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The prestigious Silver Chanter competition will make a welcome return to the Isle of Skye as part of this year’s Piping Live! festival.
The pioneering piping event, now in its 56th year, is the annual invitational Piobaireachd competition established by Dame Flora MacLeod, the 28th Chief of MacLeod, alongside John MacFadyen and Seumas MacNeill, in 1967.
The purpose of creating the competition was to encourage more top-class pipers to compete at the Skye Gathering.
As a result of rising costs faced by the Isle of Skye Piping Society, alongside diminishing income, the competition came under the stewardship of the National Piping Centre in 2018 and became part of the Piping Live! festival for the first time in 2019.
It will now make a welcome return to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye on Thursday August 4 ahead of the Piping Live! festival which officially starts later that week.
The Silver Chanter is an invitational competition, however, each player competing will have won one of the major accolades for piobaireachd the previous year. Six of the world’s top pipers will compete in the 2022 event.
Competitors include Angus MacColl, the 2021 winner of the of the Silver Chanter; Finlay Johnston, the 2021 Glenfiddich Piobaireachd winner; Willie McCallum, the Glenfiddich March, Strathspey and Reel winner; Callum Beaumont, Piping Live! Masters Solo Piping Competition Overall Winner; Glenn Brown, 2021 Bratach Gorm winner at the Highland Society of London Annual Competition and Jamie Forrester, 2021 Gillies cup winner at the Highland Society of London Annual Competition.
As is customary at every Silver Chanter competition, each competitor will play a tune attributed to the legendary MacCrimmon family. The MacCrimmons were the hereditary pipers to the MacLeods of Dunvegan.
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Dr Decker Forrest said: ‘We are delighted to be part of bringing the prestigious Silver Chanter back to Skye, its true and spiritual home.
‘This world-renowned and long-established competition showcases excellence in piping by some of the biggest names in the art. The pipes, the historical landscape of the Highlands and Islands and, of course, Gaelic language and culture are all inextricably linked so it is wholly appropriate this competition is held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.
‘We’re looking forward to having the college filled with the beautiful music of the MacCrimmons in August and we hope many people will take the opportunity to experience this special occasion and to welcome the Silver Chanter competition home.’
To coincide with the return of the Silver Chanter to Skye, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig will host an art exhibition with work by Gaelic visual artist Mairi Gillies this August.
For six months in 2021, she was artist in residence with the online resource Tobar and Dualchais where she explored fieldwork recordings from prestigious sound archives including the School of Scottish Studies.
Piping Live! will celebrate its 20th anniversary this summer with a calendar of in-person and virtual events in Glasgow from Saturday August 6 to Sunday August 14.
The festival typically attracts more than 30,000 attendees to Glasgow and the line-up this year includes world-class performances, music sessions, recitals, talks, competitions, book launches, workshops and much more.
Benderloch’s Angus MacColl winning the Silver Chanter in 2021.
NO_T24_Silver Chanter_01_Angus MacColl