Ian Mackay spent the day videoing the competition; here he sends us his observations on the event

Venue: College of Piping, Glasgow 7th April 2018

The College of Piping is an excellent venue. The College Lecture Hall is a custom-built piping facility and was perfect for the competition. The surrounding rooms allow pipers to tune up, and the reception hall is perfect for carrying out all of the administration and for serving teas and coffees.
It was obvious that a lot of planning had gone into preparing for the day. Judy Barker was responsible for the organisation and she did a great job! There were lots of helpers though. People were needed to take admission fees at the door, organise the order of playing, prepare and serve teas and coffees, write out winning certificates, judge the competitions, assist the judges and to make sure that the trophies were available to award at the end of the day. Well done everyone!
Judges during the day were Gary West, Hamish Moore, Neil Clark and Judy Barker. The audience also participated in the judging. The competition got underway with Seasoned Pipers, followed by Intermediate pipers. There were no entries for the Novice competition. It was obvious that nerves affected a few of the performers early on. David Hannay came first in the Seasoned Pipers’ competition and Anne Duncan played well to win the Intermediate competition. George Greig’s tune ‘The Inverbervie Rant’ was awarded first place in New Composition.
There were just two entries for the Duet for Pipes and Other Instrument. Andrew Macintyre (smallpipes) and Donald Gorman (fiddle) played a really nice selection of tunes to win this competition. Donald Lindsay (smallpipes) and Paul Baran (Korg keyboard) played an interesting improvisation combining keyboard with Donald’s own pipes.
Sadie Maskery and Pete Stewart came first in the Duet for Piper and Singer with a lovely performance of the traditional ballad ‘Reynardine’.
A new trophy was awarded for the first time this year, The Skeely Piper trophy. The 2018 theme was ‘Scott Skinner tunes’. This competition attracted eight entries and was the most popular competition of the day. There was a lot of good playing of a lot of nice tunes and the eventual winner was Andrew Macintyre playing ‘Les 3 Grand Luthiers’ and ‘The Duke of Fife’s Welcome to Deeside’.’Runners up were Rona Dawson and Norman Macleod.
The Open Solo for Scottish Smallpipes was won by Rona Dawson playing ‘Jolly Beggarman/Finnish Folk Song/Galician March/John Anderson My Jo’. The runners up were Norman Macleod and George Greig. There were four entries for Pipe and Song and this was won by Andrew Macintyre who was having quite a successful day! His song was ‘The Corncrake.’ Second and third places went to Pete Stewart and Donald Lindsay.
Norman Macleod and Colin Macaldowie won the Duet for Pipes with a selection of Highland tunes. Second place went to Matt Seattle and Donald Lindsay playing ‘How Can I Be Sad on My Wedding Day.’
The competitions concluded with Open Solo Lowland and Border Pipes. Once again, Andrew Macintyre added to his collection of silverware with two well played tunes, ‘Fy Gar Rub her Owre wi Strae/How she’ll Never Be Guided’. Pete Stewart gained second place, with Matt Seattle coming third.
First place in The Overseas Performance Class went to Geoff Jones from Australia with a really well played version of ‘Hoop Her and Gird Her’.’ Second place was awarded to Chad Fross and there was a tie for third place between Sarah Wade and Bob Cameron.
Finally, The Martin Lowe Trophy was awarded to Pete Stewart for the greatest contribution to the performance of Lowland and Border music on the day of the competition.
This was a really well organised and successful event for the LBPS. It gave the attendees the chance to meet other members of the Society and, since recordings of most of the music are on the website, it has given us all a chance to hear how the Society is performing.
Could things have been better? It would have been good if there were more entries for some of the competitions, particularly the duets, and Pipe and Song. It would also have been nice to hear a bit more harmony playing with some of the duets. Overall though, this was a really enjoyable day with many excellent performances.