155th Antigonish Highland Games sees a resurgence of interest in the Highland Pipes and Drums

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Written by:  Anne MacDonald

2018 Chairperson, Piping and Drumming

Antigonish Highland Games

 

Could it indicate a resurgence of interest in Highland piping and drumming in Atlantic Canada?  Our solo competitions for piping and drumming at the 2018 Antigonish Highland Games certainly saw some of the strongest competitor fields in recent years, with close to 90 registered solo competitors; from beginners to world class players at the professional level, spectators enjoyed many great tunes.  The field of over 30 competitors at the grade 5 and beginner levels, gives hope for the future of the music to the supporters and lovers of Highland piping and drumming in Atlantic Canada.

 

Saturday saw the presentation awards to the top amateur  competitors at the first three grade levels in the solo competitions.

The Grade 5 Piper of the Games, winner of the ROBERT WORRALL AWARD is:  Aidan MacNeil of the Cape Breton University Pipe Band.

 

The Grade 4 Piper of the Games, winner of the ALEXANDER MEMORIAL TROPHY is:  Dalton Falkner of the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).

 

The Grade 3 Piper of the Games, winner of the STEPHEN MINGO MEMORIAL TROPHY is: Calum MacKinnon from the 12th Wing Pipes and Drums, Shearwater.

 

The Grade 5 Drummer of the Games, winner of the Antigonish Highland Society Award is: Carter Green, Fredericton Society of St. Andrew (FSSAPB) pipe band, Fredericton, NB.

 

Adding to the spirit of competition at this year’s games included numerous out of region competitors including the Grade 4 Drummer of the Games, winner of the SAMMY MACDOUGALL MEMORIAL TROPHY Victoria Hingley, of the Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band, Ontario.

 

The Grade 3 Drummer of the Games, winner of an ANTIGONISH HIGHLAND SOCIETY award is Olivia Batten, College of Piping, Summerside, PEI.

 

The Nova Scotia Pipe Band Championships held Saturday, had 14 Pipe Bands competing in five categories.

 

 

In the Grade 5 Band March Competition

In 3rd place the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) grade 5 pipe band.

In 2nd place, College of Piping, Grade 5 pipe band.

In 1st place, and winner of the Nova Scotia Pipe Band Grade 5 Championship Trophy,  Niagara Regional Police, grade 5 pipe band.

In the Grade 4 Quick March Medley band competition

In 2nd place, the College of Piping, grade 4 pipe band, Summerside, PEI.

In 1st place, and winner of the Allan B. Cameron Trophy Fredericton Society of St. Andrew grade 4 pipe band.

 

In the Grade 3 March/Strathspey/Reel Competition

In 2nd place, the College of Piping, grade 3 band.

In 1st place, and winner of the Daniel P. Gillis Trophy Fredericton Society of St. Andrew, grade 3 pipe band.

In the Grade 2 March/Strathspey/Reel Competition

the winner of the NS Pipe Band ChampionshipTrophy for Grade 2 is College of Piping, grade 2 pipe band.

 

Topping off the Nova Scotia pipe band competitions, in the Grade 1 March/Strathspey/Reel competition, winner of the MacCullochs Trophy, the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) grade 1 pipe band.

The Antigonish Highland Games plays host to the Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Championships, annually on Sunday of the Highland Games week.  As is the rule at the Antigonish Highland games, those who attend get to hear the playing of world-class professional piping and Piobaireachd competitors. Sunday saw full fields in the senior amateur piping and drumming competitions held in the morning. The afternoon awards to solo competitors at the grade 2, grade 1 and Open (professional) levels follow:

 

The Grade 2 Piper of the Games, winner of the GORDON MACDONALD MEMORIAL TROPHY
is: Gillian Blaney, of the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).

The winner of the JOSEPH B. MACDONALD SR TROPHY for Grade 2 Piobaireachd is Clare Henderson, currently playing with the College of Piping.

 

 

 

The winner of the NOVA SCOTIA PIPERS AND PIPE BAND ASSOCIATION TROPHY for Grade 1 Piobaireachd is Brandon Gardner, FSSAPB (Fredericton, NB).

The winner of the DEANNIE BEATON MEMORIAL TROPHY for Grade 1 Hornpipe Jig is Brandon Gardner, FSSAPB (Fredericton, NB).

So it was not a surprise that the the Grade 1 Piper of the 155th Antigonish Highland games and  winner of the ALLAN BEATON MEMORIAL TROHPY for 2018, was Brandon Gardner, FSSAPB (Fredericton, NB).

The drumming competitions had a high participation level this year. The Grade 2 Drummer of the Games, winner of an ANTIGONISH HIGHLAND SOCIETY award, in a close competition between 3 top drummers playing in two eligible events with a tie breaker for first place decided by his placement in the March/Strathspey/Reel competition, Austin Trenholm, College of Piping.

The Grade 1 Drummer of the Games, winner of an ANTIGONISH HIGHLAND SOCIETY award is Tom Cuming of the Nova Scotia Highlanders pipe band, also in a tie breaking best finish in the March/Strathspey/Reel for his grade level.

 

 

 

IN THE OPEN PROFESSIONAL INDIVIDUAL COMPETITIONS

 

In Open Piping March (New Zealand Trophy )

3rd: Andrea Boyd, Ottawa (hometown Antigonish)

2nd: Bruce Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

1st: Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

In Open Piping Strathspey/Reel (New Zealand Trophy)

3rd: James MacHattie, College of Piping

2nd: Bruce Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

1st: Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

In Open Piping Jig

3rd: James Dyson, 8th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

2nd: Bruce Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

1st: Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

Winner of the Clan Cameron Shield for Best Open Jig is: Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

 

In Open Piobaireachd competitions at the 2018 Antigonish Highland Games,

3rd  place goes to Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

2nd place goes to Andrea Boyd, Ottawa

The Atlantic Canadian Piobaireachd Champion is Bruce Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).

The Open Piper of the 2018 Games is Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

Open Drummer of the Games, and the 2018 winner of the ANTIGONISH HIGHLAND SOCIETY award is Bree Caldwell, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).

 

2018 Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Championships hosted eleven (11) bands in five competitions.

In the Grade 5 Medley band competition

In 3rd place the College of Piping, grade 5 pipe band.

In 2nd place, the Niagara Regional Police, grade 5 pipe band.

In 1st place, the Cape Breton University, grade 5 pipe band.

 

In the Grade 4 Medley band competition

In 3rd place the 12th Wings Pipes & Drums, grade 4 pipe band.

In 2nd place, the Niagara Regional Police, grade 4 pipe band.

In 1st place, the Dartmouth & District, grade 4 pipe band.

In the Grade 3 Medley Competition

In 3rd place the Niagara Regional Police, grade 4 pipe band which played a grade level challenge in this competition.

In 2nd place, the College of Piping, Grade 3 pipe band.

The organizers of the piping and drumming wish to humbly correct the announcement of the winner of the Grade 3 Pipe Band Medley competition: In 1st place the Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew, grade 3 pipe band.

The Grade 2 Medley pipe band champions for the 2018 Antigonish Highland Games is College of Piping, grade 2 pipe band from Summerside, PEI.

 

2018 Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Champions, in the Grade 1 Medley Competition, the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) grade 1 pipe band.

 

The last number of years at the Antigonish Highland Games at the Sunday massed bands award ceremony, a special trophy is awarded by a family member of Ian Green. This year Karen Green, mother to Ian Green (whose name is honored on this trophy) made the presentation to the best bass and tenor/mid-section drum corps as judged during the competitions:  The 2018 winner of the Ian Green Memorial Trophy for Best Bass and Tenor/Mid-Section is Dartmouth & District, grade 4 pipe band. The members of these sections  received the trophy and individual gold medals.

The 155th Antigonish Highland Games will be a games to remember. With near perfect weather conditions, large numbers of spectators and a recent record of amateur solo competitors, these competitions will be one of good memories and bold competitions.  The results hopefully indicate a growth in interest for listening and playing the Highland pipes and drums.