UC Riverside hosts Harry Moore Memorial Solo Piping and Drumming Competition

Steven Cuevas/KPCC

UC Riverside Pipe and Drum Band

Musicians from across the western United States are gathering in Riverside this weekend for the third annual Harry Moore Memorial Solo Piping and Drumming Competition.

About 60 pipers, drummers and dancers will compete in solo and ensemble events. The competition is named after the University of California, Riverside pipe band's first drum sergeant, Harry Moore, who died three years ago.

"I’ve won and lost in every single grade," says Ed Best, who was one of his proteges. "So I try to pass on what I did when I won and try to ignore the things I did when I lost, and basically let them learn from my mistakes."

Best is a competition judge, as well as the UC Riverside pipe band’s drum instructor. The band formed 12 years ago when the school wanted its own pipe ensemble to spice up sporting events. Some of its musicians are competing this weekend.

"This is a music competition, not a 'How many notes are you playing?' competition," according to Best. "It always comes back to who’s playing the best music. Not to show off, not to play a cool lick, not to throw as many things as you can in there."

The daylong Harry Moore Memorial Solo Piping and Drumming Competition takes place at the Canyon Crest Country Club in Riverside.

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