About the Championship

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 2017 US Junior Solo Championships

The Balmoral Classic championship is the only solo bagpiping and Scottish snare drumming competition in the US exclusively for those age 21 and under.   Entrants are required to apply and meet strict standards based upon amateur upper grade competitive successes.

The competitions are part of the Balmoral Classic, a US celebration of Highland bagpiping and drumming held annually in Pittsburgh.

Bagpiping entrants compete in two styles: Pìobaireachd, the classical music of Highland bagpiping, and MSR (march, strathspey, and reel), the traditional bagpipe competition medley. Drumming entrants compete in two styles: Hornpipe & Jig and MSR. The Overall is a combination of scores from Pìobaireachd and MSR for piping, and Hornpipe & Jig and MSR for drumming.  Previous 1st place winners of the US Junior Solo Championships are not eligible to compete.

The competitors are awarded points for tempo, tone, rhythm, execution and expression by piping and drumming adjudicators, senior champions themselves. 

All are invited to attend the competitions:

approximate schedule (may expand to additional hours):  Piping at 8:30am-noon and 1pm-4pm, Drumming at 10-11:30am and 1-2:30pm


View the 2017 Balmoral Classic Schedule - a complete listing of weekend events 

Visit Pittsburgh - website for Pittsburgh's Visitor's Bureau


Kolya Sier

Kolya Sier of Gilman, Illinois, MSR winner with E.W. Littlefield, Jr. Trophy (not pictured, Ralph & Patricia Murray Memorial Trophy for Overall Piping Champion)



Trophies presented by George Balderose, Executive Director, Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming

Mark McClennan

Mark McClennan of Guelph, Ontario, Piobaireachd winner Balmoral Trophy

Blair Beaton

Blair Beaton of Scotia, New York, Overall Drum champion with David Peet Memorial Trophy (Pittsburgh Firefighters Memorial Trophy and St. Andrew's Society of Pittsburgh Trophy also awarded for winning the hornpipe/jig and MSR competitions)

Photos: Lynette Castelucci

Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization founded and maintained in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania since 1979. The school conducts one and two week-long sessions in bagpipe music at college campuses throughout the US each summer, bringing together world champion Highland piping and drumming instructors for students beginning through advanced. It is the Balmoral School’s mission “to raise the standard and promote the appreciation of bagpipe music in the USA by providing world class instruction, cultivating excellence in youth, presenting innovative musical events, and fostering tradition.”