Match Report Tuesday 10th July 2018

France

IMG_5571On the week commencing 1st July 2018 (102 years since the Battle of the Somme) Eagle Pipers, John Fraser and Craig Robertson embarked on what has become an annual pilgrimage to the Somme area of France to commemorate those who had fallen during the Great War.

This year John and Craig were joined by 11 year old Eagle, Josh Robertson (Craig’s son) and as well as paying respects to a number of former pupils of his school Josh piped at many gravesides at the request of relatives of the deceased. Josh displayed great reverence and solemnity throughout and was a credit to himself, his school and the Society.IMG_5403

John Fraser is the consummate professional and he was happy to help Josh with his pipes and it certainly was welcomed.

Included in the trip was a visit to London Cemetery and Extension where John visited the grave of his Grandfather, James Stuart (Gordon Highlanders) and whom was a Second World War casualty.

Craig and Josh visited their relative Ernest William Swiftsure Dobson (38th Battalion, Canadian Infantry) who is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.

July2018 - 11The lads also visited Bancourt British Cemetery and the graves of pipers Atholl Forbes and Alex Tainsh, 6th Battalion Black Watch, who had played on the 14th July 1916, at the attack on High Wood. Both were killed on 23rd December 1917, when a German plane dropped a bomb on their barracks.

All in all it was a fantastic trip and it is hoped that the lads will continue with their pilgrimage for many years to come.

 

Scotland

IMG_9088On a lovely summers night the Eagles took the opportunity to pop outside for a tune and a crowd quickly gathered. Paul (our usual barman) was off duty and had brought along some of his Australian family who were over on holiday. The small ‘band’ played for about 40 minutes or so and included a few family favourites that were easily recognised by the crowd.

After the pies there was time for half an hour on the practice chanter. Lucy’s song, Linda’s Lilt and Blustering Home got a battering! Perhaps tunes away from the norm for some and they will need a bit of work to memorise and get on the pipes.

IMG_9085Onto the pipes and we had a run through The River Po, Shoals of Herring and The Kilworth Hills.

And that was the evenings’ evening.

The next meeting is on Tuesday 24th where we will start with the above group of 3/4s The 24th also sees ex President Colin MacLellan reach bus pass age. Hopefully he will hobble into the Club to celebrate with a pie and a pint.

The Games season is in full flight and it is very pleasing to see so many Eagles ties going around and indeed some picking up some silverware on the way.IMG_5359

It is likely that we will have an extra meeting on the 14thAugust (worlds week) and cancel the following one on the 21st. So that would mean 2 meetings in a row, 7th and 14thAugust and then the next would be 4thSept. This will be confirmed nearer the time

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report 26th June 2018

With the Pipe Major away on tuning duties and a respectable number of members champing at the bit to crack on with a tune or two – how on earth would we cope?

One of the great things about the Society is the fact that we have many talented members and a number of former Pipe Majors to guide us through an evening, and this evening was no exception.

Kenny McBride, whom, with over 45 years of piping experience under his belt as a soloist and competitor in grade one bands as well having served as Pipe Major of Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band slotted in seamlessly to put us through our paces.

As has become the norm these days, we commenced with the Eagle Pipers March which we are playing at the start of every meeting along with Old Adam and Farewell to the Creeks.

Having got the pipes settled it was very much a case of making some in-roads and consolidating the tunes in the Society book. Those that were expecting an easy time with Euan being absent were sadly mistaken. After an hour, brows were needing mopped and pies were definitely required and so it was on to the post pie piper
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Kenny was up first and started with a selection of 4/4’s with included another society march namely Royal Scottish Pipers Society March. It was then on to an MSR and a fantastic rendition of Highland Wedding, Shepherds Crook and Major Manson. Personally I love listening to anything Kenny plays and it certainly set the bench mark extremely high for those that followed.

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Nils Michael was up next and he was in fine form. Playing with Dowco and Triumph Street again this year Nils has been extremely busy so it was great to see him at the meeting and even better to give us a wee sample of what we can expect this season for the band.

Nils started with Balmoral Highlanders, Atholl Cummers and Mrs McPherson of Inverran, before taking us through a selection of tunes from the Dowco repertoire. Some fantastic stuff and an amazing listening experience.

89AD1710-D0B3-4611-B905-F65D540C1003.jpegAs Euan eluded to in the last match report Andrew Yu has become a real stalwart of the Society and this evening was no exception.

To start with we had a selection of ¾’s which included The Road to Sham Shui Po and Land of My Youth.

The MSR comprised of a wonderful rendition of Donald Maclellan Of Rothsey, Kirstie MacCallman’s Favourite and John MacInnes before Andrew finished off with the Pipers Bonnet and Alan Macpherson of Mosspark

Below is a link to Andrew playing at Blair Atholl earlier his year.

And with that we were done.

Just a reminder that the Captain John MacLellan dinner is on 26th August 2018 in Edinburgh and Eagle members are eligible for tickets at a discounted rate of £35. Should you require tickets contact me directly at eaglessecretary@outlook.com , so until the next meeting have a good one.

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Match report(s)

Tuesday 29th May

IMG_8662We have been a bit tardy with our match reports. The P/M has been on holiday and a shaky hand has been on the tiller!

The 29thMay saw the first committee meeting of the year followed by some excellent piping. After a few tunes from the band Brodie Watson-Massey, who is having another very successful solo season, took to the floor. The pipe quickly settled and he was straight into the big stuff playing The Glengarry Gathering and Hugh Alexander Low of Tiree.

He then went into a slow air, Megan’s Lullaby, followed by a tune he composed himself for his brother, Alfie’s Trombone and another called The Quadrangle. (familiar to all Heriots boys !). After some wee strathspeys and reels he finished off with some excellent finger work, playing tunes that included Golden Brown and The Banjo Breakdown in  reel time signature. Great stuff from one of the great up and coming pipers.IMG_8667

Andrew Yu was up next and in fine form. Andrew really has become a great stalwart of the Eagles and it is nice to have him in the fold.

The final player of the evening was Lachie Dick who, because of work commitments, we haven’t seen for about a year. Lachie is one of the more musical players around and he started off with Blustering Home. With the pipe settled he rattled out an MSR followed by a hornpipe and a few jigs that included The Braes of Mellanish and Duncan Johnstone’s, Ray Anderson.

IMG_8669Another excellent night.

 

 

 

Tuesday 12th June

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Ritchie Gardiner

With the P/M still basking in the Cyprus sun the star performer of the night was the Presidents son, Ritchie Gardiner, who was perhaps coerced into playing the evenings Ceol Mor, but none the less he made a splendid job of Sir James MacDonald of the Isles Lament. Haste ye back young man.

And with that we were done.

Tickets are now on sale for the Captain John Maclellan dinner at a reduced members rate of £35 per head. Please contact Craig Robertson to secure your ticket.

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Well done son.

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Meeting – Tuesday 7th August 2018

8B3FB80F-F7FC-42FF-AAAC-D0C16B855479We are delighted to announce that on Tuesday 7th August we have Calum Watson as our guest piper plus hopefully a quartet of pipers from Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band.

Calum is the Pipe Sergeant of Boghall and a prolific young prize winner on the solo circuit including the overall B grade prize at the Cowal Gathering (in both 2015 and 2016) and the CPA overall winner for Piobaireachd in 2016.

Please join us for a night of superb piping.

 

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Match Report Tuesday 15th May 2018

Untitled 1The band was in fine form as the heat was turned up in preparation for the  meeting with the Royal Scottish Pipers Society on Friday 25th May.  A good solid hour of playing built up quite the thirst. After the pies we were pleased to welcome Jimmy Carnegie to the fold for a tune. Jimmy is a long time friend of Douglas Gardiners and despite that he turned out to be a welcome addition to the company (just joking D).

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Jimmy Carnegie

Jimmy started off with some light music that included some 2/4 marches followed by a few jigs before giving us an unusual setting of Too Long in this Condition. Jimmy stays in Cambridge and is a pupil of Barnaby Brown who gave him this version. Barnaby is a very interesting character and his web site is worth a visit

https://barnabybrown.info

Jimmy’s setting generated quite an interesting discussion about playing different settings of tunes in competition.

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Barnaby Brown

There is no doubt that with more modern tunes being set and played and players willing to experiment, that there is every possibility that a judge may not be entirely familiar with what the piper is trying to play, thus it is always a good idea to present the panel with a copy of what is going to be played, with some sort of authority to support it.  Certainly the judge’s bench will always be receptive to hearing something different from the norm.

IMG_8604Anyway it was great to meet and hear Jimmy. Good luck in the amateur clasp competitions this season.

On another matter Martin Wilson Senior, who is now a regular at the meetings, brought along a copy of a tune he has recently composed, the Holy Loch.

The Holy Loch is a sea loch, a part of the Cowal peninsula coast in Argyll and Bute. The name is believed to date from the 6th century, when Saint Munn landed there after leaving Ireland.IMG_8578

During World War II, the loch was used as a British Royal Navy submarine base. From 1961–1992, it was used as a United States Navy Polaris and Poseidon nuclear submarine base. In 1992, the Holy Loch base was deemed unnecessary following the demise of the Soviet Union and subsequently closed.

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The Holy Loch

Please come along on Friday 25th May to support the Society at the meeting with the Royal Scottish Pipers’ rooms.

Hope to see you there.

 

 

Euan Anderson

Hon. Pipe Major

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Match Report Tuesday 3rd April 2018

IMG_8533Tonight was the start of our 2018 youth program and we were lucky enough to have Ciaren Ross along to start the ball rolling. Ciaren went to Queen Victoria School and his dad, Gordon Ross, was the first to steer him in the right direction. Tuition from Andrew Wright and latterly Willie McCallum has helped mould him into the fine young player he is today. It was nice to see Gordon come along to support his son and no doubt cast a critical ear over his recital!

Ciaren did exceptionally well in the C Grade last season and has now moved up to B grade. He recently won the jigs at the Duncan Johnstone Memorial competition. He is the current pipe sergeant of the National Youth pipe band and plays in Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipeband.

On a robust steady pipe he settled into the first half of the evening with some 6/8 IMG_8527marches starting with The Trees of North Uist. With the pipe humming along he was quickly into some big strathspeys and reels before playing one of his own compositions, a waltz, ‘Iain’s Jelly Bean’, that was written last year when sharing a flat with piping pal Iain Crawford. A slow air and some great jigs followed that started with the Peter MacLeod tune, Donald MacLean.gordon-webster-full-rig

And with that the first half was done and time for a pie.

During the break mention was made of the passing of Gordon Webster. Gordon was WO1 Pipe Major of both 1st and 2nd Battalions Scots Guards and had the honour of serving as 9th Sovereign’s Piper to Her Majesty The Queen.

Ciaren came back for the second half warming the pipe with some 3/4 retreat marches before playing two 2/4 marches, Hugh Alexander Low of Tiree and The Glengarry Gathering. Two top notch tunes. With a final tweak of the drones it was time for some Ceol Mor and the tune of the evening was to be The MacKay’s Banner.

A’ Bhratach Bhan ( The White Banner)IMG_8530

‘Little is known regarding the ancient banner of the MacKays. All that the clan History tells us on the subject is that Robert MacKay son of Neil of Achness (the chieftain who was killed in Thurso in 1649), was the custodian of the colours; that this Robert had a son Neil to whom the colours descended; that Neil in his turn, had a son Robert, who had the flag and that after him his son Hugh had the custody of it. An old man in Thurso, Hugh MacKay, commonly known as Hugh “Hamar,” had the banner in his keeping for many years. It came to him in this way: Hugh MacKay, son of the second Robert above mentioned, had no family. On his death the flag was handed to his brother Angus; and this Angus left it to his son, the Hugh “Hamar” just referred to. On the death of Hugh about 10 years ago, Alexander, county assessor, Thurso, got the flag and in his possession it still remains.

Ciaren made a great job of the tune despite the ever increasing temperature in the room. And with that we were done. A real treat and if this is an example of things to come Ciaren is sure to have another successful year on the boards. Many thanks to him for coming along a performing for us.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 17thApril. Bring your pipes.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Visit to The RSPS – Friday 25th May

The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society has kindly invited us to join them on Friday 25th May.

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The evening will include a combined band for everyone plus a few solos spots later in the bar. RSPS evenings are always exceptionally sociable, typically assisted by their well-stocked and keenly priced bar.

We will make our debut Society performance of The Eagle Pipers’ Society March.
It will be a great evening. Dress will be day kilts with EPS tie.
Please let me know if you wish to attend.

Douglas
eaglepipers@btinternet.com

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