A Bagpipe Music Competition, a Castle, and a Birthday

www.Bagpipe101.com, Photo by Tyrone Heade, Cathedral Piper, Seattle

Annual site of The Glenfiddich Piping Championship, Blair Castle, Scotland’s Highlands

If you’re a tennis player, Wimbledon is your pinnacle; and a dream to just go watch.  If you’re a competitive bagpiper – The Glenfiddich *is* your Wimbledon — the stuff that piper’s Dreams are made of.

The Glenfiddich Championship is the pinnacle for the world’s top solo bagpipe music professionals.  Sponsored by the Grant Family Foundation, the top 10 winning players for the year are asked to compete (Piobaireach, then March/Strathspey/Reel).  And, like so many things – it’s also about location, Location, LOCATION — Blair Castle, Scotland.  And in 2017, it was held on my Birthday.  So I took a bought a ticket, had a great jaunt — and an even better Listen!

Hosted in the Ballroom of Blair Castle, in Blair Atholl, just inside the southern crest of the Scottish Highlands.  Parts of Blair Castle date from 1296, with additions/renovations/repair and refurbishment thru the late 20th century.  The Ballroom is magnificent, seating perhaps 500 fans.  The Ballroom’s significant features are many; the most prominent of which are perhaps over a hundred sets of stag horns creating an intricate design of exciting, dynamic majesty.

www.Bagpipe101.com, Photo by Tyrone Heade, Cathedral Piper, Seattle

Backdrop detail of the Glenfiddich Championship stage wall, in the Ballroom of Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scotland.

www.Bagpipe101.com, Photo by Tyrone Heade, Cathedral Piper, Seattle

Blair Castle Ballroom, Blair Atholl, Scotland. Performance space for the Glenfiddich Championship, the annual world solo Highland bagpipe championship.






The all-day event was spellbinding.  My own piping improved just sitting there, listening, and realizing once again the heart and soul of what are instrument does, can do and will do.  To the Grant Family, thank you for supporting Highland bagpiping so well.  And to the family of the Duke of Atholl, who reside still in the Castle today — Thank You for making your home open to the hundreds of us that live, breath and pour our Passion in our instrument!  To the Competitors, thank you for your hard work just to make it to the Glenfiddich, and for sharing your music and instrument with those in attendance.  All 10 pipers made it a joyful listen, undoubtedly moving me and my music, and that of others, forward for a spirited 2018!

www.Bagpipe101.com, Photo by Tyrone Heade, Cathedral Piper, Seattle

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