The prestigious Donald Macleod Memorial piping competition has received a five year
The annual donation of £5000 from wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust means
the top piping event will continue to be held in Stornoway, instead of having to
be moved to the mainland to reduce costs.
The competition - being held for the 24th time this month - commemorates one of Stornoway’s
most famous sons.
Born in 1916, Donald Macleod was one of the most famous pipers of the last century.
He was an outstanding player and won all the major competitions, some of them several
times over. He was also a tutor and a Seaforth Highlander but it was for his prolific
compositions, including 26 piobaireachds, that he is best remembered.
It was to honour the man and his music that the Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition
was created. An invitational competition, it features performances from eight of
the current best pipers in the world, playing mainly compositions by Donald Macleod.
These pipers are invited to take part by the Lewis and Harris Piping Society on the
back of the
ir success in competitions over the past year.
Those taking part this time include Ian K MacDonald from Ontario, who recently won
‘the double gold’ — the top prizes at the Argyllshire Gathering and the Northern
Meeting, rarely won by the same piper in the same year.
Dr John Smith is fear-an-taighe of the competition and a long-time member and former
chairman of the Lewis and Harris Piping Society.
He said the sponsorship assures the future of the competition in Stornoway.
He revealed finances around the competition were increasingly difficult with the
loss of sponsorship from corporate bodies or private individuals.
“For the past two years it has been quite difficult for them to raise the money required
for the competition which is approximately £20,000 a year.”
Angus McCormack, chairman of Point and Sandwick Trust, said: “We have a strong ethos
of supporting arts and cultural activities on the island. Piping is an integral part
of our culture and we are very pleased to be able to help the Piping Society in their
efforts to continue this prestigious annual competition in Stornoway.”