Match Report Tuesday 13th June 2017

IMG_5213Hot on the back of Steven Gray’s excellent performance at the last Eagles meeting came Cameron Macdougall, another marvellous young talent, who is not long out his teens. Originally from Nigg, Cameron went to Tain Royal Academy before heading to Glasgow to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

In his formative piping years he was taught by Niall Matheson and Major John Allen. He has played in the Dornoch pipe band for most of his piping career and has competed with the Isle of Islay pipe band for the past two years.

Cameron has already had notable success in the solo arena winning the McGregor Memorial and the open jig at Oban! More recently he won the piobaireachd and overall prizes at this year’s Duncan Johnstone Memorial competition.IMG_5218

Once the band had blown away the cobwebs and knocked out a few tunes, Cameron took to the floor for a few pre-pie tunes. He opened with one of his own compositions, Maggie’s Wedding, followed by the 6/8 Bengullion. This was followed by a slow air and he finished with a few reels ending with the Irish reel, The Antrim Rose.

IMG_5221A big MSR was up next, Inveran/MacBeth’s Strathspey and Miss Proud. Excellent stuff on a Lawrie bagpipe with very steady mellow drones. With the pipe humming he went into two, 2/4 marches, Miss Ashley Bell and Alasdair Gillies, the latter being composed by Fred Morrison. They were full of music and swing and probably new to most of the audience? Cameron finished his first spot with a hornpipe and jig set that included the great tune Jimmy Boyce’s Fancy. What a great first half and it was time for Cameron to have a well-earned pie and a pint.IMG_5220

After the break Cameron gave us the beautiful and rich Donald Dughal Mackay, one of the great tunes. The tune is also known as Lord Raey’s Lament. Iain Dall Mackay, the blind piper, most probably wrote the tune. Donald Dughal Mackay was born in 1590 and knighted in 1616 as Sir Donald MacKay of Strathnaver. He passed in 1649 having played a prominent role in the thirty year war, raising a regiment of 3,000 men, which served in both the Danish and Swedish forces.

IMG_5219Cameron stepped his way through this big tune bringing out the music with ease. With excellent technique and pipe the audience were given a real treat. After rapturous applause Cameron finished with a 3/4 march and the jig The Curlew.

First class stuff from a young man with a big future.

And with that the evening was done. Congratulations go to Field Marshall Montgomery and Jenny Hazzard on picking up her first major win at the weekend in Belfast. For those statisticians out there P/M Parkes is on 66. Yes 66.

Remember after church this Sunday there is a small pipe band contest in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh.

The Eagles band will continue to work on the book repertoire including Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban. See you in 2 weeks time, 27th June, in the Scots Guard’s Association Club.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 30th May 2017

IMG_5164The band had a quick tune up and played a few 3/4s before tackling the opening tune in the Society book, Donald McLean’s Farewell to Oban. Considering this was a first attempt it was satisfying that it was actually recognisable. After a few discussions regarding settings etc, we had another couple of goes and all in all it is heading in the right direction. The band downed tools early in order to get our guest player, Steven Gray, on before the pies.

Steven is from Lockerbie and learnt his piping from Tony MacDonald in Lochmaben. Steven is no stranger to the Scot’s Guards Club as he has previously taken part in the KO competition. He is currently doing a PhD in Inorganic (look it up) Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, so hopefully we will see a bit more of him in the months to come. He is also a member of the great Inveraray and District Pipeband.IMG_5170

Steven quickly settled the pipe with some 3/4 marches and a couple of hornpipes before giving the audience the MSR, Clan McColl, Ewe with the Crooked Horn and The Smith of Chillichassie. A few 6/8 marches followed, before he ended the first half with Hector the Hero and some excellent jigs.

IMG_5162Having refreshed with a pie and a can of Iron Brew Steven warmed the pipe with some lovely 9/8 marches and then gave us the ‘Castle’ set, Tulloch, Inveraray, and Stornoway, rounding  it off with with The Sheepwife. More excellent playing followed with the hornpipe Tam Bain’s Lum and a few jigs.

With the pipe humming along it was time for a bit of Ceol Mor and Steven gave us The King’s Taxes. A first class tune on a rock solid pipe. Steven concluded his recital with some small strathspeys and reels that rounded off the evening perfectly.


They were actually enjoying it

What a tremendous performance from a nice unassuming young man who is clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with around the games. It was a real treat to hear him play and hopefully we will see more of him at the Eagles:-studies permitting.

Our congratulations go to Mr and Mrs Michael Upton who tied the knot in New York last week. Mickey has also been accepted into Police Scotland and we wish them the best of 18814017_10155404012209308_8338978597830732694_nluck.

On a very sad and poignant note our sympathies and condolences go to the family and the community of Barra on the loss of Eilidh MacLeod, who was a victim in the recent Manchester terror attack. Duncan Nicholson did her proud with some beautiful playing at her funeral, sending her off with Mull of the Mountain, Sine Bhan and Leaving Ireland. Our thoughts are with her friend, Laura MacIntyre, a fellow pupil at Castlebay Community School on the island, who was also seriously injured in the incident at Manchester Arena concert.

There are no words that can adequately express the horror of what happened that night. You just have to believe that good will always triumph over evil and we will stand firm, as one, to ensure it does.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M


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Guest Piper – Tuesday 13th June

We are very pleased to announce that Cameron MacDougall will be our special guest at the next meeting on Tuesday 13th June.


Cameron 1

Cameron MacDougall


20 year old Cameron is one of the most exciting young talents on the solo circuit.  He has already won the Open Jig, The MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd and placed second in the Silver Medal all at The Argyllshire Gathering.

Originally from Nigg, he is now a student of piping at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.



Cameron with the 2014 MacGregor Memorial trophy for piobaireachd.


Please come along and make him welcome.  Being a student, he will appreciate anyone who buys him a pint.


Douglas Gardiner




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Match Report Tuesday 16th May 2017


A souvenir from last weekends rugby final

The band took to the floor, 14 across the front rank and rattled their way through some of the tunes in the book. Perhaps the first major at Paisley was not on the agenda but this group can still be considered as dangerous and a threat!IMG_2689

The PPP was George Campbell who has clearly been polishing up the repertoire and practicing. No doubt all part of his retirement plan. George warmed up the pipe with a couple of 6/8 marches before attacking the big stuff with a first class MSR, The Braes of Castle Grant, Susan MacLeod and Pretty Marion. George finished off his spot with a set of nifty jigs. Excellent stuff.


George Campbell

Next up was Colin MacLellan, who took a break from his College of Piping duties, to give us a few tunes. Colin also chose a couple of 6/8 marches to settle the pipe and then went into Lord Alexander Kennedy and John McColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage. With the pipe purring along he gave us the lion’s share of John MacKay’s, The Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon. IMG_5090Surely one of the top ten great pieces of Ceol Mor? A tune reputedly composed for Patrick Og when he was still alive as reports of his demise, that had reached the ears of MacKay, were somewhat premature. Colin finished off his spot with a few jigs and with that we were done.

13920805_1175633149123564_2078775260044604258_nAt the next meeting, on Tuesday 30th May, Steven Gray will be our guest player. Steven is one of the top up and coming solo players and also plays with Inveraray and District, who picked up the first major, the British Championship, at Paisley at the weekend.

The band (us-not Inveraray) will have a short blast before Steven starts his playing around 8.30. Hope to see you there.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 2nd May 2017

IMG_5020As this years hosts the Eagles gave a warm welcome to honorary Pipe Major Dan Lean and the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society. A move to the larger hall upstairs was still not big enough to accommodate the joint band of some 35 players. After a bit (and I mean a bit) of tuning we sorted ourselves into some order and played through a few sets of tunes.

To conclude the first half the RSPS played a few tunes as a group that included an MSR, starting with The Australian Ladies. The pies and refreshments were most welcome as there was a fair amount of sweat on the brow by then.IMG_5027

The post pie pipers were our two Heriots members Brodie Watson Massie and Chris Happs. Playing as a duet they kicked off their spot with the march, Pipe Major Sandy Spence. They held the audience in the palm of their hands as they stepped through some tunes that only young nimble fingers can manage. They finished off with great aplomb with Rip the IMG_5032Calico and Dancing Feet that was laced with lovely harmonies.

Alan Forbes, from the RSPS, then took to the floor and very topically gave one of this years set tunes, the Lament for John Morrison of Assynt House, composed by Donald MacLeod. For those playing the tune this year remember to seek out the additional notes about it on the Piobaireachd Society web site. Alan made a first class job of what is quite a tricky tune to memorise.IMG_5033

Next up was Craig Sutherland who has joined the ranks of the SFU. Craig has been coming to the Eagles for a few years now and it has been very pleasing to watch him blossom into a world class player. With a nod to our guests he started off with the great Roderick Campbell 2/4 march, The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society. This was followed by The Lonach Gathering and some big strathspeys and reels. He then played the Urlar of IMG_5038one of the Nameless tunes before signing off with some marvellous jigs.

The 2017 Captain John A. MacLellan MBE, Memorial Trust, Piobaireachd Recital Competition and Dinner, will take place on Saturday 26th August at the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel, Princes Edinburgh.IMG_5039

This is a fantastic evening and this years pipers are Willie McCallum, Finlay Johnstone, Iain Speirs and Faye Henderson.

The Judge is Dr Angus MacDonald.

Tickets are £37.50 that includes a wonderful dinner, are available from Colin MacLellan via or the Eagles Pipers’ membership secretary, Craig Robertson.

See you at next meeting on Tuesday 16th May.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Guest Piper – 30th May

We are very pleased to announce that Steven Gray will be our special guest on Tuesday 30th May.


S Gray Knockout

Steven competing in the 2015 Scots Guards Club Knock Out Final


Steven is a member of the 2016 RSPBA Champion of Champions, Inveraray & District Pipe Band, and one of the rising young stars of the solo circuit.



On duty with the IDPB


He has kindly agreed to take time out of his busy schedule to play a few sets for us including a piobaireachd.

Please come along and make him welcome (and buy him a pie).

Douglas Gardiner



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Match Report Tuesday 18th April 2017

JH EP map 180417As some of you will be aware, each of the committee members have been requested to host a ‘Special Night’. On Tuesday 18th April, it was Jenny Hazzard who stepped up to the mark and hosted a night of ‘Piping Geography’. Colin immediately discounted himself from taking part on the basis of having heard Jenny practicing her repertoire over the previous week.

Before we got into it Jenny got those with pipes (15 in total) up to go through a few sets from the tune book before the evening proper began. Up for grabs were a bottle of Macallan Gold for 1st place, a lovely bottle of wine for 2nd and a box of luxury chocolates for 3rd.

The format of the evening was explained by Jenny. Basically she and Lachie Dick were going to play through a number of tunes (21) in total. Each team were required to identify the tune and thereafter pin point on a map of Scotland where the city, town, village, island etc. was located on the map.IMG_4962

For those of you interested I have attached a map with the answers – not as easy as it may seem I am sure you will agree.

The beauty of this quiz was that, it not only got people scratching their heads trying to identify the tunes, but we were treated to the talents of two great pipers.

With the teams all sorted and team names selected – The Corner Boys, The 3 J’s, The Has Beens and The Philips Duo – to name but a few, battle commenced.


Alan having a ‘no idea’ moment?

Lachie started us of with the 6/8, Bengullion and thereafter played the 2/4’s, David Ross of Rosehall, The Pap of Glencoe, John MacDonald’s Welcome to South Uist and Tommy MacDonald of Barguillean.

It was brilliant to hear Lachie play again at the Eagle’s and as usual it is an absolute pleasure to listen to him. Those of you that have heard him before will know exactly what I mean.

It was then on to the Slow Air, The Bays of Harris, and the Reels, Sound of Sleat, Lachlan MacPhail of Tiree and Creagorry Blend.

To finish off Lachie played the Jigs, Kenny Gilles of Port na Long, Skye, Flora MacAulay Carradale and Glasgow City Police.

We had a quick break for pies and then it was over to Jenny who started us off with the 6/8’s, Bonnie Dundee and Dornoch Highland Gathering, before cracking on with the 5/4, Cullen Bay, the 4/4, Flett from Flotta and the Jig, Angus John MacNeill of Barra.

Like Lachie, Jenny is effortless with her playing and it is just great for so many of us to have the opportunity to listen to such accomplished pipers.IMG_2561

Jenny finished off with the 2/4’s, Donald MacLellan of Rothesay and John MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage, the Strathspey, Blair Drummond and thereafter the most controversial tune of the evening John Morrison of Assynt House. Why the controversy I hear you ask? Jenny explained at the start of the quiz that two of her tunes related to the location of the actual buildings. For those still reeling it is the location of Assynt House you were to identify.

All that was left to do was tally up the points and announce the winners.


Assynt House, Evanton, Dingwall

The musical interlude was provided by John Fraser who played his own version of a geographical quiz playing the Battle of the Somme and The Heights of Dargai. He rounded off the piping for the evening rather fittingly with the Slow Air, The Flight of the Eagles and the Hornpipes, Duncan Johnstone and Duncan McKenzie of Dumbarton.

So the results were in, 3rd place went to the Corner Boys – Graeme Farr and Iain MacDonald, 2nd place went to John Murphy and John Fraser and the overall winners were, Douglas Gardiner, Fred McKay and Iain Spiers, well done boys.

Thanks to all who attended and took park and special thanks to Jenny and Lachie for a great night.

In other news to of our young Eagles were successful at the Kingdom Thistle Piping and Drumming Competition hosted in Lochgelly. In the U16 Piping Brodie Watson-Massie achieved 1st Place with Christopher Happs, close on his heels in 2nd. Christopher also took part in the U18 competition where he achieved 4th place. Well done to both boys, a great result!

Other dates for your diary:

The next meeting is on the 2nd May where we will be hosting the Royal Scottish Pipers’. It would be great to have as many Eagles – with pipes – in attendance as we can. The meeting will take place upstairs in the Scots Guards Club where after some band playing. Iain Spiers will play a piobaireachd of his choice on behalf of the society.

Untitled 127th May The Royal Scottish Pipers’ are hosting a recital at Edinburgh Academy, where Fred Morrison, Stuart Liddell and Quartet from Dollar Academy will dazzle what I suspect will be a capacity audience.

Douglas Gardiner has managed to secure the following to play mini-recitals:Untitled

30th May – Steven Gray

25th July – Ben Duncan

3rd October – Steven Leask

And sadly folks that’s a wrap. Look forward to seeing you all resplendent in your Eagles’ ties on 2nd May.







Craig Robertson

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