Surrey bagpiper Jack Lee. (Photo: Derek Maxwell/WmGrantFoundation)

Surrey piper wins Glenfiddich solo piping competition for second time

Cloverdale resident Jack Lee won the award in 2003, then again this past weekend

It’s been a good year for Jack Lee.

The Cloverdale bagpiper is celebrating another 2017 win, after bagging the 44th Glenfiddich Piping Championship on Oct. 28 in Perthshire, Scotland.

Lee won the competition overall out of 10 pipers who were invited to compete after winning “prestigious accolades” at other piping events that year.

Described by organizers as “the world’s most prestigious solo piping competition,” the event at the historic Blair Castle was live-streamed to people across the globe, including the U.S., Canada, Australia and South Africa.

To claim the 2017 title, Lee took first place in the Piobaireachd and second place in the March, Strathspey and Reel events.

But this is actually the second time the Surrey resident won the Glenfiddich.

He first won in 2003 and at the time, was the first piper in North America to do so.

“Solo competitors are part of a close knit community where we often play and compete in events across the country,” said Lee in a release. “From this experience, we all know how tough competing in the Glenfiddich Championship is going to be, as it is performing at the highest level in piping. Each player has worked hard and won other events to earn their place here, so to win amongst such talent is an incredible honour.”

“It’s incredibly humbling that this event is so highly regarded by both the musicians and the thousands of piping enthusiasts who enjoy watching it every year,” said Bill Gordon, the eldest son of Sandy Grant Gordon, who is “driving force” behind the event.

“It’s a privilege to witness incredible piping talent in such a beautiful and historic setting like Blair Castle,” Gordon added. “My congratulations go to all who have taken part this year.”

See also: Lifelong Surrey piper wins big in Scotland

Last month, Lee was celebrating another big win in Scotland. Lee won the Masters Invitational in Glasgow, and the Silver Star in Oban, a village on the west coast of Scotland.

After decades of competing, Lee won the final of seven solo competitions in the country.

Although he’s won several of those seven competitions a number of times, he’d never won the Silver Star, which he took home this year.

“It felt good,” he said of winning the final of the seven at the time. “I’ve had a very long career, I’m the oldest person in the competition now. When I qualified in 1981, I can clearly remember being the youngest person in the competition and 35 years later I’m still doing it. Mostly, it felt good to play and still enjoy playing and have the passion for playing. I’ve never been a person that’s driven by winning, I’m truly not that person. I’m really driven by playing well and challenging myself and pushing it as far as I can push it myself.”



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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