Inverness hosts oldest piping competition in the world
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Hundreds of pipers from across the world descended on Inverness to take part in the Northern Meeting Piping Competition.
Competitors came from as far as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and North America to compete in the competition at Eden Court, first held in 1841.
Grace Kelman, from Inverness – also a winner at this year's Inverness Music Festival – led the way in terms of more local talent, coming second to Hamish Stephens of Blairgowrie in the Under 15s March, Strathspey and Reel (MSR) section as well as winning the HR MacDonald-Haig Quaich for girls junior dress and deportment and taking the title of best junior piper, for which she was awarded The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation Cup, for best aggregate performance in either the Under 15 or Under 18 categories from the Highland and Moray area.
Seonaidh Forrest from Isleornsay, Skye won the under 15 Piobeareachd.
In the under 18 section MSR Gregor Grierson from Dumfries came out on top whilst the winner of the under 18 Piobeareachd was Cameron Bonar from Canada.
Cameron also won The British Legion Plaid Brooch and The Pipe Major Angus MacDonald MBE Memorial Trophy for the best under 18 aggregate performance.
In the senior section, The Highland Society of London Gold Medal was awarded to Dr Innes Smith, from Bridge of Allan, playing “Sobieski’s Salute”, a piobeareachd which remembers Bonnie Prince Charlie’s maternal ancestors.
Dr Smith plays bagpipes previously owned by Pipe Major Donald Macleod MBE, who himself won the Gold Medal in 1947.
The Silver Medal was won by Matt Pantaleoni from St Louis, USA playing “Fair Honey”, a tune also played by the runner up, Anna Kummerlow, from Kladrum, Germany.
Callum Beaumont from Dollar won his fifth Clasp Competition playing “The Phantom Piper of Corrieyarrick” having played late into Thursday night as the penultimate and winning competitor in the Former Winners MSR.
This double success earned him the prestigious Northern Meeting Quaich as the clear winner of the top aggregate competition.
Fred Morrison, from Bishopton, won the Senior Hornpipe & Jig whilst Craig Sutherland from Crieff became eligible to compete in next year’s Former Winner’s MSR through winning the A Grade MSR.
Inverness Provost Glynis Campbell Sinclair presented the awards and trophies together with Dr Jack Taylor, a Gold Medal winner in 1973.
Derek Fraser took on convenor duties for this year’s competition, saying categories had been keenly contested and that he was particularly delighted with such a strong overseas participation and the high standard of performances by junior pipers.