With the worlds done and dusted and Cowal no longer a Championship the pipe band scene is pretty much over, with the focus now on the ‘medals’ at Oban and Inverness. Thus we expected a few of the contenders to pitch up and run through their stuff but alas not many took the opportunity. We still had an International flavour to the night though with Willie Rowe from New Zealand and Nick Hudson from Pittsburg bringing their sticks along.
Once the Pipe Major had broken the ice he handed over to Andrew Allison, who was playing a new bag, new chanter, new reed and looking the part, resplendent in a new Society cover and cords. Maw and Paw were there to cheer him on while enjoying a refreshment. Andrew concluded his performance with a set of reels and fancy finger work, The Wise Maiden (named after his mum? ),The Auld Fiddler and Double F Dilemma. I don’t know about a dilemma but I was perplexed listening to it :).
Next for shaving was Magnus Orr who quickly settled his pipe. In fine form he concluded with The Wee Man From Skye and The Judges Dilemma.
The pre pie piper was Willie Rowe who is currently based in Christchurch. He was quickly into his stride and on a lovely mellow pipe gave us The Duke of Roxburgh’s Farewell to the Blackmount Forrest, Bonnie Ann, Piper’s Bonnet, Inveraray Castle, The Smith of Chilliechassie and Duntroon. Willie very kindly agreed to take a Society hug back to Tracey Williams, who has been pining for Scotland, pretty much since she left, but the coverage of the Commonwealth Games and Piping Live
have recently made things worse. Don’t worry T. a big hug coming your way from us.
The post pie piper was Nick Hudson who is here with us until Inverness. Nick played a fine selection of tunes including a competition MSR and Hornpipe and Jig that included the Bill Livingstone composition The Busy Buddy. Bill was in the circle at the worlds with the Toronto Police. After all these years, quite remarkable. Hats off.
The final player of the evening was Jenny Hazzard who took the opportunity of giving one of her tunes a run-MacNeill of Barra’s March. I would like to say Jenny was in the pink but if you look closely she was on the blue.
This piece has overlapping names, “MacNeill of Barra’s Lament,” “MacNeill of Barra’s March,” “The Pride of Barra” and so on, Thus we cannot be sure that it was this tune that John Campbell from Nether Lorne gained 4th Prize with at the Edinburgh competition in 1816: his tune was called “Speadsearachd Bharra– Macneill of Barra’s Salute. “The editors of The MacArthur-MacGregor Manuscript of Piobaireachd (1820) take the view that this may be a seventeenth-century tune, and that the dedicatee may have been one of the Clanranald bailies of South Uist
Having just come back from the Glasgow sojourn Jenny blew the cobwebs away with some light music before playing a very musical piob on a well balanced instrument. Jenny is last on in the Gold medal at Oban so we all wish her all the very best of luck and hope she can take advantage of the draw.