Tonight was one of firsts. Not only was it the 1st of February but three pipers made their first recitals and we heard the first performance of a piobaireachd that had not been played for 214 years.
The Hon P/M and EPS regular, Colin Campbell, got the evening going in their usual classy styles.
Chris Ross of Kyle, a piping student at the RSAMD, made his EPS debut playing a selection including Flett from Flotta, the much revived Dawning of the Day and an interesting jig setting of Mrs Lily Christie.
Another debut piper was John Macdonald of Dingwall (not Glencoe). John is studying in Liverpool and turns out for the Wirral Pipe Band. He certainly lived up to his name and showed immense potential with such classics as Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque (latterly Sir Arthur and an MP by the way) and Duke of Roxburghe’s Farewell to the Blackmount Forest.
Ross Mackenzie played next – his first time despite being an EPS regular. Ross is exceptionally modest. He played with much panache on a very melodic bagpipe. His selection included Angus Sutherland (written by Finlay Macdonald?) and Merrily Danced the Quakers Wife. No more excuses now Ross!
Another RSAMD student, Ed Seaman, played a little interlude on his whistle in D before EPS committee member, Cameron Drummond, took the floor on an outstanding bagpipe – every inch the double silver medallist that he is. Cameron recently competed in the Gordon Duncan Memorial Competition and he treated us to a fantastic Breton set that Gordon used to compete with.
The piobaireachd tonight, The Glen is Mine, was provided by Dr Peter McCalister, CPA Secretary and Piobaireachd Society committee member. Not content with these two demanding administrative roles, being an active competing piper and diagnosing the ailments of the good folk of Bonnybridge, Peter is a canntaireachd anorak. Peter translated the Glen is Mine from the Campbell Canntaireachd and considers it unlikely that this version has been played in public since 1797. It was a sublime performance on a beautifully sweet MacDougall bagpipe.
Hopefully it won’t be another 214 years before we hear it again.
Dates to look out for:
20th February: EPS member, Andrew Gray, and his fellow Stevenson College students playing a fundraising recital at the Scots Guards Club.
2nd April: The Edinburgh Local Mod – a junior competition held at Liberton High School. Entries close on 11th February. More info or entries visit: www.edinburghlocalmod.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.