I am often asked if there is a place for Piping Societies in this day and age and to be honest it is a valid question.
The calendar is full with professional competitions and recitals, not to mention pipe band commitments, so who are they for? A question for lengthy discussion but one of the significant things societies offer is a platform to play pipes in a reasonably informal setting and to have a tune amongst friends.
With this in mind it was very pleasing to welcome Edinburgh Academy into the fold. Instructor Michael Gray had brought along 3 of his charges for a tune. The timing was perfect as it was an opportunity for a run before the Scottish Schools competition the following Friday.
After a short Eagles band session the 3 pupils, Joseph Barne, Hugo MacPherson and Ritchie Gardiner each took the opportunity to play solo before the pies. Jo kicked things off with the great march, The Stornoway Highland Gathering. A very musical tune and well played on a good pipe. Jo is the current Pipe Major of the school band and he finished his spot with the jig, The Glasgow City Police Pipe Band.
Hugo was up next and played a lovely MSR starting with Major Manson at Clashuntrushal. As they now say he was not arriving. He was not leaving. He was just there. Inveraray Castle and Alick C. MacGregor followed. Well done indeed.
Ritchie Gardiner, under a bit of pressure as dad was keeping a keen eye on the fingers, also played an MSR that started with The Siege of Delhi, a tune composed to mark the incident that took place during the Indian rebellion of 1857. The young Gardiner acquitted himself very well and I am sure he is due a pocket money raise?
On the left, The City of Delhi Before the Siege – The Illustrated London News Jan 16, 1858.
Post pies the guys came back on and gave us their competition medley. I am am sure they benefited from having a practice run in front of an audience.
Michael Gray concluded the evening with a few tunes that concluded with a very fine Black Donalds March. It was a rare treat for us to hear Michael and thanks to him and the boys for coming along and providing such first class entertainment. You are most welcome any time.
To remind you our meeting with the Glasgow Highland Club has been cancelled and we will revert back to a normal practice night on Tuesday 26th November.