Piping & Drumming

The Glengarry Highland Games are home of the North American Pipe Band Championships™

The Grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Band Competitions will take place on Saturday, August 3, 2019. The schedule will be available on the PPBSO website in early July, 2019. Massed Bands will be held at 1:00 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m. when results are announced and awards are presented. All band registrations must be submitted to www.ppbso.org

Details below will be updated for 2019 soon.


2017 North American Champions


2018 Judges

The Glengarry Highland Games are tapping the services of Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association judges Paul Brown and Donald MacPhee for the annual North American Championships in Maxville, Ontario.
pipes | drums

Overseas piping and drumming judges for 2018 have been highlighted by Andrew Berthoff in pipes | drums.

North American Pipe Band Championships™

All competitions are governed and organized by the Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO). All competitors must be members of the PPBSO or a member of an officially recognized affiliated organization, or Society, in another Province, State or Country.

“At the line” refers to the point where a band halts and is met by a steward, before marching and or playing into the circle and contest. Should any member of the band withdraw from the band at this point, a penalty may result.

A medley must have a minimum of four tune categories, e.g. marches, slow airs, hornpipes, strathspeys, jigs and reels.

Submission of Tunes

As determined by the PPBSO, bands must submit a list of tunes and a roster with the names of the band members, when registering for competition. The requirements are as follows:

Grade 1 (minimum of 8 pipers, 1 bass and 3 snare drummers and 2 tenors)

  • two sets of a 2/4 march, strathspey & reel (MSR)

  • two medleys of 5 to 8 minutes

At the Glengarry Highland Games, Grade 1 bands must play in a MSR and a Medley competition at different times. The set and medley to be played are decided by respective draws "at the line".

Grade 2 (minimum of 6 pipers, 1 bass and 2 snare drummers)

  • two sets of a 2/4 march, strathspey and reel (MSR)

  • one medley of 4 to 7 minutes

At the Glengarry Highland Games, Grade 2 bands must play in a MSR and a Medley competition at different times. The set to be played is decided by a draw "at the line".

Grade 3 (minimum of 5 pipers, 1 bass and 2 snare drummers)

  • one set of a 2/4 march, strathspey and reel (MSR)

Grade 4 (minimum of 5 pipers, 1 bass and 2 snare drummers)

  • one medley, 3 to 5 minutes in duration and a minimum of 4 different tune types

Grade 5 (minimum of 5 pipers, 1 bass and 2 snare drummers)

  • 1 march-medley which is any number of tunes that by tradition are considered marches, (such as written in time signatures 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 9/8 and 12/8) played in quick time, of 2:45 to 4:30 minutes duration.

Basic Rules

Each band must begin the competition “at the line”. There are no points for drill, dress and deportment. In medley contests, the band may, as pre-approved by the PPBSO, take their place in the circle before starting to play. There are two circles denoted by chalk lines. Bands must position themselves within the inner circle and the judges or adjudicators must remain outside of the outer circle.

All competitors must wear proper highland dress, including appropriate head dress.

Criteria for Judging

Bands are judged on:

ATTACK - a combination of drum rolls, drones and chanters beginning at specific points together, in-sync, before the tune is started.

TONE/TUNING - quality of sound of chanters, drones and drums

EXPRESSION - a combination of tempo, rhythm and duration of notes in music.

PITCH - the sharpness or flatness of the pipe chanters and drum heads.

EXECUTION - how well particular movements and played and executed

UNISON - how well the pipe or drum corps plays together (as one)

ENSEMBLE - how the pipe and drum corps complement each other musically.

Entry Forms may be obtained by contacting

Piper's and Pipe Band Society of Ontario
50 Steeles Avenue East.
Milton Ontario
L9T 4W9

Champion Supreme

This award is given to the pipe band in each category by the Pipers Society of Ontario for accumulating the most points at 5 designated highland games over the summer season. Because of the size and prestigiousness of the competition at The Glengarry Highland Games, more points are awarded here than at other games.

Bands - Prize Money

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th TOTAL
Grade 1 $3,000 $2,000 $1,600 $1,300 $1,000 $800 $9,700
Grade 2 $1,600 $1,400 $1,200 $1,000 $800 $600 $6,600
Grade 3 $1,400 $1,200 $1,000 $800 $600 $500 $5,500
Grade 4 $850 $750 $650 $550 $450 $350 $3,600
Grade 5 $600 $500 $400 $300 $200 $150 $2,150

Please note:

  • Bands are not permitted to tune-up within the gated area of the grounds other than in designated “Final Tuning” areas

  • Bands may not arrange for the installation of tents on the grounds

  • The installation of canopies or small tents are not permitted within the gated area.


Individual Piping and Drumming Competitions

All competitors must register with the Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario at www.ppbso.org where a 2018 Master Entry Form, available in late March, may be downloaded. Competitions include marches, strathspeys, reels, piobaireachd, jigs and hornpipes. Questions may also be directed to info@ppbso.org. The "Order of Play" under "Competition" at www.ppbso.org is posted one to two weeks before the Games.

Friday, August 3, 2018

  • All amateur, grades 1 to 5, solo piping and drumming, except bass & tenor

  • Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal and Bar (Canada)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

  • All professional solo piping and drumming

  • All tenor and bass drum contests

Prize Money - Professional Solo Events

Event 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Glengarry Highland Games MSR $400 $300 $200 $100 $1000
Professional March – Piping $90 $80 $70 $60 $300
Professional S/R – Piping $90 $80 $70 $60 $300
Professional Jig – Piping $90 $80 $70 $60 $300
Professional Piobaireachd A $150 $120 $90 $60 $420
Professional Piobaireachd B $80 $70 $60 $50 $260
Professional M/S/R – Snare Drum $90 $80 $70 $60 $300
Professional H/J – Snare Drum $90 $80 $70 $60 $300
Professional Bass Drum $70 $60 $50 $40 $220
Professional Tenor Drum – Rhythm $70 $60 $50 $40 $220
Note: No Drum Major Contest at Maxville

Questions regarding Piping & Drumming competitions may be directed to

Gilbert Young
Tel: 613-678-3235

135 High Street
P.O. Box 486
Vankleek Hill, Ontario
K0B 1R0


Information for People Attending for the First Time

The town of Maxville, Ontario, is located one hour east of Ottawa, Ontario and one hour west of Montreal, Quebec.

Exit at Highland Road, off Hwy. 417 and travel south for approximately 8 km. It is also approximately 45 minutes north of Cornwall, Ontario which is on Hwy. 401 traveling between Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec.

Temperatures during the time of the Glengarry Highland Games run from 85 to 95+ F or 25 to 32+ C, and historically it has been sunny and hot!

Consider the following for group or individual accommodations which comes highly recommended with very reasonable rates:

NAV Centre
1950 Montreal Road
Cornwall, Ontario
K6H 5R5
Tel. 1-613-936-5800

Camping is also available on the grounds.