Alan Forbes, secretary of the music committee, who organises the competition writes

Archie Kenneth Quaich 2013

The 21st Archie Kenneth Quaich competition for amateur piobaireachd players was held in the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society rooms in Edinburgh on Saturday 2 March.   The competition is sponsored by the Piobaireachd Society.   The Archie Kenneth Quaich was won by Andrew Park from London playing a nice steady Lament for Mary MacLeod on a solid bagpipe.   The full list of  prize winners and their tunes were as follows:

1 Andrew Park, London:                               Lament for Mary MacLeod

2 John Frater, Darlington:                            The Black Wedder’s White Tail

3 Susy Klinger, Germany:                              The Groat

4 Kirsteen MacDonald, London:                 The Company’s Lament

The judges were Bill Wotherspoon and Stuart Samson and the prizes were presented by Dugald MacNeill, former Secretary of the Piobaireachd Society, who had jetted in from holiday in India a few hours earlier.   RSPS Secretary Alan McGhie kindly took on the task of steward and announcer, and did an excellent job in getting the competitors in front of the judges on time and with minimium stress.

Thanks are due to the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society who once again contributed the use of their rooms and bar.   This is an ideal venue for the competition and makes for a relaxed congenial atmosphere, although competitors have to play with the great pipers of the past frowning at them from the array of old photographs which lines the walls.

On this occasion there were 24 competitors from Scotland, various parts of England and overseas, around a third of them appearing for the first time in this competition.    Alex Dougal and Cecily Grant travelled  all the way from Canada and Susy Klinger and Christian Grosser from Germany, to take part.

Last year’s winner, John Frater, played the seldom heard ‘Black Wedder’s White Tail’ and was going well, but his drones drifted out later in the tune and his usually reliable execution lost definition a bit in the latter stages.   Good tunes were anticipated from James Beaton and two-times winner Tom Peterkin, but both had drones stopping early in their tunes and gave up.   Susy Klinger and Kirsteen MacDonald gave musical renderings of ‘The Groat’ and ‘The Company’s Lament’ respectively.

As always, everyone gave of their best.   Despite the inevitable nerves, this is one of the more relaxed occasions in the piping calendar and seemed to be enjoyed by all.

Full list of competitors and their tunes

 

1 Michael Parr The Munros’ Salute
2 Kirsteen MacDonald The Company’s Lament
3 Alex Dougall The MacGregors’ Gathering
4 Theresa Brown MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart’s Lament No 1
5 Susy Klinger The Groat
6 Christian Grosser Lament for Islay Flora MacLeod
7 Andrew Park Lament for Mary MacLeod
8 Tom Peterkin The Battle of Bealach nam Brog
9 Walter Gray Lament for Captain MacDougall
10 Michael McGowan Corrienessan’s Salute
11 Iain MacDonald Beloved Scotland
12 Chris Ogilvie Isabel Mackay
13 Tom Graham Field of Gold
14 Leslie Barrett The Little Spree
15 Stephen Whitton Lament for the Old Sword
16 Ben Mulhearn MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute
17 Cecily Grant Lament for Captain MacDougall
18 John Frater The Black Wedder’s White Tail
19 James Beaton The Marquis of Argyll’s Salute
20 Nick Tuckey The Old Men of the Shells
21 Alastair MacQueen A Flame of Wrath for Patrick Caogach
22 Jim Dougall Lament for Donald of Laggan
23 Robert Smart MacLeod’s Controversy
24 Ray Bell The Battle of Auldearn No 2