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Match report 19th August 2014

Andrew Allison

Andrew Allison

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 :).

A wee refreshment

A wee refreshment

Magnus on the March

Magnus on the March

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

Willie Rowe

Willie Rowe

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.

Nick Hudson

Nick Hudson

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

Jenny on the blue

Jenny on the blue

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.

 

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report 12th August 2014

P1030377Adding an extra night into the worlds week is always a bit of a gamble as there is so much else to compete with-the Fringe in own fair city and Piping Live in Glasgow but what a great night we had. Our usual and most welcome guests pitched up- The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band and they were joined by new guests, PM Ron Graham and The Quigley Highlanders, from Ontario, Canada. Their web site tells us,P1030382

‘The idea of having a community based pipe band was born around a kitchen table at the home of Millan MacPherson’s, while enjoying Celtic music and refreshments. The people sitting at that table decided to form The Quigley Highlanders Pipes and Drums (QHPD) to honour the former hamlet of Quigley’s Corners, now Lochiel, Ontario, Canada. The community was excited that the QHPD was born, and that their motto was “Know Your Past, Empower your Future”.

In 1845, Owen Quigley bought the lot on the north-west corner where Lochiel Road intersects with Old Military Road and established a store, post office, hotel and tavern, a cheese factory, a forge, sawmill, grist mill and potash plant. The corner quickly became hub of the surrounding community. Today, all that remains is a tiny cluster of houses but the old popular name, Quigley’s Corners, lives on as an important part of the history of Lochiel. The motto expresses pride in the strength and courage of the Scots who left their homeland and established their families in Glengarry. People who no longer reside in Glengarry County still feel the connection and comfort it offers.

P1030388Formation of the band went quickly. Bandsmen ranged in age from sixteen to sixty and came from a variety of backgrounds, with varying degrees of experience. Under the leadership of the band’s first Pipe Major, David MacPherson, and Lead Tip Margaret Boekhoff, were pipers and drummers who once played with Glengarry, Black Watch, Air Force, Dunvegan, Ottawa Police and others. People that never played an instrument before, including retirees quickly learned their instrument and joined the ranks.’

Magnus

Magnus

In time honoured tradition the P/M got the evening underway with a few family favourites before handing over to Magnus Orr who was quickly into his stride knocking off an MSR. It’s great to see Magnus make another appearance at the Eagles as he is one of the Edinburgh stalwarts of the piping scene and is still heavily involved in organising International piping events.

Mad Posh Dougie as christened by Tracey

Mad Posh Dougie as christened by Tracey

Next for shaving was Douglas Gardiner who had taken the bold step of having a tune with grade 3a outfit RAF Halton at the weekend. (A successful venture as it turned out as they attained a very creditable 3rd place) Douglas is quite the ensemble expert having a fondness for bass and tenor technique and I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed his run out with the band. On a quite superb bagpipe Douglas gave us a wide range of tunes including the MSR John McDonald of Glencoe, Maggie Cameron and Loch Carron.

Honestly she's a nice girl

Honestly she’s a nice girl

The room was bulging at the seams when Andrew Allison took to the floor on the P/Ms pipe. He too knocked off an MSR in his spot. Andrew is a great addition to our ranks and maw an paw make sure his hair is always neat and tidy!

Andrew playing the PM's pipe

Andrew playing the PM’s pipe

The post pie piper was none other than Andrew Donlan from the City of Washington. Andrew is a first class’s solo player and is also a member if the New York Metro Pipe Band, who were over to compete in grade 2 at the Worlds (and made the final!) http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ewjg9r/videos/p024xsgk#p024xs6b). Andrews pipe was first class- no mean feat after the soaking it got at Perth-and gave us a wide range of big competition stuff including Delvinside and Pretty Marion. To complete his Eagle’s debut he gave us a hornpipe and jig

Andrew Donlan

Andrew Donlan

closing with The Braes of Mellanish. Great stuff Andrew. Come back soon.

Tam

Tam

Tom Peterkin was up next and gave us a few more tunes from his large and quite diverse repertoire. Tom is a very musical player and he always manages to trot out a tune or two that has you scratching your head trying to recall the name.

The final player of the night was Cameron Drummond. Rosie has been flat out moving into his new pad (house warming) in Edinburgh as he starts as the new piping instructor at Fettes College at the start of the new term. It didn’t take him long to settle his pipe and once the drones were steady and locked in ( and I mean locked in) he gave us a superb Battle of the Pass of Crieff. If Cameron can sustain this form there is no doubt that he will be a strong contender in both gold medals this year.

The Battle of the Pass of Crieff

The Battle of the Pass of Crieff

And that was the evenings evening.

We are now suffering from the annual PWD, however a great time spent with friends, the Glasgow Police concert, Pipe Idol, The Worlds, Sartis, the Assman and an unforgettable visit to The Iron Horse made it all worth while.

We are back onto our usual routine of every second Tuesday starting Tuesday 19th August which is an ideal opportunity for those heading up to the Argyllshire Gathering to give some of their tunes an airing.

Hope to see you there

Euan Anderson
Hon P/M

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Match report Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Andrew AllisonThe meeting coincided with the famous Inveraray games and a poor turnout was expected but another nice wee evening emerged.

The P/M opened the night and once the pipe had settled played a couple of variations form His Father’s Lament For Donald MacKenzie. The tune is a tribute to a departed son and was composed by John Ban MacKenzie. Son Donald, like his father, was an outstanding piper and won the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting. He died in 1863.

At the time John Ban composed this tune, he was suffering from cancer and died early the next year. Despite the severe pain of his final illness, he endured long enough to complete his composition. John Ban never wrote down the notes of the tune but he did teach it to his nephew Ronald who later transcribed it and preserved it for posterity.

Next up was Andrew Allison who is becoming a welcome regular at Eagles. Andrew was in fine form and is on the look out for a new solo chanter-once he has saved up the pennies.

Magnus on form

Magnus on form

A rare visitor was the piping entrepreneur Magus Orr who seems to be constantly involved in organising large International piping events. Magnus kicked off with some 3/4s before heading into the big stuff playing a double MSR that finished with Mrs. MacPherson of Inveran and John Morrison of Assynt House. He finished off with some jigs that included The Lark in the Morning and The Geese in the Bog.

Just as the pies were being taken out the oven in walked Nils Michael and his charge for the day Andrew Yu, who had both been playing at Inveraray. A sterling effort and a pie was well deserved. Or was it two?

Andrew Yu

Andrew Yu

Andrew Yu was the post pie piper. Andrew is from Hong Kong and is presently playing with RAF Halton Pipes and Drums. Andrew was quick to settled down into his stride and played an MSR that kicked off with the little heard John MacDonald’s Welcome to south Uist. He finished off a great wee spot with Chasing Shadows and Alan MacPherson of Mosspark.

Nils ended the evening and played his Inveraray prize winning march (1st in the C Grade) Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque. This was followed by Mrs. John McColl. He ended the double MSR including the reel Duntroon, that seem to be making a wee resurgence this season.

Fresh from Inveraray victory

Fresh from Inveraray victory

And that was that.

There will be on Eagles on Tuesday 5th August as this has been put back a week to the 12th to accommodate our guests who will be with us for Piping Live and Worlds week. Hope to see you there.

IMG_1036Euan Anderson
Hon P/M

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August Date Changes

By way of reminder, the meeting on 5th August has been moved to Tuesday 12th August to coincide with Piping Live and The World Pipe Band Championships.

There is a meeting on 19th August as normal.

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Match Report Tuesday 8th July 2014

It was a very timely Eagles as it offered a chance to pay respects to Christine (Bunty) MacLellan whose passing had been marked with a beautiful service at Warriston the day before. A chance for a tune, dram and story telling about the good old days when men were men and Colin and I were still at school.

Germany Destroying Brazil 7-1 Emily Kate destroying a pie

Germany Destroying Brazil 7-1 Emily Kate destroying a pie

Brian MulhearnI got the ball rolling and with a nod to Bunty played the 2/4 marches Achany Glen composed by Angus McPherson, Young Willie Murray, composed by Capt. John MacLellan and John McColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage.Once I was done and dusted the baton was handed to Brian Mulhearn, the man behind the Ayrshire Bagpipe Company. (www.ayrshirebagpipes.co.uk).

On a lovely looking and sounding pipe Brian treated us to an array of light music before finishing off with MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart. What a great start to the night. Brian had brought a young charge with him, Alexander Jeanrenard from Kensington in South Africa. Brian is one of the people behind the John Farmer memorial prize and gave us a bit of background on it.

The John Farmer Memorial prize was set up a few years ago in recognition of all the good work done by John Farmer for pipers in South Africa. John Farmer made a significant contribution to the piping in South Africa and some of his friends would like him to have some recognition posthumously.   The prize goes to a young piper under the age of 21 in South Africa who has the best results over a series of competitions. The prize for this competition is an all expenses paid 2 week trip to Scotland to have one week’s tuition at the College of Piping and one week’s tuition at the National Piping Centre. 

It is hoped that when this piper returns to South Africa he or she will continue the good work of John Farmer by educating others. This year the winner was Alex  Jeanrenaud. The previous winner was Joshua Hogg.Andrew Allison

The Post Pie Piper was Andrew Allison who was again ‘without mother’ but in fine form. And not just his playing mind you as he found a comb on the floor and handed it to Iain Speirs.

‘I think you dropped this?’ got a loud laugh from the gang. Speirsy handed it to Douglas Gardiner ‘I don’t know what you’re laughing at’

Alex  Jeanrenaud

Alex Jeanrenaud

The next player was young Alex from South Africa and he very deftly stepped through several tunes before tackling the competition arena with tunes that included Dora MacLeod and Bessie McIntyre. He has certainly put the prize to good use and we wish him all the very best when he returns home.

Craig Martin was the final player of the evening and he was quickly into his stride with the light music that included some big 2/4 marches, including the great Abercairney Highlanders. Craig finished off the evening with the lovely The Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay.

The Sweet Highland Girl would have been pleased.

Bunty

Bunty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Christine M.(Bunty) MacLellan

arisaigWe are sad to report on the passing of Bunty who died peacefully on Monday morning.

She was born in Torbreck, Rogart on 11th July 1923 and in 1943 she met John MacLellan, then the youngest Pipe Major in the British Army, at a garden fete in the grounds of the Invershin Hotel. The rest, as they say, is history.

When Captain John MacLellan was posted to Edinburgh Bunty formed part of quite a formidable ‘piping wives group’ including Margaret Stoddart, Anne Anderson, Flora Cameron and Jean MacLennan and there is no doubt they added great colour to the piping scene at that time.

Our sympathies and condolences go to Colin, Kirsteen and family.

The funeral service will take place at Warriston Crematorium, Cloister Chapel, Edinburgh on Monday, July 7th, 2014 at 1.30pm to which friends and family are warmly invited, and afterwards at the family home at 14 Dean Park Crescent, Edinburgh, EH4 1PH.

The Eagle Pipers’ Society

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Match Report Tuesday 24th June 2014

A quiet night at the Eagles saw the P/M open events. He was followed by Ian Dewar, who, in turn, was followed by the resurrected Scott Thomson, who played the P/Ms pipe. Then it was back to the P/M. After pies Ian Dewar had another blast.

Welcome back Scott

Welcome back Scott

It has to be noted that Scott decided to make his Eagles debut by playing 3 jigs straight off the bat ending with the great Jig of Slurs. He then knocked off a couple of 2/4 marches before declaring that he was a bit rusty!

Excellent stuff Scott and once he gets his own pipe ‘sorted’ we hope to hear a lot more from him.

So where was everyone? Perhaps late June/July and August is just one of these periods where people are on holiday or immersed in pipeband practices that are omnipresent at this time of year?

trotting out a few polkas

trotting out a few polkas

Perhaps the Society should consider a summer hiatus and run from October to May?

It is one thing to be a member of a Society and quite another to support it. If the same people show up meeting after meeting it will stagnate. If you are sitting at home thinking others will go and keep things going, that is short sighted and will only lead to folly.

Remember the Society closed before. It can close again. You can take the horse to water but you can’t make it drink. There is a social platform available to pipers in Edinburgh.

You have been warned

How long for is up to you.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

 

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12th August – Extra Date for Worlds Week

To coincide with Piping Live and the lead up to the World Pipe Band Championships, we are holding a meeting on Tuesday 12th August.

The meeting on 5th August is now cancelled.  19th August will take place as normal.

 

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Match Report Tuesday 10th June 2014

UnknownWith the Hon. PM away on professional duties (yes we know he’s retired – but it seems there really is no rest for the wicked), the management of order of play fell to the Hon. Pres. The first piper invited up for a tune was Andrew Allison. “Where’s your mum tonight Andrew?” someone asked. “At home,” he replied and blew up his pipes. Less chat, more piping. The piping, it must be said, was very impressive – Andrew is clearly working hard and coming on in leaps and bounds. He treated us to a few traditional ¾, then 6/8 marches, and a big MSR – Jim McWilliams, Ewe wi’ the Crookit Horn, and Ca’ the Ewes, on a lovely steady bagpipe.

Long-time Eagles supporter Donald MacLeod was up next. I must apologise for not knowing the names of many of his tunes, and not finding out from him afterwards. But they were good! I know he started with Donald MacLean of Lewis and another 6/8 march, moved on to a slow air and an excellent set of small strathspeys and reels, then finished with another slow air and an impressive hat-trick of big jigs – John Paterson’s Mare, the Judges’ Dilemma, and the finger-perfect Shaggy Grey Buck.

Bamber

and your starter for ten………….

Donald in fine formAfter the pie break, it was my turn to have a go. I’d decided to take a leaf out of Peter McCallister’s book and do something a bit different – namely an Eagle Pipers pub quiz. The audience was asked to name all the tunes, and guess the theme, i.e. what all the tunes had in common – all for the super-desirable prize of a mid-range bottle of white wine, and of course the glory. Points were awarded for each tune based on how difficult I thought they would be to name. I got that a bit wrong, as there were a few one-pointers that no one got… Anyway, the tunes were: 4/4 march Mrs. Flora Duncan; a little scrap of the 1st variation of Lament for Mary MacLeod; 6/8 marches Miss Lily Christie and the Sweet Maid of Mull (got it yet?); a line of Praise of Morag; strathspeys Lady Loudon, Sarah Lawrie, and Linda Aumonier; reels Kelsey’s Wee Reel, Miss MacKay, and Margaret McCall; a smidgeon of Sobieski’s Salute; slow air Welcome to the World Annie; and finally the Ladies’ Hornpipe. The theme of course was that all the tunes are named after women (although it was hard to argue with Andrew Gray’s alternative guess, “All played on the great highland bagpipe”.)

P1020469

After totting up the points (which for most respondents didn’t take long, it must be said), the result was a fourth place finish by Craig Martin and Janne Hansen; a tie for second between Andrew Gray and the Gardiner/Hislop/Lindsay collaboration; and way out in front in first place was Donald MacLeod.

Thanks once again to all for indulging my geekiness – we’ll do it again later in the summer, but with a geographical twist this time.

The ultimate performance for the night was from Eagles newcomer Gordon Hislop, who had made the trek from Dundee to give us the evening’s piobaireachd. Gordon settled the pipes with a few marches, then got straight into it and gave us a very enjoyable The Glen is Mine. We hope Gordon will return and be a regular Eagle Pipers visitor and player.

Next gathering is 24th June at 8PM, should be pretty much exactly one hour after England’s third World Cup group-stage defeat. (Ok ok that was low, and with neither Scotland nor Canada in it, I’m in no position to poke fun. But I’m backing the Netherlands in the office pool so … so far so good.) See you on the 24th.

images-1

Jenny H

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Match Report Tuesday 27th May 2014

Once the P/M had broken the ice with a few more tunes from his repertoire Alan Harper took to the floor starting with the little heard ¾ The Heros of Osterbrook. After a few more tunes Alan concluded with the

Alan Harper

Alan Harper

great Ally Reese composition, Ceilidh Lines. Alan’s tempo was a bit slow but as he explained later he had been plucking up the courage to have a go at this tune for some time so well done say all.

Next for shaving was an Eagle new comer Michael Graham from Musselburgh. Michael goes to Tom Speirs for lessons and started his spot with the well-known 6/8 Donald McLean of Lewis. When he had settle down he set off into a double MSR with the great 2/4 marches The Clan McColl and The Crags of Stirling. An excellent inaugural performance and great to see Michael on the floor.

Iain Dewar

Iain Dewar

The pre pie piper was Iain Dewar who stated off with the 4/4 George Henry Gillies that was apparently composed by his son Pipe Sgt. Brian Gillies of the RSDG. Iain then went into the Willie Ross composition The Flight of the Eaglets also known as Lady McRoberts’ Lament. Following a fine rendition of the Royal Scot’s Polka Iain concluded his spot with the ground of The Lament of the Old Sword.

Michael Graham

Michael Graham

The post pie piper was none other than the Hon President himself, Colin MacLellan. The Eagle eyed amongst the audience quickly noticed that there was something slightly different about the pipe. A dark blue chanter. The Ayrfire had, I suspect, a bespoke red and white reed inside but this was not witnessed with the naked eye. Colin avoided slipping into The Sash My Father Wore and started his spot with a few waltzes. It has to be said that while these new coloured chanters seem to be in vogue just now the sound is certainly not affected and Colin’s pipe went from strength to strength. It settled so well that Colin gave us the ground and first couple of variations of the Lament for the Children. Once he had knocked that off he went into some competition bits and bobs starting with the very musical 2/4 Marches Leaving Lunga and Hugh Alexander Low of Tiree.IMG_0931

To end the evening it was left to Roddy Weir to give us the piobaireachd, The Groat. Roddy is obviously enjoying his retirement and it would not surprise me one bit if he picks up a few prizes this year. The bagpipe was again first class and he gave us a very musical interpretation of this tune.

Blue ?

Blue ?

The games are well under way and it is nice to see the Eagles holding their own with a first and second in the A Piob. at Blair Atholl. Well done Peter M and Jenny H.

Next meeting Tuesday 10th June.

Euan Anderson

Roddy playing The Groat

Roddy playing The Groat

Hon P/M

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