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 5, 2017. The schedule will be available on the PPBSO website in early July, 2017. There is no limit on the number of bands that may register for any grade at the Glengarry Highland Games. Massed Bands will be held at 1:00 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m. when results are announced and awards are handed out. All band registrations must be submitted to www.ppbso.org


2017 North American Champions

2017 Piping & Drumming Judges

The Glengarry Highland Games is pleased to welcome three piping judges from outside the Province of Ontario to join our esteemed judging panel of the PPBSO this year. This is made possible by the coordination and financial support from the Games and the PPBSO. The visiting judges are Jimmy Bell, Terry Lee and Colin MacLellan.    

Jimmy Bell
In 2013, Jimmy Bell won the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) at the Glengarry Highland Games. This year, he returns to Maxville as one of the judges from outside the Province of Ontario.

Jimmy is the Director of the Scottish Heritage Program at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas and Pipe Major of the Lyon College Pipe Band. He also served as Pipe Major of the award winning Grade 1 - Parlin & District Pipe Band, and has won countless individual awards and titles as one of North America's top solo pipers. Starting out first as a Highland Dancer at an early age, Jim was given his first piping instruction by his mother, and then by his father, George Bell. Jim played in the legendary Kenmuir Pipe Band, and has experienced almost everything piping has to offer. He is a judge in the EUSPBA and has served on the Music Board as well. He is also a highly skilled composer of pipe music.                                        

Photo courtesy Andrew Berthoff, www.pipesdrums.com

Photo courtesy
Andrew Berthoff, www.pipesdrums.com

Dr./Pipe Major Terry Lee
In 2002, Terry Lee was Pipe Major of the Grade One SFU Pipe Band who won the North American Championship at the Glengarry Highland Games and now returns as one of the piping judges in 2017.

As the Pipe Major of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, Terry led the band to winning the World Grade 1 Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland six times! He has been the leader and musical director at the band’s concerts in many of the world’s most well-known venues including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre in New York City, the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall, The Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City and many others. In 2013, Terry and his brother Jack were presented with Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Simon Fraser University for their exemplary work with the Pipe Band.

Terry’s accomplishments as a solo piper have been overshadowed by his pipe band involvement but as a young man he was the winner of many of the prestigious west coast awards including the MacCrimmon Cairn for piobaireachd at the B.C. Pipers Indoor Meet. Terry has retired as Pipe Major of the SFUPB and has become a member the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Adjudicator’s Panel.

Terry quit dancing at seventeen but he had, by that time, made quite an impact being the winner of the many SOBHD Championships in the US and Canada, a “top six” at Cowal and the highlight of being presented to Queen Elizabeth II as an aggregate winner at the famous Braemar Gathering. At seventeen, he made a recording for Highland dancing “Piper & Dancer” which was one of the first to be produced for Highland dancing and proved to be extremely popular.

Terry has also been the General Manager of Tartantown for thirty-five years. He brings his experience and expertise to the business as both a piper and former dancer. 

Colin MacLellan
Colin is no stranger to Glengarry and we look forward to his return as a valued judge and friend to many.

Colin MacLellan was born in Dingwall, Ross-shire in 1958. The family moved to Edinburgh shortly afterwards in order for his father, John A. MacLellan, to take up the position of Chief Instructor at the Army School of Piping in Edinburgh Castle.

Starting his competitive career in Scotland, Colin started playing in Open competitions in 1976.  His competitive achievements are many and include both Highland Society of London’s Gold Medals at Oban and Inverness, consecutive Silver Chanters at Dunvegan Castle, the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada), and two Gold Bars to the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada).

He moved to Canada in 1977 at eighteen years of age and spent the next 22 years in the province of Ontario where he had a great influence on the piping scene in Glengarry County and area. In pipe bands, Colin has been the Pipe Major of the Glengarry Pipe Band and the Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band, as well as playing with the 78th Fraser Highlanders and Spirit of Scotland Pipe Bands.

In 1999 Colin and his wife Jenny Hazzard moved to Scotland, with Colin taking up a position as Head of Piping Studies, being responsible for educational initiatives at the National Piping Centre as well-being instrumental in the creation of the BA Scottish Music - Piping degree which is jointly offered by the Centre and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Colin was appointed the President of Scotland's Competing Pipers Association in 2000 and during his tenure CPA became an active and influential force.  

Colin MacLellan was appointed a Senior Judge of Scotland's Joint Committee for Judging upon his retirement from competition in 2007. He is the current Chairman of Scotland’s Piping and Drumming Qualification Board and is a Director of Piping Live, Glasgow’s world famous piping festival which is held annually in conjunction with the World Pipe Band Championship.

In September of 2016 Colin was appointed as Director of Piping at The College of Piping, Glasgow.

A Canadian Citizen as well as a UK national, Colin lives in Edinburgh with his wife Jenny Hazzard. He has a daughter, Emily Kate, and a son Iain, who are accomplished pipers.


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 or 6" yellow discs on the ground. 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 2017 Master Entry Form 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 4, 2017

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

Saturday, August 5, 2017

  • 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. 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.