Canadian piper pips Oban’s Angus MacColl as 2021 champ

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The overall champion of the Glenfiddich Piping Championship has been named as British Columbia piper Jack Lee, beating Benderloch’s Angus MacColl into second place.

Third time overall champion, Lee went up against nine of the world’s greatest solo players at the renowned 48th annual competition at Blair Castle to claim the title.

The Silver Chanter 2021 winner Angus MacColl was crowned runner-up, and 2019 title holder Finlay Johnston of Glasgow was third overall and the Piobaireachd winner. The MSR competition winner was William McCallum of Bearsden.

The competition was played out in front of a live audience in Blair Castle’s Victorian ballroom and hundreds from around the world who watched the spectacle online.

The National Piping Centre’s Director of Piping, Finlay MacDonald, said: ‘The Glenfiddich is solo piping’s ultimate prize and this year’s competition yet again set the bar for world-class piping. I would like to extend my warm congratulations to our new champion and to all of the competitors for their excellent performances today.’

Competitors, travelled from near and far to take part, including the 2020 champion and Pipe Major of Inveraray and District Pipe Band Stuart Liddell, and five-time champion Roderick Macleod MBE.

This year, participants were selected from the two qualifying events that took place, with Stuart Liddell as the 2020 champion and Callum Beaumont as the overall winner of the Piping Live! Masters Competition. The other competitors were chosen based on previous achievements at the Glenfiddich Piping Championship.

The Glenfiddich Piping Championship was established in 1974 to inspire the world’s finest exponents of Ceòl Mòr or Piobaireachd (the great music) and Ceòl Beag or light music (the little music). Run by The National Piping Centre, the world centre for excellence in bagpipe music, and funded through the William Grant Foundation, the event is held annually at Blair Castle in Blair Atholl, Perthshire.

The competition was topped off with a celebratory Pipers’ Ceilidh at the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry.