Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New BagpipeLessons.com Online Piping Competition for November 2011 (Sign up deadline extended!)

Today, we are excited to announce a new and expanded BagpipeLessons.com Online Piping competition for November 2011.

Earlier this year, we saw the incredible worldwide response to the world's first-ever online piping competition and our second online competition in the spring.  We received almost 300 entries from pipers from around the world, many competing for the first time.  The competitors submitted their competition videos via YouTube and received a detailed evaluation and comment sheet from our panel of world-class adjudicators.  Videos of the prizewinners were posted for everyone to watch and enjoy.

Some comments from previous BagpipeLessons.com online competitions:
"I think that online competition is a great idea, allowing players to compete with each other disregarding distance." 
"The online competition is an absolutely fantastic idea... I got my first sheet yesterday and am very enthused about it. The critique is very constructive." 
"This first online competition is an historic event for piping."
We've made improvements and added events based on feedback from our previous competitors and judges.  We're pleased to announce four events per competition grade, including 6/8 Marches!

We're pleased to add a brand new category of events, The Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Challenge 2/4 March to honor the piping legend.   The competition is open to any piper and is divided into age groups.  The overall winner will receive a piping scholarship.

The Medley Event that is open to pipers in any grade, including Open/Professional.  The Evaluation-Only Event is for pipers who want to be evaluated by a judge and receive judging sheet only, but don't want to compete against other pipers.

Here's how the online competition works:
  • Pick the events you want to enter (see below).
  • Sign up (each event limited to 30 competitors).
  • Help spread the word and get your entry fee for free (see below).
  • Make your video recording -- this is your competition entry.
  • Submit your recording.
  • Wait for your judge's comment sheet and the results!
All competitors will receive a full judging comment sheet. Prizes will be awarded according to the number of entries.  Selected prize winners will receive scholarship gift certificates that can be used at any of the BagpipeLessons.com family of websites, including BagpipeGauge.com, BagpipeRevolution.com, or PipeBandTunes.com, with additional prizes to be announced later.   Prizes will be given for: Best Dress & Deportment, Best Video Background, Best Quality Video.

Never competed before?  No problem!  If you don't have a competition grading or you've never competed before you should enter the Grade 5 level events (see below).  If you are from a region of the world that uses a different grading system (e.g. Australia, New Zealand), please email me and I can help you select the correct competition level.  Also, you can send me a recent recording of yourself playing and I can suggest a grade level for you, too!

UPDATE:  We are pleased to announce some of our world-class judges:
  • Michael Cusack
  • Richard Hawke
  • Stuart Liddell 
  • Iain MacDonald
  • Ian K. MacDonald
  • James MacHattie
  • Andrew P. Hayes 
  • Danielle Millar
       ...and more to come...

Tell a friend and get to enter for free! We need your help to spread the word and include pipers from around the world. After you've entered your events, ask your friends to sign up and tell them to type your name or email address in the "Who referred you?" box during the sign up process. For every three events your friends sign up for, you'll get one free event entry fee!  (I will refund your entry fee or credit it towards the next online competition.)  So email your friends and bandmates, post on facebook, and blog about it!


1. Beginner (practice chanter) - Slow Air (at least 2 parts)
2. Beginner (practice chanter) - 3/4 or 4/4 March (2 or 4 parts)
3. Beginner (practice chanter) - 2/4 March (at least 4 parts)
4. Beginner (practice chanter) - 6/8 March (at least 2 parts)
5. Grade 5 - Slow Air (at least 2 parts)
6. Grade 5 - 2/4 March (at least 4 parts)
7. Grade 5 - 6/8 March (at least 2 parts)
8. Grade 5 - Piobaireachd (Ground Only)
9. Grade 4 - 2/4 March (at least 4 parts)
10. Grade 4 - Strathspey & Reel (each tune at least 4 parts)
11. Grade 4 - 6/8 March (at least 4 parts)
12. Grade 4 - Piobaireachd (Ground and Next Variation)
13. Grade 3 - March, Strathspey & Reel (each tune at least 4 parts)
14. Grade 3 - Jig (at least 4 parts)
15. Grade 3 - 6/8 March (at least 4 parts)
16. Grade 3 - Piobaireachd
17. Grade 2 - March, Strathspey & Reel (each tune at least 4 parts)
18. Grade 2 - Hornpipe & Jig (each tune at least 4 parts)
19. Grade 2 - 6/8 March (at least 4 parts)
20. Grade 2 - Piobaireachd
21. Grade 1 - March, Strathspey & Reel (each tune at least 4 parts)
22. Grade 1 - Hornpipe & Jig (each tune at least 4 parts)
23. Grade 1 - 6/8 March (at least 4 parts)
24. Grade 1 - Piobaireachd
25. Special Event: Medley. This event is open to players in any grade, including Open/Professional. You may play a selection of any tunes of any style in a medley lasting between 4 to 6 minutes. Your medley must contain at least two-parts of each of these types of tunes: march (any time signature), strathspey, reel, and jig.
26. Special Event: Evaluation-Only. This is a non-competitive, evaluation event. Play any tune. Your performance will be evaluated by a judge who will write a complete judging sheet for you, but you will not be compared to any other pipers. Submit as many tunes as you like, but each tune requires a separate entry fee.  This is a great option to get feedback for non-graded pipers or for tunes that are not currently offered at your grade level.

The Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Challenge - Events are open to all pipers regardless of any competition grading, except Open/Professional.  Prize winners will be announced for each age group level.  The first place winners for each age group will be judged against one another and the overall winner will be the first-ever Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Challenge - 2/4 March Champion.  Select the appropriate event based on your age on November 20, 2011.

27. 2/4 March (at least 4 parts) - for pipers 12 years of age or younger
28. 2/4 March (at least 4 parts) - for pipers 13 to 14 years old
29. 2/4 March (at least 4 parts) - for pipers 15 to 17 years old
30. 2/4 March (at least 4 parts) - for pipers 18 to 20 years old
31. 2/4 March (at least 4 parts) - for pipers 21 years or older

How many events do you wish to enter?
Which event numbers?
Sign up today! Each event is limited to 30 competitors.

  • Last day to sign up: November 10, 2011.  (deadline extended!)
  • Last day to send in your competition video: November 20, 2011
  • Your video must be not be recorded before October 11, 2011.
  • Your competition recordings must be videos. Audio-only recordings (mp3s, etc.) not allowed.
  • Each event must be submitted in a separate video.
  • All videos must be made in one complete take (no editing), but take as many tries as you want.
  • Wearing of your kilt is encouraged, but not required.
  • Your video should show most or all of your body, including your head.  Your video must be lighted properly so your face and fingers can be clearly seen.  Improper videos (backlighting, face and hands not clearly visible, etc.) may be rejected.  
  • State your name and the name of your tune(s) at the start of your video.  (You don't need to say your tunes for the Medley event, but please say your name.)
  • Take your time with tuning and getting warmed up, just as you would in a regular competition.
  • Upload your video to YouTube and set it to unlisted (or public) but not private.
  • The title of your YouTube video must say BagpipeLessons.com Online Competition and list your name and the event (e.g., Grade 4 2/4 March).
  • Videos of the prizewinners will be posted with the results.
  • For Piobaireachd events: You must email the sheet music for your tune if your setting is not from the Kilberry or Piobaireachd Society books.
  • You may enter events in more than one grade level.  But if you are graded by your association, you may enter events in your grade or a higher grade, but you may not enter events in a lower grade.
  • The Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Challenge is open to all players of any grade level, except Open or Professional.  
  • Entry fee $10.00 per event.
  • Additional prizes will be given for: Best Dress & Deportment, Best Video Background, Best Quality Video.
If you have never competed before, take a look at the winners from the last competition to help you decide which grade level to enter. Here's an example of an excellent video.


Anonymous said...

Who will judge the competitions?

Jori Chisholm said...

The list of judges will be confirmed and announced soon! They will be world class, as always!

ryanmmoore said...

awesome! can't wait to get started [new piob'd learning... got a great 6/8 in mind...]

ryanmmoore said...

can't wait to get started
learning a new piob'd, got a great 6/8 in mind

Matthias said...

Hello Jori,

I am looking forward to the next onlinecompetition :-). For which grade does the 6/8 March "Jean Mauchline" suit the most?

Cheers Matthias from Switzerland

Jori Chisholm said...

Matthias- Whichever grade you think *you* belong... Jean will be appropriate for any grade.

Kenneth Hiner said...

Is there still spots in your Grade 4 2/4 March?

Jori Chisholm said...

Yes! Sign up today!