Match Report Tuesday 5th March 2019

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Lachie and his wing man

What the difference a day makes-well more like 48hrs but you get the drift.

With the band having completed a full hours practice (in preparation for our visit from the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society in 2 weeks time-March 19th) Lachie Dick was to be the post pie piper.

Last Saturday Lachie, not surprisingly, fell victim to the tradition of the ‘stag’ having an early bath. Unfortunately for him it was at the start of the Indian meal, circa 19.30hrs. He awoke around 21.30 to a round of applause from the patrons but it was a taxi for Dick under with watchful eye of wing man Andrew Gray.

However, now fully recovered, like the Phoenix from the ashes, he took to the floor for a tune and trotted through a wide variety of tunes in preparation for this weekends Duncan Johnstone competition in Glasgow.IMG_0405

Included in his spot was the 6/8 march Domhnail Ban of Kyle’s Flodda, composed by Alex Muir. Domhnail Ban is the local piping instructor in the Uist schools and Alex Muir was a minister from Harris.  Interestingly he was a musician who composed tunes for the pipes but never learnt to play. As can be seen from an excerpt from his memorial he was quite a character.

‘Alex continued to teach until 1977, when he felt called to the Ministry of the Word. He returned to Glasgow University to study for a Bachelor of Divinity degree, after being accepted as a candidate for the Church of Scotland Ministry. He graduated in 1980. He did short assistantships in Largs, on the island of Barra and occasional ministry in Sutherland and Wester Ross, before being called to the parish of Canisbay with Keiss in 1982.

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Alex Muir

Alex had a fruitful ministry in Caithness, where his preaching and pastoral care of the parishioners were greatly appreciated. He also had the privilege of being Minister to the Queen Mother when she was on holiday at the Castle of Mey. Not long after arriving at the manse in Cansibay, he and Catriona had the honour of being invited to the castle for dinner.

 This was to be the first of many visits and Alex was able to offer pastoral support to the Queen Mother during his ministry. Alex never divulged any confidences to anyone, including the press, who would sometimes pester him for information about his times at the castle – and the Queen Mother clearly respected him greatly for this.

The dinner parties were not sombre affairs. On learning of Alex’ musical abilities, she invited him to sing Scottish songs and ballads in the drawing room after dinner. This became a regular event. Alex was asked to take his guitar along and had the songs copied out for everyone to join in.

IMG_0417Perhaps the greatest memory of these occasions, which Alex and Catriona greatly enjoyed, was the evening when, to their surprise, the Queen joined her mother for dinner at the castle from the Royal Yacht. There was a memorable, if surreal, moment, when the Queen Mother asked for Alex to lead them all in the singing of “The Jeely Piece” song and the IMG_0402Queen seemed to enjoy the humour immensely! ‘

Alex also composed The Bays of Harris that is often heard in Uist.

And with that the evening was done. Great stuff Lachie and good luck at the Duncan Johnstone.

Duncan Johnstone, 1925 – 1999, was a prolific composer of many excellent pieces and many of his tunes are part of the standard folk and piping repertoire. Helen Urquhart from the National Piping Centre says there is an unprecedented entry this year. The competition run by the CPA is this Saturday and starts at 09.00hrs at the McPhater Street venue.

Dates for the diary are

16th March     Duncan Johnstone

19th March     Eagle Pipers welcome the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society

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23rd March     Piobaireachd Society conference and AGM

16th April        Eagle Pipers welcome John Dew as their guest player.

PIOBAIREACHD SOCIETY ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2019

The 2019 annual conference will be held in the National Piping Centre on Saturday 23rd March. There will be an informal ceilidh in the Pipers Tryst on Friday evening 22nd March. The conference will conclude with a dinner in the National Piping Centre on Saturday evening.

A preferential rate for room booking per night of £109.00 per room single occupancy £119.00 per room double occupancy for the nights of 22nd and 23rd March has been obtained at the Holiday Inn, Glasgow, Theatreland, 161 West Nile Street, Glasgow G1 2RL – www.higlasgow.com. This hotel is just across the road from the Piping Centre. Delegates should book directly with the hotel, quoting DOCTORS, Reservation Office working hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Telephone 0141 352 8300 / Email reservations@higlasgow.com.

The conference rate including dinner is £55; day rate including lunch, teas and coffees £35.

Programme

  • New evidence about the Old Competitions – talk by Jack Taylor with tunes by Iain Speirs and John Dew. Featuring a replica Donald MacDonald bagpipe, and tunes selected from the 1844 list.
  • My piping life and times – panel discussion led by Gary West.
  • MacCrimmons’ Gold – a film premier.
  • Dinner

For further information contact Roderick Livingstone, Treasurer:
Email: roddy66@gmx.com
Telephone: 07801 014885

See you next Tuesday 19th March. Highland dress required to play in the band.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

 

 

 

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Guest Piper, 16th April – John Dew

We are very pleased to announce that John Dew will be our guest piper on Tuesday 16th April.
JD piccie

21 year old John is a rising star on the band and solo scene.  Originally from Crieff he was taught by Cameron Drummond and latterly Craig Muirhead at Strathallan School in Perthshire. He is now a student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

When not playing with World Champions, Inveraray and District Pipe Band, he is scooping up top solo prizes such as the B Grade Piobaireachd at the Captain John MacLellan contest.  He was a Pipe Idol finalist in 2017.

He is also a prolific composer creating suites and arranging material for folk and classical ensembles.  His latest project includes an orchestral arrangement of the piobaireachd ‘The Blind Pipers Obstinacy’ as a symphonic poem.

Please join us for a truly superb night.

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Match Report Tuesday19th February 2019

IMG_0358With the band of around 16 pipers having gone through their paces the second half was a chance for Alan Harper to have a run through his tune for the Archie Kenneth Quaich.

Alan warmed up with some unusual tunes that included a slow air, Cruachan composed by Seumas Johnston, ex Pipe Major of the Argylls, a 3/4 march, The Heroes of Oosterbeek and a 12/8 march, Brigadier Snow.IMG_0355

Commanded by Brigadier A. E. Snow OBE, Force 135 conducted Operation “Nest Egg,” the peaceful and unopposed liberation of the Channel Islands, after negotiating the surrender of the 25,500-man German garrison on 9 May 1945. Three days later, German Vice-Admiral Hüffmeier surrendered personally to Brigadier Snow on Guernsey.

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Mr and Mrs Wilson

With that Alan played the piobaireachd MacLeod’s Short Tune on a pipe that held well. If Alan can hold his nerve you never know…

With that we were done and the next meeting will be on Tuesday 5th March 19.

 

Euan AndersonBrigadierSnow.
Hon P/M

Note:

26 pipers took part in the Archie Kenneth Quaich amateur piobaireachd contest that was judged Patricia Henderson and Donald MacPhee.
The winner (for the 4th time) was Tom Peterkin playing Melbank’s Salute.
2nd prize: Andrew Park playing Battle of Auldearn No. 2
3rd prize: John Forbes playing The Lament for Sir James MacDonald of the Isles
4th prize: Gill Cairns playing Caber Feidh Gu Brath
5th prize: Stuart Letford playing The Desperate Battle of the Birds

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Congratulations Tom and the gang

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Match Report Tuesday 5th February 2019

Another good turnout despite the wintery conditions saw about a dozen players take to the floor. After a solid hour of good practice the pies and a beer were very welcome.

IMG_0176Tom Peterkin, who is back in harness with his eye on a tilt at the Archie Kenneth Quaich later on this month, played the evening’s piobaireachd. He gave us The Lament for Mary Macleod. On a quiet but rock steady set of Glens, Tom got the best from this musical tune. Tom played the high G version and the note stood up to the test.

Mary MacLeod, 1615- c.1707 was one of the foremost women songwriters and poets in vernacular Scottish Gaelic of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Most of her output concerns the praise of the house of Dunvegan.IMG_0182

However in mid life the English influence had taken hold. She composed a poem to honour the Chieftain’s uncle, Sir Norman of Bernera, but in doing so she neglected the mandatory praise of the Chieftain, Roderick MacLeod of Harris and Dunvegan, a grandson of Sir Ruaridh Mor. This oversight was deemed to be a monstrous insult in the culture of the time and was banished for years to Scarba, a small island off Mull.

After several years in exile, she composed a poem praising the Chieftain, even though she despised his anglicising ways. She was allowed to return to Skye but she always regretted her poem of praise for the Chieftain.

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Archie Kenneth

When she died she asked to be buried face down by way of atoning for her error. She is buried in St. Clement’s Church at Rodel where the restorer himself, Alasdair Crotach, VIIIth Chieftain, is also buried.

The tune was composed by Padruig Og MacCrimmon

Excellent stuff Tom and with that the evening was done. The next meeting on Tuesday 19thFebruary will focus on the MSR.

See you then

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

Archie Kenneth Quaich 2019

The twenty-seventh annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 23rd February 2019, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 09.30 a.m. Note that the date is a week earlier than previous years’ contests.Unknown

Competitors should submit two tunes  one of which they will be asked to play on the day. Players will receive the name of the tune selected by the judges in the final tuning room. Competitors may not submit any tune with which they have previously won first prize in the competition.

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Match Report Tuesday 22nd January 2019

The Eagle Pipers held their annual general meeting last Tuesday.  There was no change to officer bearer positions with Douglas Gardiner, Craig Robertson, Alan McGhee and Euan Anderson retaining their positions as President, Secretary, Treasurer and Pipe Major respectively. The committee was pared down to one with Peter McCalister remaining and Jenny Hazzard, Colin MacLellan and Nil Michael stranding down.

Post AGM it was time for a quick tune and practice for our first visitors of the year, The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society, who are our guests on Tuesday 19thMarch.

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Ken Buchanan

On another note Palle Ankerstjerne Schjerning from Denmark, dropped us an email about the late great Bob Brown, composer of The 8th Argylls Crossing The River Po, who was a member of the Eagles and regular attender back in the day at the West End Hotel. Attached was a batch of his music that included a 6/8 march written in memory of the boxer Ken Buchanan (The Pride of Scotland) who, in 1970, travelled to Puerto Rico to fight Ismael Laguna for the world lightweight belt. Buchanan won on a decision after 15 rounds. In 1971 he defended his title against Ruben Navarro and became the undisputed world lightweight champion. He was from Edinburgh, born in 1945.

Callum Watson takes on John Dew this Sunday in the Guards KO competition.16.00hrs at the Club.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

ken buchanan 6:8

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Match Report Tuesday 11th December 2018

Members competition.

UnknownTo close the year we had our traditional members competition, a slow air and jig, organised by President Douglas Gardiner. The judges were two ladies who have tolerated piping for some considerable time, Alexandra Michael and Tina Anderson.

To balance things out Douglas had devised a handicap system based on experience and expertise. The better players had marks deducted from their score but how many and who got what……..well only Douglas really knew what was going on!

 

Some 14 players entered and the P/M was on duty to steward and ensure that there was no bribery of the bench, as the word was out that Prosecco was the order of the day.

The batting order was,

Kenny McBride

Ian MacDonald

Lachie Dick

Allan Harper

Ninnian Christie

John Murphy

Mike Upton

Iain Dewar

Martin Wilson

Fergus Perks

Craig Robertson

George Campbell

Gordon Hislop

Andrew Yu

While there prizes for the top 3 there were also awards for the best break down,  the most amusing break down and best dressed.

Kenny started off the competition with Fear A Bhata and the jig Clean Sweeping. Watch at you tube

He set the benchmark very high but you could see the handicap scythe coming his way as the President got his calculator out. The first half was not without incident as Lachie Dick decided to play in denim tartan (no dress and deportment award there) and

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Ninnian contemplating 2 break downs

Ninnian Christie broke down when tuning up. Hard to believe but true. He also broke down in his jig, The Fittie Boatman, so 2 break downs in one performance.

Michael Upton did the classic ‘ I have made it to the end “ only to break down in the last bar of his jig.

 

The pre pie piper Iain Dewar played, She Moved through the Fair, which is an old Irish folk song first recorded in words around 1909 by Padraic Colum. Many have since recorded versions of this tune, including Simple Minds, who used the melody for their 1989 hit, Belfast Child. Iain finished off with another Irish favourite, The Rakes of Kildare.  ‘Rakes’ are known to be young men disposed to immoral behaviour, to wine, women and song, often squandering their inheritance and running up debt. Sound familiar? Watch Iain at You Tube

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Mikey not too upset as he got a bag of Jelly Babies

The pie break and more alcohol had a distinct effect on the 2nd half of the competition. Martin Wilson kicked things off with the well know slow air, Away in a Manger followed by the classic jig, Jingle Bells. Excellent stuff but how would this be viewed by the judges who were singing along with harmonies! Martin on You tube

 

Fergus Perks was up next and played The 51st Highland Division’s Farewell to Sicily and The Skyemans Jig. Lovely playing and the slow air (slow version of Farewell to the Creeks) hit the spot. See You Tube 

Craig Robertson announced his own tunes Mrs Anderson of Craigmount Hill and Mrs Nils Michaels, that he had written especially for the occasion. One sounded remarkably like Morag of Dunvegan and the other very similar to The Glasgow City Police Pipe Band!! Who knew? Not the judges.

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Best Dressed

George Campbell and Gordon Hislop had pushed the boat out and were certainly both vying for best dressed. George played one of his own slow air compositions, that has still to be named, followed by the jig Donald MacLean. You tube video

 

Andrew Yu was last to play and he tuned his pipes in under 30 seconds. Perhaps that had something to do with the President holding up a clock as he started?

And that was that. Only the results to come.  A quick decision? Eh no, but somehow the handicaps were applied and the following prizes were awarded.

1st        Fergus Perks

2nd       Craig Robertson

3rd      Iain Dewar

Best Break Down                   Ninnian Christie

Most amusing breakdown   Mike Upton

Best Dressed                          Gordon Hislop

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George,Gordon and Fergus

What a great night and what a fantastic year it has been for the Eagles. In the modern era Piping Societies do well to survive, such is the competing demands on everyones time, but there is something quite unique in coming together for an informal tune and a chin wag.

 

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 8th January and the AGM may be on Tuesday 22nd January but more information will follow in that regard.

Thank you for all your support throughout the year and Merry Christmas to you all.

L1010014Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

 

 

 

 

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Match Report Tuesday 27th November 2018

L1000920The penultimate night of the year saw another great turnout and starting sharp at 20.00hrs the band gave a good solid hour of tunes from the book. Cabar Feidh is coming along nicely and Andrew Warnock is next on the list to be learned.

The pie break was most welcome but the band took to the floor post pies to have a couple of run throughs of the MSR. The March and Strathspey were first class but the reel is in need of a bit more spit and polish.L1000921

Tonights solo spot saw the President, Douglas Gardiner, step through some excellent light music tunes that included a big MSR. He also played a couple of jigs starting with the great Kenny Gillies of Portnalong. A high bench mark for those thinking about playing in the next meetings members’ competition!

L1000922Douglas then gave the pipe a final tweak before giving the audience a very musical ‘The Desperate Battle of the Birds’. Douglas has had this in his repertoire for some time and has all the subtle little touches down to a fine art.

And with that we were done. You can hear Douglas’s tune at our You Tube Channel


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IMG_9841Cameron MacDougal made it through the first round of the Scots Guards KO competition and round 2 is on Sunday 9th December. This will be followed by a Fred Morrison recital at the Club that is likely to be very popular so get your tickets if you don’t already have them.

Our final night of the year will be on Tuesday 11thDecember where Douglas Gardiner will run a members Slow Air and Jig competition. Two lady judges will preside on the bench and the contest will be run under a handicap system similar to golf, the better players playing off scratch and so on.  The President will explain all on the night. A dozen or so entries are expected so please get there sharp IMG_9838so we can organise the draw.

There will be prizes for, most enjoyable performance, the most entertaining break down, the best dressed and a mystery award.

Please come along and if you are a member and fancy a tune, it is entries on the night.

 

See you then.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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