The Northern Meeting Piping Competition has been staged in Inverness with Stuart Liddell being given the honour of winning the overall prize of the Northern Meeting Quaich.
He scooped the accolade after being placed first in the march, strathspey and reel and the hornpipe and jig, and fourth in the Clasp.
Winner of the Clasp which is sponsored by the Clan Donald Lands Trust was Callum Beaumont from Dollar who took home the accolade for a second year and winner of the Gold Medal was Connor Sinclair from Crieff.
Alan Forbes, Convener of the piping committee said the event which has been held in the Highland capital since 1841 was a huge success.
“It has again been a wonderful competition and we have had huge support from pipers travelling from all over the world to take part. We launched on Wednesday night with a superb Civic Reception in Inverness Town House which brings all the different elements of the piping competition together – judges, competitors, their families and sponsors. This has then been followed by two days of the best piping the world has to offer.”
He added: “We have once again had a very good turnout of junior pipers and each year the standard of play seems to get better and better.
“I would like to congratulate all of our trophy winners but in particular Callum Beaumont, winner of the prestigious Clasp. We also want to thank the Clan Donald Lands Trust who have sponsored this competition. This year not only does Callum take home the Clasp, but he also receives a Targe and a prize fund of £1000.
“Recognition also needs to go to Stuart Liddell who has had a fine piping season.”
The Competition takes place over two days with over 100 competitors vying for the top prizes. At any one time there are eight competitions taking place.
Stuart Liddell, has had a tremendous season with his Grade 1 band Inveraray and District scooping the European, Scottish and World Pipe Band titles.
Stuart (46) who first competed at the Northern Meeting in the early eighties said: “This has definitely been my best year for competing. It’s not so much about the prizes as it is about the enjoyment of playing the music. The events are so well run, there is excitement about playing them. Eden Court is a great venue, with great acoustics.”
Stuart is a three times former Clasp winner and last won the Northern Meeting Quaich in 2014.
He added: “It’s a great honour to get any mention at the Northern Meeting as you are playing amongst such great musicians. I don’t tire playing these competitions as they force you to make sure you are at your best.”
Winner of the best piper junior from the Highlands and Moray, a trophy which was launched last year and gifted by the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation was Kyle Cameron.
The competition is organised by the Northern Meeting Piping Committee. Its Trustees are chaired by Major General Seymour Monro.
He thanked the supporters of the event, but also spoke of the challenges of funding.
“The competition is a hugely enjoyable occasion and we are extremely grateful for the support of the councillors and especially those on the Common Good Fund Committee who continue to give the Competition a much-needed annual award. The links between the City and the Competition are strong thanks largely to the enthusiastic support of the present and recent Provosts.”
He added: “I want to extend my thanks to the Clan Donald Lands Trust for their new sponsorship this year and look forward to continuing this relationship.”