America’s annual bagpiping celebration
Anthony Masterson Wins the 2009 US Junior Solo Bagpiping Championship
Sixteen-year-old Anthony Masterson of Houston, Texas wins the third annual 2009 Balmoral Classic US Junior Solo Bagpiping Championship, and fourteen year-old Petey Lowrie of Brunswick, Ohio wins the inaugural 2009 Balmoral Classic US Junior Solo Drumming Championship in all categories.
The national competition, which was open to the public for viewing, took place Saturday, November 7, 2009 at Hillman Center for Performing Arts in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, a private high school in the borough of Fox Chapel, just north of Pittsburgh. It is the only US bagpiping and drumming competition for competitors solely 18 years of age and under. An invitational tournament, entrants are required to 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 which is held annually in Pittsburgh. The next Balmoral Classic will be held at Hillman Center on November 12 and 13, 2010.
Bagpiping entrants competed in two styles: Pìobaireachd, the classical music of Highland bagpiping, and MSR (marches, strathspeys, and reels), the traditional music of Scotland. Drumming entrants competed 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.
The competitors were awarded points for tempo, tone, rhythm, execution and expression by piping and drumming adjudicators, senior champions themselves. The piping judges were Brian Donaldson of Cupar, Fife, Scotland; Alasdair Gillies of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and James MacColl of Florence, Oregon. The drumming judge was Gordon Bell of Neptune, New Jersey.
Winners were announced at the Balmoral Classic’s evening concert featuring the five-time juvenile world champion St. Thomas’ Episcopal School Pipe Band of Houston, Texas. Trophies, medals, prizes and scholarships were presented to the first to fifth place winners. As Overall winners, Lowrie performed his Hornpipe & Jig set and Masterson performed his MSR set in front of the concert audience.
Masterson received the EW Littlefield, Jr. Trophy and a set of McCallum bagpipes made in Scotland. Lowrie was awarded the David L. Peet Memorial Trophy and his choice of a professional snare drum made by Premier, Pearl, or Andante donated by Henderson Imports of Michigan. Both also won two-week full scholarships to Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming. The late Dave Peet served as executive director of the Ligonier Highland Games for over 40 years. The Balmoral Classic of 2009 was dedicated in Peet’s honor.
Masterson was also the first-place winner for MSR. Sixteen year-old Marshall German of Corona, California, was the first-place winner for pìobaireachd for which he received the Clan Donald Trophy and a set of Inveran hand-crafted bagpipes from Scotland. As second Overall, German received a one-week tuition scholarship to Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming.
Support for The Balmoral Classic of 2009 was made possible, in part, from a grant by The Heinz Endowments. Additional support was provided by Clan Donald Educational and Charitable Trust, Henderson’s Pipe & Drum Supplies, Hillman Center for Performing Arts, House of Bagpipes, Inveran Bagpipe Makers, MacLellan Bagpipes, McCallum Bagpipes, Meade Custom Drumming Supplies, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Piper’s Pub, Pipers Choice, Pittsburgh Firefighters Memorial Pipe Band, Pittsburgh Snax & Nuts Company, St. Andrew’s Society of Pittsburgh, Sandy St. James, Saturday Light Brigade, Sodexo, The Priory, and Walkers Shortbread.
Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded and maintained in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 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.”
Petey Lowrie with his David L. Peet Memorial Trophy for Overall drumming, plus first-place drumming trophies for Hornpipe & Jig and MSR. Balmoral Classic 2009
2009 US Junior Solo Bagpiping Championship Winners
2009 US Junior Solo Drumming Championship Winners
Hornpipe & Jig