Match Report Tuesday 13th May 2014

The P/M got us under way with a wee tear in his eye as he celebrated his departure from the Scottish Police Service. Whether it was a tear of joy or sadness has yet to be determined but he did start off with some Jigs! Time now to address the golf handicap!

Next up was Lachie Dick who is in the middle of his exams so this was a bit of R and R. Lachie has recently been down in the Scottish Borders looking after the lieges down there. Good luck with the results LD. He was in fine form and ended a splendid spot with the jigs Donald McKillop and The Cameronian Rant.Lachie Dick

Peter Digby enjoying some tunes

Peter Digby enjoying some tunes

Peter Digby from South Africa was a welcome return visitor the Eagles and he gave us a very insightful update to the piping scene over there. (and the Oscar Pistorius trial!)

Pies. But before they were served the Hon Pres. presented a Society gift to the Pipe Major marking the end of his 32 years Police service-a bespoke Eagle Piper’s waistcoat. The Hon P/M immediately donned the resplendent vest and gave us a few tunes starting off with the well know 2/4 March, The Fight for Truth and Justice Goes On.

Colin presents the waistcoat to Euan

Colin presents the waistcoat to Euan

The post pie piper was Roddy Weir who was quickly into his stride starting with Lilly Christie and The Trees of North Uist. Roddy is going to have a great summer playing pipes and perusing his other love, Mountain Bike riding. (well done Mrs W for completing the Edinburgh marathon at the weekend)

Braw

Braw

The final piper of the evening was Andrew Gray who was on piobaireachd duties. Andrew gave us the Donald McLeod composition MacMhurich’s Salute that you will find on Donald’s Piobaireachd Tutorial Vol 4. This was a most welcome airing as this tune is not often heard out with the memorial competition arena. It has some very distinctive wee idiosyncrasies and Andrew made a very nice job of it.

Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray

And that was the evening s evening.

The Games are up and running and the Band season has started so good luck to all.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

P1030326

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Match Report 29th April 2014

In the absence of the Hon P/M, the evening got off to a prompt start with young Diarmid Lindsay playing a set of Sinclair pipes given to him in 1967 on his 21st birthday.  Diarmid is fresh from the prize list at The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society annual contest and tonight gave us a selection including the 4/4s Maggie’s Wedding (self-penned), Smith’s a Gallant Fireman, 8th Argyll’s Farewell to the 116th Regiment de Linge and Within a Mile o’ Edinburgh Toon.  Here is a photo of Diarmid taken recently.

 

RHS_PM D Lindsay

The Lindsay’s a Gallant Pipe Major

Another youngish member, Iain Dewar, played next on his immaculate looking and sounding silver and ivory Gillanders & McLeod drones – adorned with historic Royal Scots’ ribbons.  Iain finished a stirring selection of tunes with the ground of Beloved Scotland, one of the most evocative piobaireachd.

Tom Peterkin was Post Pie Piper.  Tom was remaining tight lipped about the identity of a piper he booked to play at his recent wedding who, just as the bride arrived at the altar, knocked a three foot crystal vase containing the bridal flowers onto the floor with his bass drone.  Tam is not sure who was more smashed.

The Mystery Wedding Smasher

The Mystery Wedding Smasher

Andy Gray gave a very musical selection before the headline act of the night, Nils Michael, rounded things off with the piobaireachd, Corrienessan’s Salute.  Having recently returned to a full cane set up, Nils overcame the distractions of a temperamental middle tenor to give a strong and musical rendition of this popular Silver Medal set tune.

 

 

 

Douglas Gardiner

 

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New Zealand-Hasting Highland Games 2014

The 2014 Hasting Highland Games saw our own International Eagle Tracey Williams lift the 56th Gold Medal and we will be sure to raise a glass to celebrate her success this Tuesday. Tracey has been kind enough to give us a ‘match report’ and her own thoughts on the events of the day that you can read after the brief contest report. I see there is scant information about the post contest celebration but then again perhaps she cant recall?

Greig Wilson

Greig Wilson

Greg Wilson won the Clasp and the Overall A Grade Light Music at the 2014 Annual Hastings Highland Games, considered the pinnacle of piobaireachd competitions in New Zealand. Tracey Williams, recently returned from Scotland, picked up the 56th Gold Medal with the Desperate Battle. Andrew Edwards claimed the Silver Medal, Hamish Dick won the Under 21 NZ Championship Piobaireachd, and Braden Mills won the Bronze Medal.

Greg also picked up the Strathspey and Reel, double 2/4 Marches and was placed second in the Hornpipe and Jig. Liam Kernaghan won the A Grade MSR, the 2/4 March, and was second in the Strathspey and Reel. Brendon Eade captured the Hornpipe and Jig and the 6/8 March, and placed second in the Clasp, A MSR, the 2/4 March, and the double 2/4 Marches. Stuart Easton, Jamie Hawke, George Mason, Marion Horsburgh and William Rowe took the rest of the prizes. In the B Grade, Scott Marshall won most points, and Timothy Dudley from Nelson won the C Grade overall.

All piobaireachd events were judged by Brian Switalla and Iain Hines. All the A Grade light music was judged by Stewart McKenzie.

Gold Clasp Piobaireachd

1st Greg Wilson

2nd Brendon Eade

3rd Stuart Easton

4th Marion Horsburgh

Tracey Williams

Tracey Williams

56th Gold Medal Piobaireachd

1st Tracey Williams

2nd Daniel Milosavijevic

3rd Willie Rowe

4th Liam Kernaghan

Silver Medal Piobaireachd

1st Andrew Edwards

2nd Donella May

3rd Lewis Gibson

4th Anna Smart

Under 21 NZ Championship Piobaireachd

1st Hamish Dick

2nd Anna Smart

3rd Nicola Thomson

4th Cameron Richardson

A Grade 6/8 March

1st Brendon Eade

2nd Stuart Easton

3rd George Mason

4th Liam Kernaghan

A Grade MSR

1st Liam Kernaghan

2nd Brendon Eade

3rd Stuart Easton

4th Jamie Hawke

A Grade 2/4 March

1st Liam Kernaghan

2nd Brendon Eade

3rd Greg Wilson

4th Marion Horsburgh

A Grade 2 x 2/4 Marches


1st Greg Wilson

2nd Brendon Eade

3rd Stuart Easton

4th Jamie Hawke

A Grade Open Hornpipe & Jig

1st Brendon Eade

2nd Greg Wilson

3rd Jamie Hawke

4th Willie Rowe

A Grade Strathspey and Reel


1st Greg Wilson

2nd Liam Kernaghan

3rd Stuart Easton

4th Jamie Hawke

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Our agent in the field, Tracey Williams

‘It’s Tuesday night in Scotland, and it’s the school holidays. This combination usually means that I head for the Scots Guards Club prepared with an overnight bag and ready to twist the rubber arms of the Hon. Pres. and the Hon. P/M. The evening typically ends around 4am at the lovely home of the Hon. Pres. with an assortment of excellent drams having been duly sampled, tunes having been discussed and the world generally put to rights.

How different this Tuesday evening is for me, as it is in fact Wednesday morning, and I am drinking a cup of tea in the early morning sunshine listening to bird song. I’m in the house in which I grew up; made my tea in the kitchen which saw me practice various steps as a clumsy, over-sized Highland dancer; sitting in the lounge which heard me pull the pipes from the box for the very first time and attempt my first honking. On the dining table at which I have eaten countless meals as soon as I was too big for a high chair, completed homework and sewed many an ill-fated garment, there are currently displayed two lovely trophies and a gold medal – my own.

Easter time in New Zealand sees one of the nation’s biggest and most prestigious gatherings of pipers and dancers at the Hawke’s Bay Easter Highland Games in my hometown of Hastings. This year, around 90 pipers travelled from all over the country to compete in the two-day “Games” which includes a very comprehensive programme of piobaireachd events.

Jason Craig TW and Tom Glover

Jason Craig, TW and Tom Glover Pre contest

It could be described as perhaps the Argyllshire Gathering or Northern Meeting of New Zealand, and is quite grueling in a different way: instead of waiting for hours for one’s turn to play and trying to preserve energy and focus for the optimum moment, there are fewer competitors in each class, but a mind-boggling array of events.

In the A grade, competitors face a 6/8 March, a 2/4 March, a Double 2/4 March, a March Strathspey and Reel, a Strathspey and Reel, and a Hornpipe and Jig. And that’s on top of any piobaireachd event. In other grades competitors face a similar array of events, and the piobaireachd events provide the most extensive competition opportunities I have seen anywhere: Clasp, Gold Medal, Silver Medal, Bronze Medal as well as D Grade and Novice Piobaireachd.

The weekend started on the Friday night with the Clasp event for former winners of the Gold Medal. Big tunes were set this year – Scarce of Fishing, Patrick Og MacCrimmon’s Lament, Lament for Lady Margaret MacDonald, Nameless Cherede Darievea, Battle of the Pass of Crieff, Donald Gruamach’s March were all heard on the night.

Greg Wilson was the winner on the night, and we all marveled at his apparently self-tuning drones. They wandered out slightly as there was a pretty big temperature differential between tuning room and stage, but magically retuned themselves!

In amongst all that Light Music on the Saturday, it was my turn to battle the air conditioning in the auditorium for the Gold Medal piobaireachd event. Armed with hair drier, mops and rags, I went forth with The Desperate Battle, and managed to get it fairly well all in the shape I wanted it. With this tune, I was lucky enough to win the Gold Medal, ahead of some very fine tunes from my colleagues.IMG_0871

Being the sentimental kind of girl that I am, it felt like quite a big deal for me: This “Home-Coming” tune and resulting success. I am facing a constant internal barrage of thoughts of what was, what has been, what I have left, what is, and what might be. I carried with me on to the competition platform last weekend thoughts of so many friends and influences who have been with me at various stages of my piping career – all whom I have learned from in so many different ways. I felt a very acute sense of duty to play well alongside the desire to do so, and to have been recognised in this way is very humbling.

IMG_0873Last night, I was out for dinner with a friend who attended a prize giving with me when I won some B grade prizes last century! She can clearly remember me being in awe of the Gold Medal winners of the day, and to think that I am now that Gold Medalist is a rather odd sensation. There is still such a long way to go and so much to learn!

Next weekend will see me travel to Adelaide in Australia for the R.U. Brown competition, and shortly after that, to Dunedin for some more piobaireachd-ing…

Another Scottish summer and a few more Eagle Pipers sessions?? Who knows?!?!

SAMSUNG CSC

 

 

 

 

 

TW

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Match report Tuesday 15th April 2014

Jenny HazzardWith the P/M suffering from ‘gardening hands’ having attempted to do all his annual gardening in one week, he relinquished the opening slot to Jenny Hazzard who did not take long at all to get into her stride. Jenny has mastered the Eagles slots in that the pipe does not have to be in perfect tune straight out the box.  Just play a few wee tunes and they will come in and then ten minutes of repertoire. Once her pipes settled she gave us the lovely 2/4 marches David Ross of Rosehall and John McColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage. Kilbowie Cottage was one of John Burgess’s favourites and he was in the habit of giving the opening C grip that wee bit extra length just to give it style and panache. I think the tune is in John MacLellan’s book ‘More music for the Highland Bagpipe’. Jenny then went into some competition strathspeys and reels before closing with Roddy MacDonald’s waltz from Good Drying, Abercrombie Place followed by a couple of jigs.

Next up was Tom Peterkin who has a great repertoire of old different tunes. His opening selection contained Daft Donald and as we had 2 Donald’s in the audience we were spoil for choice for some banter. Tom then went into the great 2/4 Marches Millbank Cottage, composed by P/M William Dumbreck and Conon Bridge, composed by GS MacLennan.Tom Peterkin

Pies and a wee chat.

The post pie piper was Roddy Weir who is in transition from army life back into ‘civvie street’. He was on his new personalised bag the ‘RW’ sheepskin. The new Red Welt bags are made locally in Edinburgh and the skin was of the highest quality. We await Roddy’s longer-term report but this could be a serious competitor in the market place. Roddy’s pipe was immaculate as he deftly stepped his way through the light music before giving us the robust A Flame of Wrath for Patrick Caogach. An excellent performance on a great pipe.

Roddy Weir

Roddy Weir

The following are a couple of options with regards the history of the tune

Donald Mòr had a brother who lived in Glenelg who was known by the name of Patrick Caog, on account of a squint or defect in one of his eyes. This young man had a quarrel with his foster brother, a native of Kintail. Sometime after the dispute, while he was in the act of washing his face, in a burn or rivulet adjoining his dwelling, the Kintail man came behind him, and treacherously with his dirk gave him a mortal blow. This being made known to Donald Mòr at Dunvegan, he prepared to revenge the untimely death of his brother, and taking his Pipes up to MacLeod’s room, he threw them on the bed. MacLeod surprised, demanded to know what had occurred.

In few words he related to him the affair, when the laird pacified the enraged Piper, and promised him, on condition of his remaining at home, to see justice done before the expiration of twelve months. Macleod thought that his wrathful Piper would forget the cruel murder by that time, and allow his ire to abate; but such was not the case, for on the termination of the twelve months, he set out himself for Glenelg, without informing any one of his intention; and finding on his arrival there that the murderer of his brother had gone to Kintail, he pursued his journey thither.

The offender, having been apprised of his arrival, concealed himself in the house of a friend; and the inhabitants of the village not choosing to deliver him up, MacCrimmon was so enraged, that he resolved to set their houses on fire,–a resolution which he found an opportunity of carrying into effect that night, and burned eighteen of their houses, which caused the loss of several lives. (This is called Lasan Phadruig Chaog, or a flame of wrath for Squinting Peter). Donald then made his escape to Lord Rea’s country, where he remained for some time under the protection of Donald Duaghall Mackay, afterwards Lord Rea, with whom he had been formerly acquainted.’

OR

One of the MacCruimeins, a celebrated musician known by the cognomen of Padruig

Caogach, owing, we suppose, to his inveterate habit of twitching or winking with his eyes, was about that time composing a new pipe tune. Two years had elapsed since the first two measures of it had become known and popular, but owing to its unfinished state it was called “Am Port Leathach”. Some of the greatest poets have experienced more difficulty in supplying a single line or couplet than in the structure and harmonisation of an entire piece.

Musicians, too, have experienced similar perplexities, and Padruig Caogach had fairly stuck.

The embryo tune was everywhere chanted and everywhere applauded, but no—the genius of composition seemed to exult at a distance and to wink at Caogach’s perplexity. 

Tender of his brother piper’s reputation, our blind author set to work and finished the tune, which he called “Lasan Phadruig Chaogaich,” or Padruig Caogach’s Flame of Wrath, thus nobly renouncing any share of the laudation that must have followed upon the completion of the admired strain. Patrick, finding his peculiar province usurped by a blind beardless youth, bribed the other apprentices to do away with his rival’s life. This they attempted while walking with John at Dun Boreraig, where they threw their blind friend over a precipice twenty-four feet in height. John alighted on his feet and suffered no material injury. The place over which he was precipitated… is yet recognised as “Leum an Doill”. The completion of “Lasan Phadruig Chaogaich” procured great praise for our young musician, and gave rise to the following well-known proverb, “Chaidh am foghlumaiche os cionn Mhic Cruimein,” that is, the apprentice outwits the master.’

Take your pick. And that was the evenings evening.

There are piobaireachd slots available for those wishing a run in front of an audience in preparation for the games. Just drop me a line at euananderson@me.com

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 1st April.

April Fool. Who got caught? The hens laying square eggs, that featured on breakfast TV raised a smile, but gave an early warning not to be duped later in the day.

The weather was dreadful and Manchester United were playing in Europe but that did not stop the worthies turning out and what a great night we had.

Andrew going through his paces

Andrew going through his paces

Once the P/M had broken the ice young Andrew Allison took to the floor under the watchful eye of mama Allison. Andrew has great hands and is very musical. The next big step for him is to move away from a big band instrument to something more refined for the solo world but boy can he play. Once settled he gave us the Donald McLeod composition P/M J. McWilliams, followed by Maggie Cameron and The Brown Haired Maiden. Later in the evening Iain Speirs also played P/M J McWilliams so here’s a bit about the tune and the man himself.

Donald MacLeod wrote the following inscription on the original copy of his composition: ‘Jim, this is the only way I can show my appreciation of your interest in youth and the Great Highland Bagpipe’.  Donald.

Jim McWilliams was born on May 31st, 1938 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, in the heart of the prairies. He spent much of his early life in a homesteader’s lean-to perched above a bend of the Moose Jaw Creek.

In 1956, he enlisted in the Canadian Army as a Piper destined for the Black Watch of Canada. Things didn’t work out that way, he emerged from Camp Borden, Ontario, as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, and with a B.A. in English and History from the University of Saskatchewan.

Jim devoted much of his free time topiping and he compiled a “History of Piping” to be used at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts in the Piping and Drumming School, which he founded.

Ironed ?

Ironed ?

Next for shaving was Tom Peterkin who it has to be said, despite the presence of a Mrs Peterkin, is maintaining his usual standards in the dress and deportment front! Once Tom had talked to his bass drone and the pipe was settled he gave is the lovely Pipe Major Sandy Spence-Atholl Highlanders followed by Achany Glen (A wooded glen in Sutherland, that occupies the valley of the River Shin between Loch Shin and the River Oykel). He then went into some 6/8s that included the little heard (General) Wades Welcome to Inverness that is to be found in the G.S. McLennan collection under the name Lillie Long-Wade’s Welcome to Inverness composed by P/M Robert Meldrum.

Craig SutherlandThe PPP was Craig Sutherland who was keen to get onto the floor and run through some of his repertoire before his knock out semi final at the SGC on Sunday 13th April. The Eagles is ideal for this as it gives the competition piper a chance to blood himself in a friendly but informed environment. It’s all about controlling the nerves to prevent the brown trousers being required or indeed the Jannies sawdust. Craig’s dad was there for support. Mind you I wonder if the parents are sometimes more nervous than their offspring? I know Ian Drummond is a wreck when Cameron plays.

Anyway Craig was in sparkling form as he trotted through some pretty heavy stuff on a first class pipe. Included were some 6/8 marches, The Braemar Gathering and the Trees of North Uist followed by two Gordon Duncan compositions, that I would describe as marching hornpipes. I think the first one was The Gladiator? He concluded his set with a cluster of wee strathspeys and reels and is clearly in fine form this early in the season.iain Speirs

Iain Speirs was on next and once he had wished everyone a Happy New Year got the pipe out. It’s been a busy start to 2014 for Iain and this was his first visit, very timely as he was heading to Stornoway for the Donald McLeod memorial at the weekend. He settled the pipe down very quickly with some 3/4s that included the Gavin Stoddard composition, The Road to Passchendaele. (The Battle of Passchendaele was a campaign of the first world fought by the British and their allies against the German Empire The battle took place on the Western Front, between July and November 1917, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders.

Iain then stepped through his light music competition tunes on a bagpipe that is fast becoming his signature.

Craig Martin

Craig Martin

To round off the evening we had Craig Martin on the Piobaireachd who was suitably attired in highland dress and ready for action. Craig started by heading up the stairs to tune for his slot and then came down and headed straight into an MSR. He then gave us a Hornpipe and Jig, The Train Journey North and John Patterson’s Mare. After a few minute he gave us a very nice Wee Spree and all was well until the last few bars when water kicked in. Again a valuable lesson learned at the Eagles about knowing your pipe and playing in different environments. Certainly it did not detract from Craig’s performance on the night but it would have cost him dear in a contest. Craig is going from strength to strength though and I would not be surprised to see him in the prizes this season.

And that was the evenings evening.

See you all in two weeks time, Tuesday 15th and don’t forget the Knock Out at the Scots Guards Club on Sunday 13th 16.00 KO.

Oh and congratulations to Raith Rovers. :)

Euan Anderson Hon P/M.

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Match report Tuesday 18th March 2014

After a great piping weekend that saw our own Donald McLeod lead the organisation of a hugely successful Duncan Johnstone memorial competition (the results can be found on Pipes and Drums) and Margaret Dunn making it through to the final of the KO competition at the Scots Guards Club last Sunday it was business as usual at the Eagles where the P/M led the way with a few opening tunes. With retrial from the police just days away he will have plenty of time to broaden the repertoire, get his handicap down and take in a few ‘Games’ over the summer.

Sherlock

Retiral. What next?

Willie-Ross-1909-391Next up was Robbie Ross who competed at the weekend in the C Grade. Robbie was in fine form and having settled the pipe with some competition light music that included Brigadier General Lorne Campbell V.C. of Akarit, The Crags of Stirling, Captain Duncan MacGregor, The Man from Glengarry and Thomson’s Dirk, he rather unexpectedly sailed off into The Gathering of the McNab’s. A very welcome and solid rendition. Robbie has recently become a parent and is the proud father of Willie Ross-no pressure there then !

Next for shaving was Jim Cooper, who settle the pipe with some 6/8s before starting a 3-4 set with the little heard ‘Scotland For Me’. Perhaps a referendum favourite?P1030274

Craig Martin was the post pie piper and he started off with The Garb of Old Gaul. This tune is said to date from 1759 when the 42nd Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch) returned from service in North America, where they lost over 300 officers. Recruiting parties were sent into the north to swell the ranks, the incentive to wear the Highland dress. According to General Stewart of Garth, a Gaelic song ‘In the Garb of Old Gaul’ (in the highland dress) was composed by a soldier of the 42nd to mark the success of the recruiting campaign.

Major John Reid, an accomplished musician, arranged the song as a march for the military band of the regiment.”

Craig also played some competition stuff starting off with The Knightswood Ceilidh and Major David Manson at Clachantrushal.

IMG_0742Next up was Cameron Drummond who due to work commitments was making his first appearance at the Eagles this year. He quickly settled his pipe and played a slow air, Lullaby for Mel, that had an unusual structure that I suspect a band could do a lot with. He then hammered out 4 of the best jigs I have ever heard. Angus John McNeil of Barra, Drew James MacIntosh, Angus Sutherland and The Blue Lagoon. Hardly pausing for breath he launched himself into The Braes of Castle Grant, the very tricky Glengarry Gathering, Mrs Duncan MacFadyen and the Lochaber Gathering. Four competition strathspeys followed and just when we though we were in for a 4x4x4 he played a cocktail of small reels to finish. It was simply marvellous.

It’s a fickle old game, the piping, but surely with a bit of application to the set tunes Cameron will be one of the major threats this year in the medals and the big MSR contests. On that note he is presenting his selected tunes at the Piobaireachd Society Conference this weekend in Burnam. Roddy McLeod and Michael Elder are doing the same. Quite an usual idea to have the current competitors giving their thoughts and playing bits and bobs from the tunes. It should be very interesting.

Nils was the brave man that had to follow Cameron but its clear that we are heading into the competitive season as he too was quickly into the big stuff giving us Mrs john McColl, The Conundrum, Blair Drummond, Lady Louden, McAlister’s Dirk and Duntroon.IMG_0744

IMG_0751Last, but by no means least, was Douglas Gardiner or Mad Posh Dougie, as Tracey Williams recently christened him. TW was supping a dram (or two) and having a touch of ‘home sickness’ when she declared she was missing everyone and reminiscing about good times especially with ‘that Mad Posh Dougie’ So with great affection Douglas Gardiner MPD took to the floor and gave us a superb Viscount of Dundee on an immaculate bagpipe. A wonderful tune, full of music and a great way to close a great night.

See you in two weeks time.

Euan Anderson

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The Piobaireachd Society annual conference and AGM will be held on the weekend of 22/23 March in the Birnam Hotel. 

Hopefully competing pipers will want to attend the Saturday sessions especially. All welcome.  No need to be a member of the Piobaireachd Society.  Booking for the conference is via the College of Piping.  Day attendees are welcome and can turn up on the day without prior booking.

Saturday 22nd March

Some aspects of the teaching of Bob Nicol and Bob Brown: an oral history   James Beaton

Preparing for Competition   Murray Henderson

Set Tunes Demonstration    Roddy MacLeod, Cameron Drummond, Michael Elder

Opinions on the development of Piobaireachd   Allan Hamilton from Piper’s Persuasion Interviews

Sunday 23rd March

Settings.  How do we explain the differences?     Barnaby Brown

AGM

The conference will be preceded by the College of Piping Lecture at 7.30pm in the same venue on Friday evening 21st March.  Jonathan Gillespie will talk on James Campbell.  

Pipers Euan MacCrimmon (Lament for the Earl of Antrim, Lament for Mary MacLeod) and Jack Taylor (Salute to James Campbell, Lachlan MacNeill Kintarbert’s Fancy)  

Tickets on the night or from the College of Piping.

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Slow Air and Jig Competition 4th March 2014

Not even a table festooned with wonderful prizes could attract a major turnout but as they say, size is not everything, and what a wee cracker of a competition wee had.

As the Hon President took entries, made the draw and added the final touches to the evening Lachie Dick played a few introductory tunes to warm up the audience. Lachie’s mum was making her first appearance at the Eagles and without putting any undue pressure on her son she immediately declared a fondness for Hendricks gin-one of the prizes.

Lachie Dick

Lachie Dick

Joshua Townsley, who has grown about 6 inches since his last visit to the Eagles, also gave us a few tunes including a nicely phrased ground and doubling of MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart.

As the first competitor got himself ready Colin announced the only rule of the competition. ‘Tune for longer than you play and lose 10 points.’

The judge for the evening, the Hon P/M, ensconced himself in a comfy seat ensuring that he was well catered for in the Guinness department.

The T shirt

The T shirt

First up was Lachie Dick who played Lament for Red Iain (Tuireadh Iain Ruadh) and Donald McKillop- This great Jig was composed by Pipe Major Alexander “Sandy” Hain. McKillop was a piper in the Perth British Legion Pipe band who apparently was a jocular fellow and well liked. Hain composed the tune in his honour.

So we were off to a great start as Lachie’s Air was full of music and the Jig had a cracking tempo. All played on a very nice pipe. He did not score all that well on the dress and deportment front, wearing loud brown brogues that could have been used in one of the Winter Olympic events-none the less he did his mum proud.

Iain Dewar

Iain Dewar

Next for shaving was Iain Dewar who is trying to rival the Hon P/M on the dapper stakes! As coincidence would have it he also played Lament for Red Iain but gave us an entirely different interpretation. He followed this with a sprightly Troy’s Wedding. Great drones.

Joshua Townsley was next up and although not dressed in Highland attire he did try and distract the judge with a somewhat provocative T –shirt. JT played a ‘nameless’ Gaelic Air-OK he couldn’t remember the name but then again once he had played we all struggled to find the title. This was followed by an excellent Thief of Lochaber (Meurlach Loch Abair). You can find this tune in Donald McLeod’s book 3 and the great man himself wrote the 3rd and 4th parts to this traditional tune. JT prides himself in playing a well-tuned and balanced pipe and tonight was no exception.

Jim Cooper

Jim Cooper

The pre pie competitor was Jim Cooper, a stalwart of the Glencorse Pipe Band,  gave us the air, Walking on Air and two-2 parted jigs, Wee Buns, composed by Richard Parkes and The Pony Gallop (M Forsyth). Jim is a regular at the Eagles but does not often give us a tune so it was a real treat to hear him play.

The pies were well received and gave everyone time to talk about the ‘walk of shame’ awards. There was heated debate about the two main contenders, Hightower (Andrew Gray) for being at the Eagles without pipe and thus not talking part and our Head of Communications, Douglas Gardiner, who apparently was at home entertaining his wife’s (Lucy Vanreenan) relatives. The ‘bowed and cowed’ award went to Douglas while Andrew picked up the ‘glass half empty’ trophy.

Jenny

Jenny

Jenny Hazzard was our post pie competitor and looking like a new pin, resplendent in a newish kilt-the tartan escapes me- she would have been the front-runner for the D and D prize if there had been one. Her pipe and playing was a match and she trotted out an immaculate Samantha’s Lullaby, composed by Arthur Gillies followed by Angus John MacNeil of Barra, a 9/8 slip jig composed by A J MacNeil. Hopefully this was a case of a father composing a tune for his son and not the man himself writing a tune for himself. If you know let me know.

Craig Martin

Craig Martin

Up next was Craig Martin who decided to be brave and bold giving us the Air, Long Shall I Return and 8 parts of the Cameronian Rant. While his drones were somewhat bold (a discussion post event) he played a lovely Air and a cracked out the ‘Rant’ managing to hit all 4 consecutive birls in the last part.

The final competitor was the recently married Tom Peterkin. This was actually Tom’s second competition since getting married 4 weeks ago. A clear marker of intent to the new Mrs. Peterkin. Well-done Tom. Tell Douglas how it’s done. Due to Tom’s lovely jovial demeanor you can easily forget that he is a journalist, indeed a Political Editor, and as such conversant with scurrilous tactics and strategies that may achieved the desired result.

Tom P

Tom P

On his usual quiet sweet pipe Tom played Morag of Dunvegan followed by the Iain C Cameron tune Islay Charms.

And that was that. The audience was well sated and the top awards went to

Jenny Hazzard

Lachies mum

mum has secured the gin

Lachie Dick     (mum got her Gin)

Craig Martin

P1030286Thanks to Colin for organising and of course to those who played. An annual event for sure.

Dates for the diary-

Saturday 15th March-Duncan Johnstone Memorial Piping Competition – separate B & C grade streams – Piobaireachd and Light Music.

Sunday 16th March-1st Semi final of the knock out competition-Scot’s Guards Club 16.00hrs  Margaret Dunn v George Seewart

See you all in two weeks time.

Etg

Hon P/M

2 Comments

March 7, 2014 · 12:03 am