SOME of the world’s finest pipers will head to Stornoway in April to mark the return of a prestigious piping competition.

The Major Donald MacLeod Memorial Piping Competition is back following a three-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.

For nearly 30 years, a small number of talented pipers have been invited to take part in the annual competition in celebration of the famous piper in his hometown.

MacLeod passed away in 1982 and was an acclaimed piper and composer, widely regarded as one of the best of the 20th century.

The newly added junior section of the event will welcome youngsters from Uist, Barr and Lewis and Harris to perform at the Caladh Inn in Stornoway on April 6, followed by the performance of eight pipers invited to participate in the main competition on April 7.

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Dr John Smith, chairman of The Lewis and Harris Piping Society, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to promote this competition, bringing world-class pipers to Stornoway to commemorate pipe major Donald MacLeod’s musical legacy, and we are so pleased to introduce a junior version of the competition, so that aspiring young pipers will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in a similar format to their adult compatriots.”

The event is billed as the “world masters of piping”.

The pipers invited to take part in this year’s PM Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition are: William McCallum, Angus D MacColl, Callum Beaumont, Finlay Johnston, Connor Sinclair, Fred Morrison, Glenn Brown and James Duncan Mackenzie.

The youngsters taking part in the Junior Competition are: brother and sister Eosaph and Mairead Gailbraith from Barra and Padruig MacMillan from South Uist – pupils of Dòmhnall Ban MacDonald – and Innes Begg from South Lochs, Eilidh MacDonald from Tarbert and Ruairidh MacDonald from Lochs – pupils of Ashley MacDonald.