The competition this year took place on April 16th, once again in the National Piping Centre, Glasgow.

 This time last year, I found myself writing that the event had been probably the least supported that I have attended over the past twenty years. After that low attendance, there were those who thought this year was a make or break occasion. It turned out to be a make; attendance was probably as good as it has ever been, with a total of  forty entries across all the classes on the day, including nine in the Smallpipe open.
What’s more there were some real surprises. Julian Goodacre and Callum Armstrong won the duet for pipes class with a set of variations on the Keel Row played on a cornish double pipe and a Scottish triple pipe. Julian reminded me that he had won this class previously playing the Cornish double pipes; on that occasion he was dueting with himself; the rules were subsequently changed to ensure that a duet required two people. Given that that rule is abided by, five chanters seems to be acceptable.

LBPS Chair Judy Barker with Julian and Callum at the prix-giving

Equally innovative was the entry in the duet for pipes and other instrument class, where Donald Lindsay, playing the smallpipes he himself had printed, was joined by Shane Connelly playing a txalaparta, the marimba like wooden tuned percussion instrument from the Basque country. This instrument usually requires two players; Shane played solo on a ‘txalaparta-lite’ which was nevertheless a unique contribution to the history of this class..
Donald and Shane were beaten to the first place by Andrew MacIntyre & Donald Gorman with a superb performance on pipes and fiddle, but Donald made up for this by winning the Pipe and Song class, the New Composition class and a gaining second place in the Scottish smallpipes open solo class. In all of these classes Donald was playing the colourful 3D printed extended-range pipes has has designed and produced.
It was very reassuring to see so many new faces both in the audience and on the stage. Congratulations to all who took part; even in a competition as relaxed as this one, playing before an audience you know probably contains better players than yourself is always a nerve-wracking experience, but you only get better at it by doing it. Come and give it a try next year!

Donald Lindsay and Shane Connelly playing the  Duet for Pipes and other instrument class -
the pipes are red,blue, green and yellow… (photo from Jane Moulder)