Monday, April 25, 2011

New Online Competition for Spring 2011

Earlier this year, we made history with the world's first-ever Online Piping Competition. Pipers from six continents sent in over 100 entries in thirteen events in six competitive grades. Each competitor received a comment sheet from the judges and the winning videos were posted online. The online competition proved to be a huge success.

Update!  Sign up deadline extended ONE MORE DAY to MAY 16!  Video deadline extended to May 30.  Prizes donated by R.G. Hardie, Apps Reeds, Kinnaird Bagpipes & Reeds and more!

The overall winner with the most points in ANY grade wins a scholarship for a week of tuition at Canada's world-famous College of Piping.

Today we are thrilled to announce a new expanded and improved Online Competition for Spring 2011.

Some comments from the first competition:
"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 some great improvements based on suggestions from the competitors and judges. We're please to announce three events per competition grade, including Piobaireachd!

The new Special Medley Event that is open to pipers in any grade, including Open/Professional. This event is a kitchen-piping event where modern tunes and creative arrangements are encouraged. 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.

We're continuing our tradition of international world-class judges, including:
  • Willie McCallum - Bearsden, Scotland
  • Alan Bevan - British Columbia, Canada
  • James MacHattie - Prince Edward Island, Canada
  • Peter Aumonier - Ontario, Canada
  • Greg Wilson - New Zealand
  • Richard Hawke - New Zealand
  • Andrew Bonar - British Columbia, Canada
  • and more to be announced soon!

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 by May 30.  (deadline extended!)
  • 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. Top prize winners will receive scholarship gift certificates that can be used at any of the family of websites, including,, or, with additional prizes to be announced later.   Prizes will be given for: Best Dress & Deportment, Best Video Background, Best Quality Video.

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. Grade 5 - Slow Air (at least 2 parts)
5. Grade 5 - 2/4 March (at least 4 parts)
6. Grade 5 - Piobaireachd (Ground Only)
7. Grade 4 - 2/4 March (at least 4 parts)
8. Grade 4 - Strathspey & Reel (each tune at least 4 parts)
9. Grade 4 - Piobaireachd (Ground and Next Variation)
10. Grade 3 - Jig (at least 4 parts)
11. Grade 3 - March, Strathspey & Reel (each tune at least 4 parts)
12. Grade 3 - Piobaireachd
13. Grade 2 - March, Strathspey & Reel (each tune at least 4 parts)
14. Grade 2 - Hornpipe & Jig (each tune at least 4 parts)
15. Grade 2 - Piobaireachd
16. Grade 1 - March, Strathspey & Reel (each tune at least 4 parts)
17. Grade 1 - Hornpipe & Jig (each tune at least 4 parts)
18. Grade 1 - Piobaireachd
19. 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. Modern tunes and/or kitchenpiping is encouraged. Get creative!
20. 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.

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: May 5, 2011.
  • Last day to send in your competition video: May 30, 2011. (deadline extended!)
  • Your video must be not be recorded before April 25, 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.
  • 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 Online Competition and list your name and the event (e.g., Grade 4 2/4 March).
  • Videos will not be made public, but prizewinners will be asked for permission to be posted.
  • For Piobaireachd events: You must email the sheet music for your tune if it 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.
  • 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.