A year on from the beginning of lockdown, the LBPS Competition Committee held the 2021 annual competition via the internet, with the view that a virtual competition was better than no competition at all.

As an antidote to the rigours of lockdown, there had been previous evening LBPS sessions on Zoom, with Iain MacInnes, Matt Seattle and Donald Lindsay, where we had gone through tunes as a group under their guidance, as well as a successful virtual colloge, but obviously an all day competition would require a bit more organising. Thankfully, the competition committee were up to the task, and spent a considerable amount of time in the evenings running up to the event rehearsing connecting, hosting, handing over hosting, mass muting, solo unmuting, and all the other variables, responsibilities and general headaches that come with holding an online Zoom event.

The logging in began at 9:30 am, with Judy Barker doing a grand job of warmly welcoming us one by one as we arrived virtually. We were then greeted en masse by Gary West, who gave us an informative introduction that, in usual LBPS fashion, couldn’t be described as formal, but it got the main points across while being friendly, laid back and humorous, much like the competition itself.

The judges were Lee Moore, Iain MacInnes, Hamish Moore and, thanks to the event being held globally, Gordon Mooney, who was logging in from Florida. Due to the nature of Zoom, there were instances of audio dropout and frequency clipping. There were also other audio variables, such as the quality of microphone used and strength of Broadband signal. The judges took this into account when marking.

We had 20 competitors, and during one point in the afternoon I counted 43 spectators, but as people were logging in and out during the day, I’m afraid I don’t have a total audience number. A definite benefit of holding an online competition was that as well as having an international judge in Gordon Mooney, we also had competitors from County Cork, Ohio, and Wisconsin as well as audience members from as far away as Australia.

During a break in playing, Gordon reflected on his early days at the beginning of the society, when Mike Rowan had called the first LBPS meeting in July 1981, in the Teviot Hall, Edinburgh, and only four other people showed up, Gordon, Jim Eaton, P/M John McLellan and Hugh Cheape. A global online competition would have seemed like science fiction back then.

The social aspect of the competition was maintained, with all competitors unmuted between classes, so that we could have conversations with one another.

The event was wrapped up by Gary, after the judges had emailed their results. The event ended with the same good humour and laughter that had gone on throughout the day.

After the competition was over, the winning entries were edited into separate video clips and uploaded to the official LBPS YouTube channel, where they will no doubt take on a life of their own. If you haven’t already visited the LBPS YouTube channel and subscribed to it, please do. There’s a lot of great bellows piping there. The link is below. https://www.youtube.com/c/LowlandBorderPipersSocietyOfficial

2021    Competition Results

The restrictions of lockdown meant that classes involving more than one piper could not be included this year. The results of the classes that were held are as follows;


 Judge – Lee Moore

1st Pete Stewart Wo betide thye weary Bodie/An Old Man is a Bed of Bones/I am a

                         Silly Old Man

2nd John Kelly Mary Scott the Flower of Yarrow/Linkumdoddie

3rd Jody Lynch Teddy o Neill  (Air)/The Clare jig and The Nora Crionna hornpipe/ The Wonky Table


Judge – Iain MacInnes

1st Alexander Sime Scott The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow/Lassie Gae Milk on

                                    My Cow Hill

2nd Ruari Black           The Rose of Allendale/Knucklehead/Johnny the Tree Wrecker

3rd Caroline Barden  Wee Totum Fogg/Pawkie Adam Glen


Judge – Iain MacInnes

1st Ian Crane Tha mi sgith

2nd Pete Stewart Little Jock Elliot


  Judge – Hamish Moore

1st Stuart Letford John Anderson My Jo /Jack Latin (Dixon)/Lassies o’ Melrose

Joint 2nd

Norman MacLeod Dark Lowers the Night (3/4 Retreat)/Hacky Honey (Dixon)

John Charles Bauschatz Shuidh Mi air Cnocan an t-Siùil/A Bhean Ud A-staigh Hì Rì a Bho/ Horo Hug Gur e an Latha/He Mo Leannan, Ho Mo Leannan/ Clo Mhicllemhiceil

3rd Bill Bennet My Home Town/Scarce o’ Tatties/Drops of Brandy/Aye Waukin O


  Judge – Gordon Mooney

1st Stuart Letford Rowan Tree/The Lasses Bushes Brawly ( Dixon) /Dixon’s Highland Laddie

2nd David Faulkner Joyful Days Will Come (Faulkner) /Dorrington Lads (Rook MS)

3rd Ian Crane Wat Ye What I got Late Yestreen

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Stuart Letford winning the solo smallpipe class in Dunkeld, Scotland

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David Faulkner winning 2nd place in the Border Pipe class in Devon, England

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John Charles Bauschtz joins the competition from Milwaukie, Wisconsin, USA.

John was awarded joint second prize in the smallpipe open class

 Ian Crane kindly provided us with the score of his prizewinning setting of the Gaelic song ‘Tha Mi Sgith’

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Ian Crane winning the Solo Pipe and Song class in Wyoming, Ohio