Eight performances, a 20 minute piobaireachd, two eagles and a new pie eating record. Another vintage night at the EPS.
The newly retired CPA Secretary, Tracey Williams, opened the evening on her wonderfully sweet 1915 Hendersons. Tracey was showing off her light music in advance of next weekend’s SPSL contest in London. Her fine double MSR proved the post summer competition break has been wisely spent.
Next up was the newly appointed CPA Secretary, Dr Peter McAlister of Dunblane, playing his vintage (6th Century BC) MacDougall drones.
The additional burden of this demanding CPA role has clearly affected Peter’s practice time as he only managed to play one tune, Cabar Feidh, albeit in march, strathspey, reel, piobaireachd and jig time. The highlight was the piobaireachd ground, composed by Donald MacLeod.
New member, Kyle Rothschild-Mancinelli, took the floor next with his Naills sounding in great shape. Kyle has recently moved to Edinburgh from San Francisco to study. He has clearly been well taught as his selection of tunes, rather humorously including yet another Cabar Feidh, was finely executed.
Brodie Savage of Warrington, Cheshire, followed playing a heavyweight medley of standards including Dugald MacColl’s Farewell to France.Next for shaving was the Vale of Atholl’s Craig Sutherland, the 2009 Macgregor Memorial winner.
- Craig played a superb assortment of tunes including the unusual Sir James of the Old Port, composed by the late Gordon Duncan. A true, crisp and steady bagpipe.The Pre-Pie-Piper was Craig’s fellow Vale member, George Hill, on another solid instrument. George’s tunes included MacLean of Pennycross. Enjoying this tune was EPS, RSPS and HPS member, Iain Macdonald. Iain knows more about this tune and the sad demise of its composer, P/M A. Ferguson, than is healthy. Ask him on a quiet night.
During the pie break, EPS President, Colin MacLellan, presented the Society with a limited edition, bronzed sculpture of a majestic eagle in full flight. Hon P/M, Euan Anderson followed this with the presentation of a lacquered, wooden eagle sitting on a perch gifted by an anonymous donor. They will prove fine trophies in the future although I know which one I would prefer to win.
Post pies, the political journalist, Tom Peterkin, entertained us with a wonderful variety of marches including the delightful King George V’s Army. The quality of Tom’s instrument, musicality and finger work showed why he is one of the top amateur pipers around. Sadly Tom’s status as EPS Pie Eating Champ was however being toppled as he played. Andrew Gray strategically took the opportunity to demolish a record five pies. He is a big lad but that is some record.
A fitting finale to a memorable evening was double Gold Medallist, Iain Speirs, who settled his magnificent pipe with the slow air setting of I Got a Kiss of the King’s Hand. He then played the nameless piobaireachd, Cherede Darievea or Big Nameless – a mighty 20 minute tune.
It was a master class in how a piobaireachd High G can stay the course. Iain’s music and expression were superbly complemented by a deep, rich harmonic drone. Hugely enjoyable.
The whole of the EPS wished Iain all the very best of luck at the Glenfiddich on Saturday.