On Sunday the Bagpipe Competition took place in the Concert Hall at Eton. Split between the junior division, who play on practice chanters, and the senior division who play on the bagpipes, it is an annual celebration of bagpiping excellence.
An external adjudicator is bought in to judge the competition and this year it was Pipe Major Paul Burns, Personal Piper to HM Queen Elizabeth II. He is the 13th ‘Queens Piper’ as its colloquially named and Pipe Major Jim Motherwell, currently the Bagpipe Master at Eton, previously held the same role in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Pipes, as he’s called by his students, has always maintained “it’s not about the best piper, it’s about the piper who plays best on the day”. Over the years this saying has rung true in many of the speculated favourite’s ears as they leave the Concert Hall with no prize to speak of. This year, Pipe Major Burns spoke very highly of all the bagpipers and thoroughly enjoyed their performances.
Congratulations to the prize winners of this year’s competition and all musicians who took part.