event.  West, who hosts the podcast Enjoy Your Piping, and will feature performances from the Wheel of Fortune in a future edition of his popular show.

Reflecting on the the competition, band secretary Paul White said: “We were delighted by the success of the event.  We cannot thank enough the eight pipers who agreed to pit their wits against the Wheel of Fortune.  They treated us to some great performances and kept everyone entertained from start to finish.

“Gary West kept the event flowing in his inimitable style, while our adjudicators, Barney and Ian, brought vast knowledge to the judges’ bench.

“Our sponsors were key to the viability of our competition and their support is much valued. Last but not least, we want to thank our brilliant audience.  We really appreciate the support of our community and look forward to welcoming them back in 2025.”

•The City of Edinburgh band was formed in 1947 and was originally known as Woolmet and Danderhall. The band took its name from the Woolmet Colliery and the Midlothian village, where the band practices to this day.

•Ciaran Ross took third place in the medley, receiving his prize from Adam Davanna.