Match Report – 17th November 2020

This was our second ever Zoom meeting and was an outstanding evening with 18 joining from all over the world including USA (2), Canada (1), England (3) and Lapland (1).

The Hon P/M ran over our beautiful new slow air Cearcal a’ Chuain (pronounced Key-ar-cull a choo-ein (thank you Kaitlin)) including pre-recorded seconds before the Virtual Pie-Break.

We then handed over the rest of the meeting to Ross Miller and Kaitlin Ross.

Ross is already a fine (Grade 8) trombonist having played with the RSNO. He can pipe pretty well too and won The Worlds last year with Inveraray and was a finalist in the 2019 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition. He is Secretary of The Competing Pipers’ Association – taking on a role which Eagle Pipers Tracey Williams, Peter McAlister and Donald MacLeod performed so well at.

He played live from his flat in Glasgow. Was this the first genuinely live Scottish piping recital since March 2020? Others have taken place over Livestream but were largely competitions. I’m happy to be corrected.

Ross played a number of sets from his new album, The Roke, on both big and small pipes. For the latter he was joined by Kaitlin Ross on guitar. Kaitlin is a star in her own right and is more well known as the Lead Singer of Eabhal.

The recital was outstanding with some brilliant tunes, playing and musicianship. It provided a reminder of what we are missing in real life.

Ross and Kaitlin are professional musicians at the start of their careers and both have created albums which were nominated for Album of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards (Ross 2020; Kaitlin 2019). I urge you to buy both albums, particularly if you are fortunate to be working from the boredom of a home office. You will not be disappointed and will be supporting an industry in dire need of a boost.

Links here:

https://www.rossmillermusic.com/album

https://www.eabhal.com/shop

I enclose You Tube clips of two sets recorded on the night. They comprise the opening two tracks off Ross’s album. The quality is a little fuzzy and is no reflection on the professional set up Ross and Kaitlin had in their flat. Sadly Zoom is very useful but not perfect.

Our next meeting will be on 15th December when we will be playing back the best videos and prize winners of the 2020 Handicap Contest. Entries close at 2200hrs on 29th November 2020.

Douglas Gardiner

Honorary President


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Next Meeting – Tuesday 17th November 2020

Dear Eagle Pipers,

Our next meeting will take place via Zoom at 2000hrs on Tuesday 17th November.

I am pleased to advise Ross Miller will be our guest piper to play a short set after the “pies”.  Ross was a finalist in the 2019 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition and is a member of Inveraray and District Pipe Band.  His album, The Roke, has just been nominated for Trad Album of the Year at the MG Alba Awards.  I can heartily recommend it.  For more information go to his site: https://www.rossmillermusic.com/album

Dial in details are set out below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8893982698?pwd=bW9tcGpaYTdkejQyT2ttY2t1cXRMZz09

Meeting ID: 889 398 2698

Passcode: 8byjr2

I am aware the time may not suit our overseas members.  We are reviewing this issue.

I look forward to seeing you on the 17th.

Yours aye

Douglas Gardiner

Hon President

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Members’ Handicap Contest 2020

Dear Eagle Pipers,

Here are details of the 2020 Members’ Handicap Contest.

Steven McWhirter and Drum Major Peter Toole have very kindly agreed to judge. 

Steven is Lead Drummer of Inveraray & District Pipe Band and 10 time winner of the Solo World Drumming Championship.  Peter is of course a well-kent face at Eagles.  Whilst serving in the Queen’s Own Highlanders he was Alasdair Gillies’ Drum Major so he knows a good tune when he hears one.

The rules are as follows:

  • Competitors must be paid up Members of the Society (no glory hunters please).
  • Tunes are own choice but must be a Slow Air (two parts) and Jig (four parts).
  • Highland Dress is compulsory but can be accessorised by humorous items of your own choosing if you think it will help your performance.
  • At the start of your video please state your name and tunes.
  • Competitors are free to attempt to influence the judges verbally if they feel their musical efforts will be insufficient.
  • No drumming.
  • All videos must be received by 2200hrs on 29th November 2020.

I will apply a handicap based upon the competitor’s experience to ensure a level playing field for everyone. 

There will be prizes for the top three pipers plus the following special awards:

  • Best Dressed
  • Most Entertaining
  • Worst Video.  This replaces the usual Best Breakdown.

Now comes the hard part.  Please make video recordings on your phone or laptop.  They must then be uploaded to YouTube.  You will need to register an account (this is free).  Then follow these steps:

1.            Sign in to YouTube.

2.            At the top right, select Create a video or post  Upload video.

3.            Select the file you’d like to upload.

4.            Create a title for your video.  Your name would be helpful.

5.            In the Description section, list the names of your tunes.

6.            Audience section, select “No, it’s not made for kids”.

7.            Click the “Next” button.

8.            Video elements. Skip this section. Click the “Next button”.

9.            Visibility. Select Public or Unlisted. If you select Public, it will be visible to everyone on YouTube. Do NOT select Private — this prevents the judges from viewing your video. Click “Save”.

10.          Share or take a copy of the link and email to the following address:    eaglepipers@btinternet.com

Entries must be submitted by the deadline (see above).

Please remember this is a fun contest. 

Good luck!

Yours aye,

Douglas Gardiner

Hon President

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Online Meeting – Tuesday 20th October 2020

Dear Eagle Pipers,

We shall be hosting our first online meeting at 2000hrs (UK time) on Tuesday 20th October.

There will be a group practice chanter session over a selection of Society tunes, led by The Hon Pipe Major, and a short solo set from Dr Peter McCalister on small pipes.  For Zoom virgins, the key is to stay on Mute until you have something stunningly exciting to say (or play).

We shall endeavour to try and recreate the social element of our meetings however, the format is partly experimental and we will review how successful it is.

The plan is to limit this to 40 minutes before Zoom kicks us out.  If all goes well we may pay for a premium subscription to avoid this limitation.

To join the meeting you will need to download Zoom (this is free), click the link below and input the Meeting ID and Passcode stated.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8893982698?pwd=bW9tcGpaYTdkejQyT2ttY2t1cXRMZz09

Meeting ID: 889 398 2698

Passcode: 8byjr2

I look forward to seeing you next week.

Yours aye,

Douglas Gardiner

Hon President

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October 2020 Member Update – The Way Forward

Dear Eagle Pipers,

Further to last month’s message, I write to advise that the Committee have decided on the following:

Online Meetings: We will attempt to recreate our meetings on Zoom. The first proposed date is Tuesday 20th October @ 2000hrs. If this works and there is enough demand, the plan is to host these monthly. The format will include a group session on practice chanters and possibly a solo performance. Members will have to purchase their own steak pies and have the liberty to wear whatever they wish from the waist down.

Zoom log in details will be advised in due course.

Members’ Handicap Solo Contest: We will run this online later in 2020. In keeping with the tradition of this event, one of the biggest names in drumming has agreed to judge.

The format will be a Slow Air/Jig as usual but will require competitors to have a You Tube account. More details to follow but I would encourage members to learn more about how to record and upload a clip of your fine playing onto this platform. The prize for the Best Breakdown will be replaced this year by Worst Video.

Subscriptions: From 1st January 2021, we are offering temporary reduced subscriptions for the year. UK subs will be £20 and Overseas £10 (from £30 and £20 respectively). We recognise that many members pay at other times of the year by standing order or Pay Pal. In simple terms, when you renew your membership during 2021, you will be able to pay this reduced rate. We will of course appreciate any member who chooses to pay at the standard rate.

The Scots Guards Club: We continue to pay a contribution to the Guards Club of two thirds our normal rental. This is under constant review but the health of our home is integral to the Society.

I fully appreciate the world of online piping is not complementary to a social society such as ours. However, we need to grasp the nettle and make the best of the hand we have been dealt. One plus side is that we may see more of our distinguished Overseas members.

Yours aye,

Douglas Gardiner

Hon President.

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Piobaireachd – Brad Davidson

Canadian member, Brad Davidson, has submitted this recording of the demanding and poignant Daughter’s Lament.

Brad visited the Society in May 2019 and hails from Waterloo, Ontario, the home of the Blackberry oncesmart phone.

Brad won The Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) in 1992 and having returned to serious piping after a 24 year break was looking forward to treading the boards in 2020.

He received instruction as a teenager at summer schools from Donald MacLeod, and later from Garth Neel, Colin MacLellan, Ed Neigh, Willie Connell and Bob Worrall.  He now works with the double-gold medallist, John Cairns.

Thank you Brad for the clip and we very much hope to see you in person next year.

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Member Update Sept 2020

Dear Eagle Pipers,

It is with heavy heart that I advise the Committee have reviewed the Covid guidelines and are unable to see any way of resuming our normal meetings.  Whilst there is a little more flexibility outdoors, the seasons are changing and no longer conducive to social playing.

I had hoped in August I would be able to announce something more positive but, as we all know, 2020 has been unprecedented.  2021 might be as well.  We are now reviewing ways of keeping the Society active online.  This will include not only our regular meetings but other events to provide value to members such as the annual handicap contest.

In the meantime, we continue to support the Scots Guards Club by paying two thirds of what we would normally pay for room hire.  The good health of the Club is intrinsically linked to our own.  I am pleased they have bounced back but would urge members to support them wherever you can.

Our annual jamboree to Blair Castle is obviously not happening.  However, I hear on the grapevine Glenfiddich is hoping to run a crowd-free competition with online streaming. Watch out for more details.

I will advise shortly how we plan to resume online but in the meantime, if you have any queries or suggestions please contact me.

Yours aye,

Douglas Gardiner

Hon President

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Lockdown Challenge

The response to the Lockdown Challenge has been outstanding.

Prize for the most innovative recording goes to a face-masked Martin Wilson filmed by the bronze statue at The Army School of Piping.  A second-hand DVD of Tunes of Glory is making its way to Martin.

Notable mentions also go to the following:

Kenton Adler: It was a delight to hear and see Kenton in Arkansas, USA. He and his wife Nancy have been long standing EPS members. See you in 2021 perhaps?

Ninian Christie: Ninian’s recording was made at the beautiful Braes of Brecklet in Ballachulish. P/M Willie Lawrie is buried 1km away in St John’s church. P/M Lawrie might not have turned in his grave but he may have made some reaction as Ninian finished off with his famous composition The Battle of the Somme.

Kenny McBride: So keen to win, Kenny entered twice. Superb pipe and playing as always.

Peter McCalister: Young Peter was another very keen to win the DVD. Unfortunately the Society plays the Green Hills as a retreat march not a piobaireachd. Having not submitted the score in advance Peter was immediately disqualified. Playing Bonnie Gallowa’ and Scotland the Brave in Strathspey time and Conundrum as a reel further compounded the matter. That said, with some more careful preparation, Peter could go far.

Many thanks to all those who entered. There is plenty of piping going on.

Douglas Gardiner

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World Online Solos

I am pleased to announce that Society member Peter McCalister won the Piobaireachd in the recent World Online Solo Piping & Drumming contest.

This was no gimmick.  The contest attracted 1,650 entries in 78 events from 23 countries.

There were 43 pipers alone in the Open Piobaireachd.  Peter’s tune was Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon – a classic of the genre but one for a steady pipe and even steadier piper.

Other members competed.  Look out for their names in the full results (with judges’ comments).  https://bagpipelessons.com/competition/completeresults/

 

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Lockdown Challenge

Dear Member,

I hope everyone is surviving these difficult times and keeping the pipes going if nothing else to play weekly for the NHS and Keyworkers.

In an effort to stimulate your minds and hands, I’m launching a challenge for members to record a selection of tunes taken exclusively from the Society tune book.

Guidelines as follows:

  • Recording to be no more than 4 minutes long.
  • Tune selection entirely at own choice but must be from our book and include at least two different time signatures.
  • Send the recording (video or audio – it doesn’t matter) to me by WhatsApp (07776 240 036) or One Drive (eaglepipers@btinternet.com).
  • Closing date: 15th May.
  • This is open to all members – including those overseas!

As a stimulus, I am offering a DVD of the classic film Tunes of Glory for the most innovative selection.

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Good luck!

Douglas Gardiner

 

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