Match Report 23rd July 2013

The Hon P/M

The Hon P/M

After 19 days straight Mediterranean style weather did it all have to come to a shuddering halt on the night of an Eagles meeting? Thunder and lightening big time, but truth to tell we needed it. To get rid of the stifling air and refresh the lungs the rain was much needed. The ‘golf course’ was also grateful.

Predictably the slow trickle of people, who were brave enough to come out and play, arrived a bit late. Trouble with the trains! As if our rail transport is not use to operating in such conditions!

By the time the P/M had finished his opening spot there were quite a few in the audience including the Hon President who was in the last day of his 54th year. The birthday card and now traditional cake was presented and to celebrate he decided to have a tune on Jenny’s pipe. However after a few tuning phrases and a 6/8 he declared the pipe was a bit too strong for him. The P/M cocked an eyebrow and ordered the birthday boy a saucer of milk from the bar. With more than a touch of chagrin he took to the floor for a second time and did slightly better before his lips gave way. This was all of course Jenny’s fault.  (See footnote *)

The Murrayfiled Marshall

The Murrayfield Marshall

Tracey made the journey, avoiding the lightning on the M8, and was in excellent fettle. She introduced herself to Chris Grieve, misheard his name and someone said ‘Christopher Reeve, as in Superman?’ No Grieve. He remained Superman for the rest of the night and somehow it might stick. A few minutes ‘High Tower’ (Andrew Gray) walked in and we had a wee chat about nicknames and movies. Is it not strange that some people are known all their lives by their nicknames and sometimes we forget their real names? There are more than a few in the piping world…………

Liz  Cherry

Liz Cherry

The post pie piper was Liz Cherry from Pittsburg. Liz got straight into her stride and once the pipe had settled down gave us the ground and a couple of variations of Lady McDonald.

The final player of the night was another Pittsburgonian/ Pittsburger/ Pittsburgite-whatever- Nick Hudson. Both Liz and Nick are members of the Pipes and Drums of Carnegie Mellon University.

Bagpiping has been an integral part of the campus life at Carnegie Mellon University since 1939. The Kiltie Band was started by Lewis W. Davidson and each year students who were interested in learning to play the bagpipes could enroll.

In 1985, James H. McIntosh MBE, a world-renowned piper, assumed the position as director of the pipe band. During his tenure, it was proposed that Carnegie Mellon institutionalize bagpipes as a legitimate major in its Conservatory of Music. Mr. Elden Gatwood, artist-lecturer of oboe, approached the department head, Marilyn Taft Thomas, with a proposal that bagpipes be formalized as a major and hire Mr. James McIntosh to teach it

Nick Hudson

Nick Hudson

Mr. Gatwood, a bagpiping student of Mr. McIntosh, spoke of his extraordinary gifts as a teacher and his international reputation as a bagpipe performer.

“The entire tradition of the campus has been celebratory bagpiping. It makes sense for us to acknowledge bagpipes as a legitimate musical instrument. While there are bagpipe teachers around the world, what Carnegie Mellon offers is a program of study where a person can get a complete grounding in music as well as specific instruction on the instrument” (Thomas, M.T. 1991). 

The faculty supported the idea with enthusiasm and the proposal was accepted. Prior to this program, no opportunities existed anywhere in the world for the serious student to study bagpiping at a bachelor’s degree level.

Director Andrew Carlisle leads the Carnegie Mellon Pipes and Drums, which is made up entirely of current university students and alumni. Carlisle is also the professor in charge of the bagpipe major in the School of Music.

The band performs frequently at official university events and has also made a welcomed return to the competition platform where it has won Highland Games at the South Maryland Celtic Festival and at the Colonial Highland Gathering at Fair Hill, MD. In 2012 the band was invited to perform as the Guest Band at the New Hampshire Highland Games held at the Loon Mountain Ski Resort where the band performed to over 25,000 spectators and also at the world famous “Celtic Classic” festival in Bethlehem, PA where crowds of over 200,000 lined the streets.

Jimmy teaching at the University

Jimmy teaching at the University

Nick is a former pupil of Jimmy McIntosh and is over here picking up a few tips at the College of Piping. He played some lovely light music to settle his pipe down before giving us a robust rendition of MacDougall’s Gathering.

In the 1700′s and into the mid-1800s MacDougalls maintained a Piping School called The Piper’s Croft near Oban. It is possible that MacDougall’s Gathering was composed by a MacDougall of that period. However, there is uncertainty about which MacDougall and, also, uncertainty about the tune’s name – a question being, was it originally called a Salute as has been suggested?

Given the history of the Clan, it is possible that the tune goes back much further in time, possibly 200 or 300 years earlier. It seems the tune was nameless and that it was resurrected and named by someone, maybe one of the fine MacDougall piper⁄composers of the Piper’s Croft would have been a likely candidate for that task.

With the opening notes, one can imagine oneself on a castle turret calling the Clan to the Chieftain. Face south and sound a quick call on the pipe, then west, then north, then east and then launch into the ground of the tune. That opening statement certainly speaks the language of a true Gathering when given a particular emphasis.

No matter the history Nick gave us a splendid performance and did the tune justice.

And that was that.

The Scottish championship’s are at Dumbarton this Saturday so good luck to everyone. Hope the weather holds up !!

See you all in 2 weeks time.

Euan Anderosn

Hon Pipe Major.

* Some 48 hours after the event I received an email from the Hon President claiming that he had discovered a large hole in Jenny’s bag, hence his predicament on Tuesday. I can smell it. Can you?

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Grade 1 Edinburgh ???

http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/features/lothian-and-borders-police-pipe-band-disappears-as-ex-major-looks-back-1-2994364

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Match Report 9th July 2013

Summer attire ?

Summer attire ?

A slightly better attendance had the P/M in a better mood as he got the evening off to a good start with a wide variety of light music. With the weather in the high 20’s the P/M abandoned Highland attire and was sporting a rather natty pair of summer shorts. Unfortunately the cameraman was not up to snuff and a dress and deportment moment was lost.

Next up was Tracey Williams who despite protestation about the pipe not being quite right and blowing in a new reed gave a smashing wee selection finishing off with a couple of competition 2/4 marches. Needless to say the pipe was rock solid.

TW doing her stuff

TW doing her stuff

Lachie Dick, fresh from Pipe Band success, hit the floor running and on another excellent pipe gave us The

In fine form

In fine form

Conundrum followed by Susan McLeod/Maggie Cameron/The Grey Bob and Miss Proud.

Nils was up next and he settled down with Mrs John MacColl and Willie Laurie’s -The Braes of Brecklett, before giving us the ground and a couple of variations of Fair Honey.

Pies (washed down with ice cold cider) yum.

Next for shaving was the star of the night, 13 year old Harry McLachlan from Aberfeldy. No dress and deportment faux pas here as Harry was turned out immaculately and he proceeded to give a polished show to match the

Nils struts his stuff

Nils struts his stuff

appearance. Once the pipe was settled he played a very professional Kilbowie Cottage/Caledonian Society of London and Mrs MacPherson of Inveran. He then went into a couple of very tricky jigs, The Loch Ness Monster and The Old Woman’s Dance. Flawless. To finish off his spot he played the piobaireachd Catherine’s Lament. A real treat and worthy of the rapturous applause at the end.

Thanks for making the effort Harry. Hope to see you soon.

Harry Linklater

Harry McLachlan

The piob however was not over as the final player of the night, Donald MacLeod, played the ground and opening variations of Patrick Og MacCrimmon. One of the great tunes-no doubt. Donald was also wearing shorts but they were a rather dull, plain, practical pair of combatty type things. The cameraman did not bother.

And that was the evenings evening. Everyone sauntered off into the night with the weekends games on their mind, Balloch and Roseneath. There was also a suggestion of golf.

Is there a finer country in the world other then Scotland when the sun is shining and birds are singing? I think not.

Factor 25 at the ready for the 2 Open Marshall’s who will be in situ throughout the Championship at hole 17. Quiet please.

Muirfield awaits

Muirfield awaits

Euan Anderson

Hon PM

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Match Report 25th June 2013

Euan kicking the evening off

Euan kicking the evening off

And then there were 2……..

The match report won’t take long as there is not much to report! 

Two pipers-the P/M and the guest Piobaireachd player for the evening, Peter McAlister. 

The audience numbered 8 including one tourist, Katie Forsythe from Seattle. She just dropped in and despite having no piping connections was enthralled by the evening. Well, at least there was one.

The P/M kicked the evening off and gave a mini recital before handing the floor over to Peter at 20.45hrs. The pies were put on hold as an early evening was anticipated.

Peter warmed up with some very musical light music. The tunes were- jigs, Mill in the Glen, plus 8 parts of Drops of Brandy (Gordon Mooney smallpipes setting), then a wee slow air called ‘something with the name “Mary” in it ‘ (Hamish Moore arrangement), followed by Highland Harry and the reel DJS Murray.

Peter in excellent form

Peter in excellent form

With the pipe settled and sounding like an organ Peter gave us Dungallon’s Lament. Interestingly also known as The Young Laird of Dungallon’s Salute. The tune is from the McArthur’s manuscript. (1820)

In his own inimitable way Peter introduced the tune by handing out sheet music and talked us through the various idiosyncrasies of the tune including the redundant low A that Peter declared he was leaving out this time round. He then proceeded to give us one of the most musical and interesting performances I have heard at the Eagles and the tune and Peter’s interpretation were quite outstanding. You can hear his introduction at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hLmiQ8a1oQ&feature=youtu.be

and the performance at 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBjy7Xh_G90&feature=youtu.be

Dungallon's Lament

Dungallon’s Lament

Very disappointing that so few were there to listen to this new “old” tune.

And that was the evenings evening. A quick pie and into the night by 10.

With nearly 400 Facebook members and a very healthy UK membership the Eagle’s are slipping into the time honoured tradition of Piping Society complacency. It’s not the first time we have had poor turn out and more and more it is the same faces showing up.

Unless you/we are careful some key people will not hang around to watch it stagnate and go into anther period of redundancy.

It’s up to you folks.

where were you?

where were you?

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report – 11th June 2013 – Vale of Atholl Visit

The Vale of Atholl

The Vale of Atholl

Tuesday 11th June was Vale of Atholl night at EP. The band was in place, suited, booted and good to go at 8pm.  The contingent starting off proceedings comprised seven pipers led by P/M Adrian Cramb and including what appeared to be some of the younger representatives, two snare drummers, a tenor, a bass, and the band mascot and host for the evening, former P/M Ian Duncan.  It was brought to the attention of all that Craig Sutherland, who had organised for the band to attend EP, had failed to show.  Shame. 

Ian Duncan

Ian Duncan

The band started out with some nice 3/4 marches with harmonies, some of which Ian told us were written by Alistair Henderson (aka the Altar of Craic).  Next up was a dynamic and musical March, Strathspey and Reel:  Hugh Kennedy, the Atholl Cummers and John Morrison, then the first half of a medley selection.  It was great to have Ian announcing the tunes and giving a bit of information on them.  The medley tunes included the Pipers Inn (thought to possibly be a hostelry in New Zealand) by RS MacDonald, some strathspeys including a Michael Grey composition, the Gordon Duncan reel Break Yer Bass Drone, and a new RS MacDonald tune called Mr Chilli – Ian was unsure of the story behind that one, but reckoned it may involve a toilet. This selection finished with an impressive

Adrian and the troops on form

Adrian and the troops on form

and difficult-to-achieve cut off on high A.  The band performed with mercifully little tuning, which was appreciated by the audience – Adrian clearly recognised that the spirit of EP is that it’s not about perfection, it’s about a pleasant and enjoyable performance, which is what we got.

The first half was concluded with the slow air Reverie, a tune called Adrian Cramb, and the jig Donella Beaton with a (quite significant) twist. The pipes were laid down for a rest, and it was announced that there would be a pre-pie-piobaireachd played by George Stewart. 

George Stewart

George Stewart

While George was readying himself, Ian Duncan very self-effacingly offered to ‘hack through a couple of 6/8s’.  However this was unnecessary, as George soon appeared – introduced by Ian as a local boy frae Perth, and accompanied by a few of the boys apparently from the Perth massiv to cheer him on.  After a bit of warm up and the fastest tuning notes heard at EP since Bobby Ross, George launched into some light music, starting with a wonderfully bright and lively Inveran, and John MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage. A hornpipe and jig followed, then the classic strathspey Susan MacLeod, and reel Mrs MacPherson of Inveran. As one of the Perth boys was overheard saying, ‘No bad’. Onto the ceol mor – the Big Spree. This was a very enjoyable and musically presented tune, finishing with a crunluath movement fast and crisp enough to rival George’s late great teacher Donald MacPherson.The pie break ensued, allowing some chat amongst the band and the regular EP folk, some post-match review of Saturday’s John A MacLellan MBE Memorial recital and dinner (with the winner Iain Speirs in attendance), and congratulations bestowed upon the recently engaged Tom Peterkin. 

Back for more

Back for more

The band returned to tune the drones with some lovely musical 6/8 marches, following on with the 2/4 marches P/M Sandy Spence by Gordon Duncan, and the multi-named Phil Cunningham tune referred to simply as The Mod.  They continued with another medley-first-half, including the Jolly Beggarman followed by some jigs of which I didn’t catch the names.  The band’s performance was rounded out with a great selection starting with a Gaelic air (our resident German Gaelic speaker unable to successfully pronounce the name), plus two strathspeys and two reels with a wee sneaky hint of waltz in there.  The lengthy applause demonstrated the appreciation of the assembled crowd, for a very enjoyable band performance – in particular noting that all the band members would have had a decent distance to cover to get to Edinburgh, coming from as far as Aberdeen.The Vale of Atholl

The evening wasn’t over though – next up was a real treat – the promised 6/8 marches from former P/M Duncan (including the tune John Barclay, composed by the other Ian Duncan). Ian had said earlier it was a young man’s game, but decisively proved that wrong with his beautiful melodic presentation, excellent bagpipe and technically flawless form. He carried on with a lovely slow air, then a classic 4/4 march with a name I can’t spell,and which I can’t hear without thinking of Alasdair Gillies singing some racy lyrics (involving somebody called Flo and a nighty if I remember correctly) so it always makes me smile.

Ian in great form

Ian in great form

The next soloist of the evening was Eddie Gaul, starting with a pretty slow air, then into the Braes of Castle Grant, the Shepherd’s Crook, and Sandy Cameron. He carried on with some more slow airs – with the bagpipe singing, complete with a perfectly tingly Roddy MacLeod-esque high A – and the hornpipe Crossing the Minch.

Eddie Gaul

Eddie Gaul

The evening was rounded off by young Erin MacKay, reportedly a neighbour of Ian Duncan’s, and playing a set of Gordon Duncan’s pipes. She launched, without ado, into the ground of the Lament for the Viscount of Dundee then treated us to some musical and tricky hornpipes with not a finger wrong.

Erin MacKay

Erin MacKay

The aforementioned Craig Sutherland had been meant to finish off with some ‘scintillating piping’ but as I’ve reported he wasn’t in attendance – and besides, we had heard plenty of scintillating stuff already. So the band returned for some photographs and some chat, and that was the evening’s evening.  Sincere thanks to the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band for making it a special one.

A great nice guys. Thank you

A great nice guys. Thank you

Jenny Hazzard

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Edinburgh Pipe Bands-or not?

Heerlen Tattoo 2004

Heerlen Tattoo 2004

ThinkScotland – Thinking, talking and acting for Scotland in Europe www.thinkscotland.orgThinkScotland – Thinking, talking and acting for Scotland in Europe.

Brian Monteith: Pay these pipers for good of city – Opinion – Scotsman.com www.scotsman.comNow and again Edinburgh produces something or someone that is world class. Thinking of recent times, some might cite Sir Chris Hoy or Stephen Hendry, some wiil think of success stories such as Sir Sean Connery, engineering feats like the Forth Bridge or literature like Harry Potter.

The last Hurrah

The last Hurrah

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Match report 28th May 2013

IMG_0083The night got off to a sharp start, with 5 people in the house by 8pm (not including the bar staff) and up to 16 by 8.15.
The Hon PM started off proceedings with some lovely slow airs and a waltz on a sonorous bagpipe – looking very smart in sage tweed. He moved on to some classic 4/4 marches including only very occasional busking.
A French tourist family was soon dragged in off the street, appearing to be in equal parts bemused, interested and alarmed.
The Champion Piper of Blair Atholl rocked up around 8.30 and announced that he had aching muscles due to mountain biking.  Readers are free to guess which muscles were sore.

The young lady golfer

The young lady golfer

Robert Gray was the next piper to play, beginning with wee marches including the lovely melodic Bloody Fields of Flanders, then moving on to the meatier John MacDonald of Glencoe and John MacDonald’s welcome to S Uist (not the same John MacDonald I’m told), Maggie Cameron and the Sound of Sleat. With the bagpipe singing, Robert finished with a slow air, Robert Graythe Man from Skye, and Cutting Bracken.  Testament to the quality of the performance, the French family remained in situ.
Next to take the floor was Peter McAlister, who normally brings an interesting twist to his EP performances.

Peter giving us the chat

Peter giving us the chat

This night was no different, and Peter initiated a competition: name the old decrepit hand-written book (which he waved around to let us all have a look), with clues to be found in the tunes played, and the low pitch of the pipe. The tunes were fragments of compositions by John MaCcoll and there was an entertaining range of suggested book names entered into the competition.  Even the French people had a bash.  The correct answer, given by Donald MacLeod, was “John MacColl’s”. Tom Peterkin did not manage to win, despite disgracefully cheating by entering three times.  Donald was announced as

No beer or pie stains please lads

No beer or pie stains please lads

winner, whisky was distributed as his prize, followed by (perhaps unwisely), the book itself to allow a closer look. Peter proceeded to play a few selections from the book, including Lament for Red John and the Herringwife, then a segment of the piobaireachd The MacDonalds are Simple, demonstrating the practice of playing fast and loose with time signatures, which was the norm at the time.

Craig Martin was up next and started with some 6/8 marches then on to the 2/4 march Donald MacLellan of Rothesay (which I’m told includes the only C to D taorluath in all of piping), possibly Duncan MacColl, then the Donald MacLeod

Craig Martin

Craig Martin

strathspey Sandy MacPherson, Maggie Cameron (popular lass), Major David Manson and Bessie McIntyre again.  A late arrival to the crowd attempted to slink in unnoticed during this set, somewhat hindered by wearing a high-vis jacket.  Craig finished off in style with Jim Tweedie’s Sealegs and the classic jig, John Paterson’s Mare (still no sign of JP himself around EP these days!)

Next to play was me, so I’ll not say much about that except to say that playing in the informal and congenial setting of the Eagle Pipers was, as always, very enjoyable.
The Lament foe Patrick Og

The Lament for Patrick Og

Rounding off the night, and taking on the mantle of piobaireachd performer of the forntnight, was Tracey Williams.  Tracey warmed up with some marches including the excellent March of the Champion Supreme by Ed Neigh, and on to some bigger marches including Jeannie Caruthers and Donald MacLellan of Rothesay.  A treat was to follow – a beautiful interpretation of one of the greatest of the great piobaireachd compositions – Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon.

An enjoyable night, as always, and we look forward to the next instalment – welcoming the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band on 11th June.
Jenny H

Jenny H

Jenny H

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