Piping And Drumming

Welcome to the 2019 Piping and Drumming Page.  We hope to build on our historic success in making the mass band, and individual piping and drumming competitions one of the highlights of the games.

The Scotland County Highland Game. Come join us!!!


The Scotland County Highland Games holds its band competitions in “concert formation” as opposed to the “competition circle” which is used at many competitions. The Concert Formation allows for a better presentation to an audience of listeners – as opposed to players playing with their backs to the audience which is the case in circle formations. The presentation is truly a performance for the whole audience – not just the judges, and is much more audience-friendly.

Judges take many factors into account when judging bands. Piping judges are looking for the accuracy and precision of the pipe section in playing together in unison, as well as playing with consistent tempos and rhythmical accuracy (or expression) of the type of tune being played – be it marches, slow airs or marches, as well as dance tunes. Tuning and tone of the instruments are also taken into account. The number of players does not necessarily mean that bigger is better – as a larger pipe section may present challenges in playing in tight unison as well as with good tuning and tone. There are minimum numbers for both pipe and drum sections for each grade of competition, and through the years many world-class bands have become larger and larger – with some having 40 or more members on a competition field at one time!

Drumming judges look for unison among the snare players, with correct execution and expression of rudiments as well as keeping steady tempo and rhythmical expression. As bagpipes produce no dynamic effect, the drum corps can often provide this which benefits a band’s performance and gives the illusion of an increase or decrease in volume overall for the performance. The tuning and crispness of sound of the drums is also taken into account as well as the proper tuning and tone of the bass and tenor drums as well as their contribution to the complete musical performance.

The Ensemble Judge is evaluating the overall band sound and performance with the goal of ranking the bands based on their overall musical effect and total sound – looking for issues such as whether the pipes and drums are playing together on the beat and complimenting each other in the overall performance as well as the overall impact of the presentation.

2018 Band Results - 2018 EUSPBA Southern Branch Championship

Grade IV

1st Jamestown Pipes and Drums - Jamestown, NC
2nd Greater Richmond Pipes and Drums - Richmond, VA
3rd Atlanta Pipe Band (Grade IV) - Atlanta, GA
4th Loch Norman Pipe Band - Huntersville, NC
5th North Georgia Pipes and Drums - Woodstock, GA

Grade V

1st Cross Creek Pipes and Drums - Fayetteville, NC
2nd City of Greenville Pipes and Drums - Greenville, SC
3rd Wake and District Pipes and Drums - Clayton, NC
4th Jamestown Pipes and Drums (Grade V) - Jamestown, NC
5th NC State University Pipes and Drums - Raleigh, NC

2018 Solo Piping Winners (Overall)

Professional - Nick Hudson, Houston TX
Amateur Grade I - Mark Elliott, Sophia NC
Amateur Grade II - Heather Pastva, Charleston, SC
Amateur Grade III - Noah Schnee, Charlotte, NC
Amateur Grade IV Sr. (18 and Over) - Bridget Engelbretson, Raleigh, NC
Amateur Grade IV Jr. (17 and under) - Walker Wilkins - Hope Mills, NC
Amateur Grade V - Daniel Caudill - Laurinburg, NC

2018 Drumming Winners (Overall)
Amateur Grade I - Anthony Green - Athens, GA
Amateur Grade III - Kyle McLellan - Monroe, NC
Amateur Grade IV Sr. ( 18 and over) - Brad Haywood - High Point, NC
Amateur Grade IV Jr. (17 and under) - Vince Altman - Greensboro, NC
Novice Tenor - Emily Kiser - High Point, NC
Amateur Bass - Andrew Kosydar - Clayton, NC

Judges for the 2019 Scotland County Highland Games
P/M Sandy Jones - Jonesborough, TN
Peter Kent - Annandale, VA
Nick Hudson - Houston, TX
Derek Midgley - Tinton Falls, NJ
John Recknagel - Tucker, GA
Marc DuBois - Baldwinsville, NY
Ed Krintz - Charlotte, NC
Dan Lyden - Timonium, MD
Scott Fletcher - Bridgewater, MA
Marc DuBois - Baldwinsville, NY

Special Prizes Awarded at the 2019 Scotland County Highland Games

The MacCrimmon Quaich
The Scotland County Highland Games are grateful to the Clan MacLeod Society, USA – Carolinas Branch for awarding the MacCrimmon Quaich Award for the best Amateur Grade I Piobaireachd player at today’s games. This award is named for the MacCrimmon family of pipers who were for over 400 years the hereditary pipers to the Chiefs of the Clan MacLeod at Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye – who were the greatest patrons of the traditional Highland arts of all Highland clans. The MacCrimmons were the greatest exponents of piping from its earliest days of clan patronage until the latter 18th century and kept alive and further developed the classical music of the Great Highland Bagpipe – “Piobaireachd.” The MacCrimmons operated a college of piping at Borreraig, Skye from at least the early 1500’s until 1772. Highland clan chiefs from throughout the Highlands sent their pipers to the MacCrimmon College of Piping to further their abilities – a course of indenture which normally lasted 7 years…thus the old saying “It takes seven years to make a good piper.” The last teacher at the MacCrimmon College, Donald Ruaidh MacCrimmon, closed the college in 1772 after a disagreement with the MacLeod chief about rent for the facility. Donald Ruaidh emigrated, along with many Skye folk, to North Carolina and lived for a short time near present day Carthage in Moore County. He became involved in the Loyalist cause during the American Revolution and following the war removed to Nova Scotia for a time before returning to Scotland. Efforts to re-establish a MacCrimmon school of piping were not successful, however the legacy of the family lives through the players and teachers of their music who now range worldwide.

The St. Andrews Society of Carolina Practice Chanter Award

The Scotland County Highland Games are grateful to the St. Andrews Society of Carolina, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina for presenting a specially mounted and marked practice chanter to the winner of the Grade V Piping competitions. The practice chanter is the instrument which all pipers begin work with before graduating up to the full bagpipe - and which is used by every piper throughout their whole career for practice and learning new music. Grade V events are the “entry level” events for all pipers and provide the first opportunity to compete for novice players who may just be mastering the basic handling and playing of the Great Highland Bagpipe. Experience and positive reinforcement through these novice competitions provide further encouragement for new players to continue to grow and succeed with their playing. We are especially grateful to the St. Andrews Society of Carolina for making this special presentation award possible for today’s winner.

Click Below for

Piping and Drumming Registration