Switalla Wins RU Brown Piobaireachd: Updated

May 12, 2009
Brian Switalla

Brian Switalla

The 8th-10th of May saw the weekend of the R U Brown Piobaireachd Society of South Australia Gold medal Competition. This has proved to be a hugely successful event with the largest field yet competing for prizes over several grades.

The 8th of May saw the commencement of the weekend with a Recital given by Adam Britten of Western Australia, David Welsh from Wellington, Andrew Fuller from South Australia and Lewis Turrell from New Zealand who was to be the senior Judge for the following days events. The recital was well attended and an entertaining night was had by all with a good chance to catch up with old and new friends alike.

The Competition was held on the 9th May with the Gold Medal being won this year by Brian Switalla of New Zealand with a masterful interpretation of Donald Dougall MacKay and a magnificent instrument. The weekend cuminated with a series of seminars on Monday the 10th May run my Lewis Turrell.

David Welsh, from Wellington, came second in the silver medal piobaireachd to Jonathon Quay from Victoria. Click here for the full results.

The R. U. Brown Piobaireachd Society of South Australia was established in 1972 after the inspirational visit of Pipe Major R. U. Brown.

Switalla Clasp, Jamie Hawke Gold, Harrison Hawke Silver

March 23, 2008

Results for the Comunn na Piobaireachd (NZ) annual competitions held at the Easter Hastings Highland Games are as follows:


1st Brian Switalla – The Park Piobaireachd (No 2)
2nd Stuart Easton – The Battle of the Pass of Crieff
3rd Brendon Eade – Scarce of Fishing

Gold Medal

1st Jamie Hawke – The Battle of Auldearn (No 2)
2nd Tracey Williams – The Little Spree
3rd Scott Kennedy – Beloved Scotland
4th Tom Glover – Lament for the Castle of Dunyveg

Silver Medal

1st Harrison Hawke – Lament for Alasdair Dearg Macdonell of Glengary
2nd Bradley Guy
3rd Andrew Broadbent
4th Courteney Williamson

Randall Allardyce New Boyle Foundation Chair

November 27, 2007

Alastair Munro has stepped down as Chair of the William Boyle Foundation after 25 years of exceptional leadership. Richard Hawke, Greg Wilson, Randall Allardyce and Brian Switalla were re-elected as trustees. The main initiatives of the Foundation have been directed at support for its under 21 competitions and the scholarship. It is anticipated that the foundation will extend into piping education and other related areas.

IMHO Alastair Munro has been tremendously encouraging to the piping community in New Zealand and I’m certain that will continue in spite of his retirement from the Foundation. I’m also certain that Randall Allardyce and his fellow trustees (what a lineup) will continue to enhance their present activities and add new innovations.

The following is a profile of Randall Allardyce for those that don’t know him yet:

Randall grew up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and was one of the first members of the St Andrews Society of Detroit Boys Pipe Band. The band was taught by Walter Rose, who was in turn taught by Blind Archie MacNeill (Seamus’s uncle, who also taught him). Randall also had lessons from Blind Archie and from MacNeill, Pearston and MacFadyen at the College of Piping summer school at Tobermory and Johnny Wilson (Toronto). He competed successfully in the US and Canadian A grade solo competitions from 17 years and in the open grade in Scotland for a couple of seasons when he moved to Edinburgh to attend medical school in 1966. Randall rubbed shoulders with many pipers in Scotland, in particular, he counted as good friends John Burgess, Angus MacDonald and John Slattery. He joined the Eagle Pipers at the West End Hotel and played for them on several occasions with regular performers Ian McLeod, George Lumsden and John MacLellan. Randall moved to Christchurch in 1974. Though he doesn’t compete, he continues to play for his own pleasure and has retained a keen interest in competitive solo piping and is passionate about Piobaireachd.