The evening got under way with a few tunes from young Taylor Townsley, aged 13, who is a pupil of Glenn Brown. She showed her younger brother Joshua the way as he has promised to play next time round. Taylor is a name for the future and is a charming young girl. Well done.
Finlay MacDonald, who leads the piping degree program as outlined below, brought through several of his charges to entertain us. The boys and girls have just finished their exams and practical sessions so were through in Edinburgh on the loose with Finlay at the helm – I think!
‘The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) and The National Piping Centre (NPC) offer a specialist degree that allows pipers to study piping within the context of Scottish traditional music to the highest level. This unique degree offers the chance for students to concentrate on the total study of piping in all forms, whilst also developing their performance under some of the best players in the world. Students receive instruction individually and in small groups and workshop settings. The course includes substantial study of the history, repertoire, contexts, traditions, performance practice and organology of the bagpipes, producing expert performers that have a deep understanding of their own, and other, traditions. Additionally, all students take instruction in a second-study instrument.A unique feature of the BA (Scottish Music – Piping) degree is the option of focussing studies on teaching which gives students the skills required by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC), to train as classroom music teachers.’
First up from the group was Struan Thorpe who has just completed year 3. He gave an excellent performance on an old set of Glens that had been saved from a Boys Brigade cupboard. They are in great hands now.
Edward Seaman gave a few tunes next. Edward played at the opening night but due to exam pressures has been absent thus it was a welcome return and he was in fine form.
Finlay grabbed a set of pies and took the floor with great panache. Finlay has his own band and is a very talented musician. Have a look at http://www.finlaymacdonaldband.com/ By this time I had lost control, or what little I had, of the evening and the music flowed.
After the traditional pie break The Hon. President Colin MacLellan presented John Starr – famous for his hospitality at the North Berwick Highland games-with his membership tie as the 200th member of the Society.
An impromptu quartet led by Keith Bowes took the floor. Ally Henderson, Chris Gibb and James McKenzie from Lewis entertained the 50 or so crowd with some excellent tunes before leaving the floor to James who gave us a few solo tunes. The evening was turning out to be a wee classic.
This music continued when Kirsty McKinnon gave us a beautiful Gaelic song something that was long overdue at the Eagles. Kirsty has promised to come back and give us a few more songs soon.
Around 10.15 Tracy Williams from New Zealand took the floor to give us The Unjust Incarceration. Tracy’s pipe was magnificent and her playing matched the pipe. What a finish to an excellent evening.
An evening that also saw the launch of the Eagle Pipers’ Society cuff links that are now available to members at £20 per pair.
The British Championships are at Annan this Saturday so good luck to all.
See you all in two weeks time.