The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
There is no doubt times are changing and certainly attitudes toward formality and tradition are becoming more relaxed, however, sometimes it is very satisfying to see things done just as they should be.
The Army do that.
On Tuesday Pipe Major Ben Duncan brought along 4 pipers and 3 dancers and put on a performance that was straight from the top drawer. They arrived immaculately dressed and went about their business with military precision and professionalism. In the group were pipers,
Cpl. Euan Jardine
Cpl. Adonis Maximus-Badass
T.pr Gary MacKay
T.pr Lewis Park
L.Cpl Robbie Gray
T.pr Mark Duff
T.pr Conall Stewart
‘The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) (SCOTS DG) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army, and the senior Scottish regiment. The regiment, through the Royal Scots Greys, is the oldest surviving Cavalry Regiment of the Line in the British Army. The regiment is currently based at Leuchars Station, as part of the Scottish 51st Infantry Brigade.
It was formed on 2 July 1971 at Holyrood, Edinburgh, by the amalgamation of the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales’s Dragoon Guards) (themselves the product of the amalgamation in 1922 of 3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales’s) and 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers)), and The Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons).
The cap badge features an eagle, which represents the French Imperial Eagle that was captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart of the Royal Scots Greys from the French 45th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Waterloo.’
In front of a full room the boys got under way with a lovely set of 3/4 marches before taking on a big MSR, The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society/Hector MacLean/Willie Cummings Rant.
They went onto a group of 6/8 marches that started with the little heard The Hills of Biggar, composed by John Howie that can be found in the Edcath collection, book 2. The musical arrangement with excellent harmonies was very pleasing to the ear.
A medley was up next that appropriately started with the The Battle of Waterloo. Not perhaps as you may play it yourself but an arrangement that had the old guard in the room raising an eyebrow. Have a listen on our You Tube channel.
A set of 4/4 marches followed and again time to show what can be done with clever harmonies and good tune selection.
Time for a break and some pies. Also time to open a few windows as the temperature in the room was tropical.
The second half started with another set of 3/4s to settle the pipes and then we were into some classy jig playing ending with a jig setting of The Ewe wi’ the Crooked Horn.
Highland Laddie indicated the start of the fling and on marched the dancers. Again you can have look at this on our You Tube channel.
Excellent stuff and a rare treat
A set of hornpipes followed that again reflected clever musical arrangement and they were not short on harmonies. The tunes were Carlos Barral of Oviedo by Fred Morrison, Scalasaig by Lorne MacDougall, Orlando Tango by Chris Armstrong and the popular Golden Brown by Kyle Warren. Great finger work and the boys were clearly very comfortable playing these tunes.
The quintet concluded with a set of three Regimental marches that were a fitting end to a wonderful display of band playing. Very musical and despite the warm room the pipes held remarkably well. First class stuff.
But the evening was not over. Down with one set of pipes, out with the solo set and time for the traditional end of evening piobaireachd.
P/M Ben Duncan took the opportunity of having a run through his Captain John MacLellan memorial dinner tune, The Salute to the Great Pipe. He would get medal for stamina alone as, on the back of an evenings band playing, to finish with a big tune like this was no mean feat. Ben’s parents,Ruth and John and his wife Lee were in the audience and you could see the pride as he stepped his way through this great tune. What fantastic end to a wonderful night.
What a treat for those who were there. For those who were not, you missed a good one.
A heartfelt thanks to Ben and his troops for providing the highlight of the year.
The John MacLellan memorial dinner is on Saturday 24th August at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Tickets are still available from Tina Anderson at email@example.com
See you next time on Tuesday 23rd July.
P/M Eagle Pipers’ Society