Finlay Johnston took home the overall prize at the 2019 Glenfiddich Piping Championship, held as ever in a crowded Ballroom of Blair Castle in Perthshire today.
It was the second time that Finlay Johnston won the award, successfully defending the title he first won in 2018. He gained this year’s win by placing 2nd in the Ceòl Mòr and 2nd in the MSR.
Competitors are asked to submit six tunes of each type.
1. Glenn Brown, Milton, Ontario, Canada, Farewell to the Queen’s Ferry
2. Finlay Johnston, Glasgow, Scotland, Donald Gruamach’s March
3. Iain Speirs, Edinburgh, Scotland, Scarce of Fishing
4. Jack Lee, Surrey, BC, Canada, Lament for the Laird of Anapool
5. Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Lachlan MacNeill Campbell of Kintarbert's Fancy
Judges – Patricia Henderson, Colin MacLellan and Stuart Samson.
MSR (twice through)
1. Connor Sinclair, Major Manson’s Farewell to Clachantrushal, Susan MacLeod, Broadford Bay
2. Finlay Johnston, Inverlochy Castle, Cat Lodge, The Smith Chilliechassie
3. Niall Stewart, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland P.M.J. McWilliams, Glentruim, Ca’ the Ewes
4. Callum Beaumont, Dollar, Scotland, The Stirlingshire Militia, Lady Louden, The Little Cascade
5. Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland, Mrs John MacColl, The Shepherd’s Crook, John Morrison of Assynt House
Judges: Murray Henderson, Dr Angus MacDonald and John Wilson.
1. Finlay Johnston
2. Connor Sinclair
3. Glenn Brown
Also competing but not in the prizes were Andrew Hayes and Gordon McCready.
This year's Balvenie Medal was awarded to Anne Spalding for her services to piping. She is pictured here with Andrew Berthoff who presented the medal.
Anne is someone who has truly spent a lifetime in piping. In December 2012 Lowri Potts visited Anne at her home in Broughty Ferry to discuss her piping life. Their chat encompassed Anne’s first lessons aged six with her grandfather, through to playing with the MacLean Ladies’ Pipe Band and on to receiving her first prize from Capt. John MacLellan and singing canntaireachd with Bob Brown when only 14.
Anne has taught piping for many years now, including at Morrison’s Academy and Ardvreck School (both in Crieff) as well as Dundee’s MacKenzie Caledonian Pipe Band organisation.
The interview took place as part of The National Piping Centre’s Noting the Tradition oral history project.
Listen to the interview (or read the transcript) here