Nicol - Brown Amateur Invitational

Admission is free at all piping events during the Nicol-Brown weekend, thanks to the EUSPBA and other generous sponsors and volunteers. Your donations are always welcome!


Read the Nicol-Brown article, “Seriously Dedicated,” written by Nick Hudson for the Fall 2016 issue of the EUSPBA magazine, the VOICE.

Willie McCallum and Nick Hudson Concert

Friday, October 7, 2016 - 7:00 pm
First Reformed Church of Scotia
224 N. Ballston Ave (Route 50)
Scotia, NY 12302


An evening of piping by two of the world's premier pipers, Willie McCallum from Bearsden, Scotland, and Nick Hudson from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The recital was a benefit for the Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Competition, and a welcoming reception for the 2016 competitors. The competitors were introduced and received their tune selections for the contest on Saturday.

The 2016 Nicol-Brown Contest

Saturday, October 8, 2016 - 9:30 am to 7:00 pm
First Reformed Church of Scotia
224 N. Ballston Ave (Route 50)
Scotia, NY 12302


2016 Competitors

Ten of the finest Amateur pipers from across North America were invited to play in an elite invitational contest with three events: 6/8 Marches, Piobaireachd and MSR. The contest is dedicated annually to the memory of Robert U. Brown and Robert B. Nicol.

The 2016 Results are in!


Judges for the 2016 Nicol-Brown Contest:

Willie McCallum, from Bearsden, Scotland, is well-known in the piping world as a teacher, judge, performer, and remarkable competitor. He has won myriad premier prizes, and has qualified for the Glenfiddich Piping Championships an astonishing 29 years in a row. Willie recently took up a position at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow as lead tutor on the B. Mus Degree Programme. It is an honor to welcome Willie back for the 2016 Nicol-Brown Weekend.

Nick Hudson, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the third-ever graduate of the Bagpipe Performance degree at Carnegie-Mellon University. He has won the 2016 Oban Silver Medal, the 2016 Braemar Gold Medal, and the 2015 Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada), among other major prizes in the US, Canada, Scotland, and France. Nick is a new member of the EUSPBA judging panel.

For more information about the Nicol-Brown, contact Barb McCarthy:
tel: 518-682-2814

Celebration Dinner

Saturday, October 8, 2016
The Radisson at 205 Wolf Road, Albany 12205

Our private room opens at 7:30 pm.
8:00 dinner by reservation ($25.00)

Please email Heather Scott-Wisehart:
if you are interested in joining us for the 2017 dinner.

Optional Drop-In Sunday Breakfast

Sunday, October 9, 2016 - 8:00 am to 9:30 am
Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary
217 Wolf Road, Albany 12205

Master Class

Sunday, October 9, 2016 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Celtic Hall
430 New Karner Road
Albany, NY 12205


What is a Master Class?

Doesn’t this sound like a good way to learn?

Nicol-Brown competitors were given the privilege of receiving instruction from Willie McCallum and Nick Hudson. Pipers at all levels were invited to observe the Master Class and learn from the suggestions given to each competitor. Topics included musical expression, technique, and improving performances toward the professional level.

Email Maureen Connor: if you would like to reserve a spot for next year’s Master Class.


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