Welcome to ursapiper.com. Here you can find information about Maine's best highland bagpiper. On our home page, we feature news updates about Ursa Beckford and the piping and drumming community.
So, what's Ursa been up to?
Over the summer, Ursa competed in multiple competitions in Scotland, establishing himself as a successful competitor across Scotland. His prizes include 3rd at the MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd Competion (Oban), 1st Overall B Grade at the Cowal Highland Gathering (Dunoon), 1st B Grade Piobaireachd at the Cowal Highland Gathering (Dunoon), and 3rd in the Piobaireachd at the Royal Braemar Gathering (Braemar). These events saw some of the finest pipers in the world in attendance. These prizes place Ursa in a select group of internationally successful pipers from North America. Next summer Ursa is hoping to compete in the Silver Medal competitions at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting. Winners of the Silver Medal go on to compete in the Gold Medal, one of the highest awards in piping.
In July Ursa was an instructor at the action-packed Invermark Piping and Drumming Workshop in Hunter Mt, NY. It was Ursa's tenth year attending Invermark's annual summer programs. During the week, Ursa earned the SQA Teacher Certificate, a well-respected instructor certification awarded through the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. Other instructors at Invermark included Jack Lee, Willie MacCallum, Maureen Connor, Paula Glendinning, and director Donald Lindsay. Visit www.invermark.org for more information about Invermark's future programs.
The Jamboree was an international gathering of about 40,000 scouts from across the globe, with lots of opportunities to meet new friends and problem-solve for our future. The Scotland trip included Ursa's third time at the Invermark school on Skye. After an action-packed week with amazing international instructors, Ursa went to Oban for the Argyllshire Gathering, home of the Gold and Silver Medal professional piping events. At the gathering, Ursa competed in the MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd Competition, a highly selective event for pipers under the age of 22. Ursa was the only American to compete in this event, and one of only a hand-full of high level American pipers to play at the Gathering.
Following his placings at numerous competitions in the U.S. and Scotland, Ursa won 2011 Eastern United States Pipe Band Association Grade 1 Champion. Grade 1 is the highest Amateur Piping Grade.
Before traveling overseas, Ursa attended Invermark's 2011 summer program at Hunter Mt. in the Catskills of New York, where he achieved a Level 8 Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board Progressive Development Award (formerly the Institute of Piping Graduate Certificate). This is a high level bagpipe certification, which is useful for teaching positions and other opportunities.
In June, Ursa released his first professional CD, "Constellations." The CD features an exciting mix of new and old music - Ursa on highland bagpipes, Brian Dyer Stewart playing keyboard, and Jamie Oshima on drums, bass, keyboard, and synthesizer.
CDs are $20, and may be ordered by mail or phone. Free shipping anywhere! If ordering by mail, please send a check for $20 per CD, and a note with your address, to the following: Ursa Beckford, 123 Rebel Hill Rd, Clifton, ME, 04428, USA. If ordering by phone, please call (207) 843-6916. Thank you and enjoy!