Nicol - Brown Amateur Invitational

The 2023 Nicol-Brown competitors and judges

The 40th Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational
Piping Competition

Saturday, October 7, 2023
St. Mark Presbyterian Church
10701 Old Georgetown Road
Rockville, Maryland 20852


View a pdf of the updated 2023 program.

Scroll down for 2023 competition results.


The 2023 Judges:

Dr. Jack Taylor (Aboyne, Scotland)
Nick Hudson (Houston, Texas)

Friday, October 6, 2023

Our judges began the Nicol-Brown weekend with a concert at 7:30 pm at St. Mark Presbyterian.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Competition schedule:
9:30 am 6/8 Marches
12:30 pm Piobaireachd
4:30 pm March, Strathspey, and Reel
6:30 pm Awards Ceremony

MCs for the Nicol-Brown Weekend:

Paula Glendinning, June Hanley,
Donald Lindsay, and Ben McClamrock

Contest Stewards:

John Bertino, Kathleen Brown, Olivia Corcoran,
Peter Kent, Thompson McConnell, JoAnn Scott,
and Chris Shepherd, Chief Steward

Admission is free to all events at the Nicol-Brown, thanks to our generous donors.

Your donations are always welcome!

You’re welcome to browse through our Facebook photo albums.

The 2021 virtual concert is still available on YouTube, with thanks to Roddy MacLeod, Bob Worrall, Jenny Hazzard, and Nick Hudson for their support of the Nicol-Brown and its mission of encouraging amateur piping.


The 2023 Prize McCallum Chanter

Overall Nicol-Brown Championship

  1. COLIN FORREST (21 points)
    Prizes: The 2023 Nicol-Brown Champion’s Chanter — a McCallum “CeòL” blackwood pipe chanter with a custom-designed sole — donated by McCallum Bagpipes (Kilmarnock, Scotland); plus travel expenses up to $1000, donated by the NHSCOT Fund (Concord, New Hampshire), to be used to compete in a major solo contest in 2024 to be approved by the Nicol-Brown committee; plus the Lee & Sons pipe bag of the winner’s choice, donated by Lee & Sons Bagpipes Ltd. (British Columbia). The 2023 Nicol-Brown Champion has qualified to play in the CLASP World Amateur Champion of Champions Solo Piping Competition on April 27, 2024.
  2. CAMERON BONAR (18 points)
    Prize: $250 piping scholarship donated by Cathi Nixon (Tennessee) in memory of her father, Sandy Jones; plus a $50 credit for tunes from donated by Lee & Sons Bagpipes Ltd.
  3. GILLIAN BLANEY (13 points)
    Prize: $200 piping scholarship sponsored by Doreen Forney (Vermont) in memory of Pipe Major Angus Macdonald, 1st Battalion Scots Guards; plus a $25 credit for tunes from donated by Lee & Sons Bagpipes Ltd.
  4. WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE (8 points)
    Prize: $150 piping scholarship sponsored by Doreen Forney in memory of Pipe Major Angus Macdonald, 1st Battalion Scots Guards.
  5. HENRY MICHAEL PALUCH (5 points)
    Prize: $100 piping scholarship sponsored by Doreen Forney in memory of Pipe Major Angus Macdonald, 1st Battalion Scots Guards.


The Nicol-Brown Chalice

Robert Nicol-Robert Brown Chalice for Piobaireachd

  1. COLIN FORREST (9 points)
    “The Groat”
    Prize: A bound Piobaireachd Society Collection, Volumes 1-16, donated by Jon Maffett from The Piper’s Hut (Pickerington, Ohio).
  2. GILLIAN BLANEY (7 points)
    “The Rout of Glenfruin”
  3. CAMERON BONAR (6 points)
    “Black Donald’s March”
  4. WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE (5 points)
    “MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart’s Lament,” No. 1
  5. MAGNUS STONE (4 points)
    “Lament for Mary MacLeod”


The Wm Ross Challenge Targe

William Ross Challenge Targe MSR Competition

  1. CAMERON BONAR (8 points)
    “Inveran,” “Top of Craigvenow,” and “The Little Cascade”
    Prize: A McCallum “CeòL” blackwood pipe chanter donated by The Piper’s Dojo (Troy, New York).
  2. COLIN FORREST (6 points)
    “Jimmy Young,” “Cabar Feidh,” and “The Sheepwife”
  3. HENRY MICHAEL PALUCH (5 points)
    “The Argyllshire Gathering,” “Delvinside,” and “Tom Kettles”
  4. GILLIAN BLANEY (4 points)
    “Mrs. Alex Johnstone,” “Dornie Ferry,” and “Willie Murray”
  5. WILLIAM SHROPSHIRE (3 points)
    “John MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage,” “Duncan Lamont,” and “Kalabakan”


The Donald MacLeod Silver Buckle

Donald MacLeod Memorial 6/8 March Competition

  1. COLIN FORREST (6 points)
    “Rab’s Wedding” and “Miss Ishabel T. MacDonald”
    Prize: The Donald MacLeod Memorial Silver Buckle (above) created and donated by Stephen Walker of Walker Metalsmiths (Andover, New York).
  2. CAMERON BONAR (4 points)
    “Meg MacRae” and “Cameron MacFadyen”
  3. KAYLEIGH JOHNSTONE (3 points)
    “Ian M. Campbell of Oban” and “Captain John Maclellan”
  4. GILLIAN BLANEY (2 points)
    “The Scottish Division” and “Kirkhill”
  5. MICHAEL TRENOR (1 point)
    “Pipe Major Donald MacLean of Lewis” and “A Cold Wind from Ben Wyvis”

Dress and Deportment

Judged by Donald F. Lindsay (Petersburg, New York)

This prize is a special recognition for the effort and thought put into the presentation of performances, showing respect for the contest and love for the music.

    Prize: A $100 gift certificate for Walker Metalsmiths in Andover, New York, sponsored by Jane and Jim Spicer (Maryland).


The Piobaireachd Society has donated a one-year membership to each competitor.

Andrew Berthoff (Ontario) has donated a two-year pipes|drums subscription to each competitor.

Sean Somers (Alberta) has donated a copy of The Out West Collection for each competitor.

Each competitor will receive the coveted Nicol-Brown lapel pin.

Nicol-Brown Lapel Pin

2023 Competitors

Invitations to the Nicol-Brown Competition are based on overall season rankings and competitive results in live and virtual solo contests sponsored by the piping and pipe band associations of North America; as well as results from other independent contests that show the highest standards of amateur piping. Prizes in events with larger numbers of competitors are given special consideration. All invited pipers must have significant results at the highest amateur level in both Piobaireachd and Light Music.


The 2023 Nicol-Brown Contest will be made possible by the efforts of many volunteers, donors and sponsors who are generous in their support of amateur piping. We would love to add your name here:

2023 Dedications

  • Jayne Bennett’s donation was given in memory of Sandy Jones.
  • Doreen Forney’s donation was given in memory of Pipe Major Angus Macdonald.
  • Daniel MacRae’s donation was given in honor of his father, Duncan MacRae.
  • Cathi Nixon’s donation was given in memory of her father, Sandy Jones.
  • Rick Woolard’s donation was given in memory of Ronald Morrison of South Uist.

Please contact Paula Glendinning or speak to one of the other committee members if you would like to donate a prize for this year or a future year. We welcome cash donations if you would like to sponsor a scholarship or help with the expenses of the Nicol-Brown. We are happy to designate your gift with a dedication in honor or in memory of someone. Please let us know if you would like us to add a link or a dedication to your donation listing.

The 2023 Nicol-Brown Chalice Committee

  • Kathleen Brown
  • Judy Campbell
  • Jim Feeney
  • Paula Glendinning
  • June Hanley
  • Donald F. Lindsay, Founder
  • Ben McClamrock
  • Thompson McConnell, Treasurer
  • Sean Moran
  • Eric Ouellette
  • JoAnn Scott
  • Chris Shepherd, Chief Steward
  • Jane Spicer

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