SPSL 2014 Results

Jack Lee - Bratach Gorm 2014 Winner

Jack Lee – Bratach Gorm 2014 Winner

Champion Piper Winner: Callum Beaumont

Bratach Gorm – Piobaireachd

  1. Jack Lee
  2. Faye Henderson
  3. Roddy MacLeod
  4. Glenn Brown
  5. Callum Beaumont

William Gillies Memorial Trophy – Piobaireachd

  1. Bruce Gandy
  2. Iain Speirs
  3. Roddy MacLeod
  4. Cameron Drummond
  5. Callum Beaumont

London Medallion John MacFadyen Quaich – MSR

  1. Callum Beaumont
  2. Willie McCallum
  3. James Murray
  4. Iain Speirs
  5. Bruce Gandy

JB Robertson Silver Rose Bowl – March

  1. Douglas Murray
  2. Andrew Hayes
  3. Chris Armstrong
  4. Willie McCalum
  5. Bruce Gandy

Mary Flora Beaton Cup – Hornpipe & Jig

  1. Chris Armstrong
  2. Andrew Hayes
  3. Willie McCallum

RG Lawrie Rams Horn Snuff Mull – A Grade Piobaireachd

  1. Innes Smith
  2. Jamie Forrester
  3. William Geddes
  4. Jenny Hazzard
  5. Peter McCallister

Strachan Memorial Trophy – A Grade MSR

  1. Steven Gray
  2. Sarah Muir
  3. Graham Drummond
  4. Andrew Lee
  5. Jenny Hazzard

Donald Forbes Medal – A Grade Hornpipe & Jig

  1. Sarah Muir
  2. Steven Gray
  3. Andrew Lee

Terry Maginn Memorial Trophy Overall A Grade Winner: Sarah Muir

John Roe Plate – B Grade Piobaireachd

  1. Edward McIlwaine
  2. Matt Fraser
  3. Sandy Cameron
  4. Sarah Muir
  5. Peter Hunt

London Scottish Hodden Grey – B Grade MSR

  1. Ross Millar
  2. Andy Wilson
  3. Callum Moffat
  4. Faye Henderson
  5. Sandy Cameron

Hugh MacMillan Trophy – B Grade Hornpipe & Jig

  1. David Shedden
  2. Emmett Conway
  3. Anna Kummerlow

Angus Nicol Award Winner: Edward McIlwain

National Piping Centre Trophy – C Grade Piobaireachd

  1. Bruce MacDonald
  2. John McElmurry
  3. Roger Huth
  4. Duncan Beattie
  5. Callum Moffat

R Crabb Memorial Trophy – C Grade MSR

  1. Duncan Beattie
  2. Matt Fraser
  3. Glenn Ross
  4. Rachel Corr
  5. Jacob Dicker

SPSL C Grade – Hornpipe & Jig

  1. Fraser Allison
  2. Glenn Ross
  3. Duncan Beattie

JB Johnstone Memorial Trophy Overall C Grade: Duncan Beattie

CLASP Competitions Grade 1
London Highland Club Challenge Cup – Piobaireachd: Len Durham & Enora Marice
Highland Society of London Targe – MSR: Enora Morice

Juvenile Piobaireachd

  1. Callum Brown
  2. Harry Richards
  3. Joint winners Finlay Cameron and Brighde Caimbeul

British Airways Pipe Band Trophy – Juvenile MSR

  1. Callum Brown
  2. Donald Stewart
  3. Brighde Caimbeul

Highlands & Islands Society Trophy – Gaelic Air & Jig

  1. Callum Brown
  2. Robbie McIsaac
  3. Donald Stewart

Jim Caution Memorial Quaich: Callum Brown


Glenfiddich 2014 Videos Available

All performances from the Glenfiddich Piping Championship 2014 are now available to watch online.
Please consider donating to the Lewis and Harris Piping Society if you enjoyed the coverage!


TripAdvisor US Article featuring The National Piping Centre

How one property got 40 reviews overnight

What one GM learned at a TripAdvisor seminar that had a dramatic impact on her business.

The National Piping Centre in Glasgow is Scotland’s home of bagpiping. It’s also home to The Pipers’ Tryst – an adjoining eight room hotel and restaurant. General Manager Gemma Cannon recently took some time from her hectic schedule at The Pipers’ Tryst to attend a TripAdvisor seminar. What she learned dramatically changed her business.

“We always thought we were using TripAdvisor in a proactive way. We knew how to write back to customers and say thank you, or to give our side of the story in a positive manner that reflects our business. But I had no idea about Review Express,” says Cannon. Review Express is a free tool that makes it easy to send recent visitors an email invitation to write a review on TripAdvisor.

After the seminar, Cannon and her team pulled together email addresses of guests who had stayed at The Pipers’ Tryst during the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. They sent a Review Express campaign to those guests, reminding them to write reviews. No one on Cannon’s team could have predicted the result:

“Overnight we gained 40 reviews. Before that we were getting one a fortnight – we only have eight rooms, after all. We didn’t realize that Review Express, with just a few clicks, would have such an impact. We always enjoyed ranking highly in the budget hotel category on TripAdvisor, which made us very proud. But now, of all hotels in the city, we’re number 11. We were all very surprised but delighted as well.”

A property’s first Review Express email campaign is often sent to a large group of past visitors and receives a substantial amount of reviews in response. After that, businesses tend to settle into more regular schedules – ideally sending Review Express campaigns once per week. This helps them drive a smaller but steadier number of reviews over time. Moving forward, Cannon plans to use Review Express on a regular basis to contact recent visitors and collect their reviews.
How reviews are used

Cannon and her team are always looking for ways to deliver the best of Scottish hospitality to guests – from the Scottish food and whiskey to the décor to the musical education. Reviews are a big part of that. Cannon says, “First we read the reviews and understand what people have written. We reflect back to the occasion they’re talking about. We try get back to them quickly with feedback, typically within two to four days. Then we take the reviews back to our management team meeting and use them to drive change.”

The Pipers’ Tryst is a non-profit organization and registered charity. Gains made from the hotel and restaurant are used to fund the musical education side of the business. Since money is tight for improvements on the hospitality side, Cannon and her team use the guests’ feedback to help prioritize the most important ones.
Reviews and bookings

The Pipers’ Tryst saw a 65% increase in bookings in August 2014 over the previous year. While this change can be partially attributed to events in the area like the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, Cannon also attributes the success to Review Express: “There’s an awful lot happening in Glasgow City Center, but Review Express has helped put us on the map as a good little independent business to visit. As a small company, it’s a great tool to have. It was quick and it helped.”

“We didn’t realize that Review Express, with just a few clicks, would have such an impact.” – General Manager Gemma Cannon, The Pipers’ Tryst


(Updated) Glenfiddich Greats: images of pipers at the Blair Castle competition

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pipes|drums is indebted to photographer Derek Maxwell and the organizers of the 2014 Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championships for sharing the following sensational photos of the contestants at the event, held at Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scotland, on October 25th.

Here they are by order of last name. Just click on each to see the full-sized photo. (We did not receive a picture of Angus MacColl, and will add it if we do.)

Bruce Gandy [photo: Derek Maxwell]

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Scots Guards Club Knockout 2015

Here are the dates for the first round of the 2015 edition of the Scots Guards Knockout competition:

  • Sunday 16th November 2014: Steven Gray v Greig Canning
  • Sunday 7th December 2014: Sarah Muir v Callum Moffat
  • Sunday 22nd February 2015: Greg Wilson v Scott Barrie
  • Sunday 15th March 2015: Craig Sutherland v Angus MacColl Jr.


Glenfiddich Piping Championship 2014 Results

Stuart Liddell won the 2014 edition of the Glenfiddich Piping Championship.


  1. Stuart Liddell
  2. Bruce Gandy
  3. Roddy MacLeod


  1. Roddy MacLeod
  2. Bruce Gandy
  3. Stuart Liddell
  4. Willie McCallum
  5. Angus MacColl

March, Strathspey & Reel

  1. Niall Stewart
  2. Stuart Liddell
  3. Willie McCallum
  4. Bruce Gandy
  5. Dougie Murray


2014 Glenfiddich Champion: Stuart Liddell

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Stuart Liddell with the Glenfiddich Championship overall trophy. [Photo Derek Maxwell]

Blair Atholl, Scotland – October 25, 2014 – Stuart Liddell won the 2014 Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championship at a stowed-out Great Hall of Blair Castle and as many as 1,800 viewers of the event broadcast live on the Internet. It was the second time that Liddell has won the event.

Liddell gained the overall prize with a third in the Piobaireachd and a second in the twice-through MSR. Roddy MacLeod won the Piobaireachd for the ninth time in his career, a record for the competition, while Niall Stewart took the MSR.

1st Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow, “Isabel MacKay”
2nd Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Canada, “The Big Spree”
3rd Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland, “Lament for Colin Roy MacKenzie”
4th Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland, “The Rout of the Lowland Captain”
5th Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland, “The Bells of Perth”
Judges: Colin MacLellan, William Wotherspoon, Andrew Wright

1st Niall Stewart, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland, “Mrs. Duncan MacFadyen,” “Hector MacLean,” “Kildonan”
2nd Stuart Liddell “Mrs. John MacColl,” “Catlodge,” “John Morrison, Assynt House”
3rd Willie McCallum, “Inveran,” “Ewe wi’ the Crookit Horn,” “The Man from Glengarry”
4th Bruce Gandy, “The Crags of Stirling,” “The Islay Ball,” “Brown-Haired Maid”
5th Douglas Murray, Cupar, Scotland, “MacLean of Pennycross,” “Highland Harry,” “Johnny MacDonald’s”
Judges: Malcolm McRae, Ronnie McShannon, John Wilson

Also competing, but not in the prizes: Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada; Gordon McCready, Renfrew, Scotland; and Iain Speirs, Edinburgh.

Contestants at the 2014 Glenfiddich (back row L to R): Angus MacColl, Gordon McCready, Willie McCallum, Niall Stewart, Bruce Gandy, Roddy MacLeod, Dougie Murray, Stuart Liddell. Front Row (L to R): Jack Lee, Iain Speirs [Photo: Derek Maxwell]

A self-admittedly “gobsmacked” Jackie Roberts was awarded the Balvenie Medal for services to piping, largely for organizing the annual Piping Society of London competition over the last 10 years. The recipient of the Balvenie Medal is chosen by a panel of experts connected with the competition.


MSR winner Niall Stewart, overall champion Stuart Liddell and Piobaireachd winner Roddy MacLeod with their trophies. [Photo Derek Maxwell]

The competition was broadcast live on the Internet and packaged into a show. The worldwide audience numbered between approximately 1,100 and 1,800 throughout the eight-hour broadcast, that captured introductions by emcee Bob Worrall and recorded and live interviews with pipers and program host Fergus Muirhead.

As part of the free Internet broadcast, viewers were encouraged to contribute to the Pipe-Major Donald MacLeod Memorial Solo Piping Competition. pipes|drums Magazine donated £100 to the cause.

The event is sponsored by William Grant & Sons Distillers, purveyors of the contest’s namesake single malt Scotch whisky in its numerous expressions. The company has supported the event and many others for nearly 50 years.

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Ten of world’s best pipers ready for Glenfiddich on Saturday

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The 41st annual Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championship is poised for staging all day on Saturday, October 25th, at Blair Atholl, Scotland, where 10 of the world’s most successful competing pipers will go at it hammer-and-tongs in a no-holds-barred solo piping smackdown.

Or, more accurately, in dignified Piobaireachd and MSR events in the world’s most elegant piping venue: the antler- and arms-festooned Great Hall of Blair Castle, ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl.

The whole thing will be streamed live beginning at 11 am GMT at no charge by the National Piping Centre, but with a suggested contribution to the Pipe-Major Donald MacLeod MBE Memorial Piping Competition, which will be held April 10, 2015, in the Caladh Inn Hotel, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.


Glenfiddich 2014 competitors (L-R): Bruce Gandy, Jack Lee, Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl, Willie McCallum, Gordon McCready, Roddy MacLeod, Douglas Murray, Iain Speirs and Niall Stewart.

Competitors at this year’s Glenfiddich:

  • Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Canada – winner of the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering
  • Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada – third in the Clasp at the Northern Meeting
  • Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland – winner of the Silver Star MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering; winner of the Masters at Piping Live!
  • Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland – third in the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering
  • Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland – second in the Silver Star MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering; second in the Silver Star MSR at the Northern Meeting
  • Gordon McCready, Renfrew, Scotland – third in the Silver Star MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering
  • Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow – winner of the Bratach Gorm at London
  • Douglas Murray, Cupar, Scotland – winner of the Gold Medals at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting
  • Iain Speirs, Edinburgh – 2013 Glenfiddich Champion, winner of the Clasp at Inverness; overall champion at London
  • Niall Stewart, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland – winner of the Silver Star MSR at the Northern Meeting

Speirs will defend his title for the third straight time, while McCallum has his sights set on his ninth overall Glenfiddich Championship to break his own record. McCready is making his first appearance at the event.

Each competitor must submit eight piobaireachds and play the one picked by the judges, and six marches, strathspeys and reels and play one of reach twice over.

Judges for the Piobaireachd are Colin MacLellan, William Wotherspoon and Andrew Wright. For the MSR are Malcolm McRae, Ronnie McShannon and John Wilson.

Bob Worrall will take the role of fear an tighe, or master of ceremonies.

The event is sponsored by William Grant & Sons Distillers, purveyors of the contest’s namesake single malt Scotch whisky in its numerous expressions. The company has supported the event and many others for nearly 50 years.

The weekend is populated with several receptions and ceilidhs, each serving only soft drinks.

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At 25 Beaumont has piping world at his feet

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Callum Beaumont competing with ScottishPower at the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships.

With the Silver Chanter, both Gold Medals and the Northern Meeting Clasp in his bulging trophy-case, Callum Beaumont has accomplished more at age 25 than all but an infinitesimal number of pipers will in a lifetime and, at the rate he’s going, he might well shatter all records before he hangs up his brogues.

And now the Bo’ness, Scotland-resident Beaumont is heading out on his own, with the launch of “Callum Beaumont Piping,” offering comprehensive private tuition, group workshops and piping recitals worldwide.

In order to do sustain his personal business and brand, Beaumont has broken away from his instructor role with the National Piping Centre. And he has also taken a part-time job with the acclaimed Dollar Academy in Dollar, Scotland, as a piping teacher in that institution’s extensive and successful program that annually boasts one of the top Juvenile bands in the world.

“It has been something that I have been considering for the last year or two,” Beaumont said. “I was very fortunate to land a part time piping instructor position at Dollar Academy around a month ago so felt like this was the best time for me to go for it. I also feel this gives me the opportunity to work on other interests and explore other ideas that I have for my piping.”

His last day with the National Piping Centre was October 17th.

“I really enjoyed my time at the Piping Centre over the last 6 years and gained great experience and met many good friends within.”

His experience in top pipe bands is extensive as well, and includes stints with Simon Fraser University, Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Inveraray & District and, last year, ScottishPower.

Beaumont said that he is also working on a solo recording that he plans to have ready some time in 2015.

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Ottawa Police officially moved to Grade 1; Paris-Port Dover to Grade 2

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As pipes|drums recently anticipated, the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario has promoted the Ottawa Police Services Pipe Band to Grade 1, after an unbeaten season in Grade 2, and several successful challenges against established Grade 1 bands, including narrowly missing winning the four-band Grade 1 competition at the Georgetown Highland Games, with a tie for first broken by ensemble.

Also moving up is Paris-Port Dover to Grade 2, the Rob Roy Pipe Band of Kingston, Ontario, to Grade 3, and both the Hamilton Police and Lindsay pipe bands from Grade 5 to Grade 4.

The PPBSO did not downgrade any bands.

Ottawa Police competing in 2014.

The move of the Ottawa Police also comes approximately a year after the band reportedly requested to be upgraded to Grade 1, but was denied by the PPBSO. The Ontario society enacts grading first by recommendation of its Music Committee and then after ratification by the organization’s Board of Directors.

“We are very proud of our development as a band, and we are committed to continuing our progress in Grade 1,” Ottawa Police Pipe-Major Andrew Hayes said. “Without a doubt, the ability to challenge up against Grade 1 bands in Ontario has contributed enormously to our growth, both in terms of experience and confidence. We have a dedicated group, and we look forward to next summer.”

Hayes added that his band does not plan to compete at the 2015 World Pipe Band Championships, and instead will “focus on development.” He said that they aim to go in 2016.

The addition of the Ottawa Police to Grade 1 brings the total number of premier-grade bands to 28. Only two years ago the total number worldwide was 38. There are now four certified Grade 1 bands in Ontario, and a total of seven in Canada.

Paris-Port Dover brings Ontario’s Grade 2 bands to only two, with the only other being the 400 Squadron under new Pipe-Major Matt MacIsaac.

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