Where have we been I hear you ask? No match reports for some time and little news or gossip? Well apologies for the tardiness but we have all been busy in one shape or form. The competing Eagles and Eaglets
have been out strutting their stuff on the boards and the big bird himself has been overseas and been on the pen recently, putting many to the sword.
We decided to keep the Society running throughout the summer in the knowledge that July and August may be a bit quieter due to a variety of demands placed on us all at this time of year, not least the family holidays, thus the meeting on the 19thJuly was predictably quiet with only a few turning up. I believe young Andrew Gray kept the evening going and unfortunately I missed an old school chum of mine, Martin Docherty, who was over visiting from the States. Martin was at school with Colin and myself and we all played in the school band for a few years. Martin knocked out a few tunes and it was great to hear that he had been at the meeting.
The next meeting on the 2ndAugust was a slightly busier affair but again we were clashing with Skye and other big games. (Congratulations go to Innes Smith and Cameron Drummond who were first and second in the Dunvegan medal respectively. Congratulations also to the Hon President who took on the onerous task of judging the Silver Chanter on his own. Cameron then hopped over to Lorient and scooped the major prises over there including the piobaireachd. Jenny Hazzard has also had a notable season and the good news is that there have been so many success stories featuring our membership that in case offence is caused by omission I’ll just say congratulations to all. I kicked off the evening with a few tunes before Andrew Gray took over and finished with a fine robust Flame of Wrath. After the pies (not our usual steak ones-are butchers allowed holidays?) Tam Peterkin
gave us a fine selection on an excellent pipe. Iain Speirs was up next and put some air through the pipe that had been somewhat neglected while he was away on the family holiday in Canada honing his golf swing. It must have done him some good as he sloped down to North Berwick that weekend and walked off with a first in the piobaireachd. The evening was rounded off with the second piob. of the night, (to make up for not having one at the last meeting), the Old men of the Shells played by Chris Gibb. Chris gave a very polished performance before putting his band hat back on and heading through to Glasgow to prepare for the Worlds concert. Chris is a member of the Scottish Power Pipe Band and by all accounts the concert was an outstanding success. They also had a very successful tilt at the Worlds last Saturday. On that note congratulations go the FMM who, with style and panache, won both elements comfortably winning Grade 1.
It has to be said that the Scottish weather made it very difficult to enjoy the Piping Hot music festival and in truth it was miserable week. Hats off to all those who performed and provided hours of excellent entertainment. On Wednesday 10th August Eagle Michael Grey performed a selection of his own tunes that was presented by Pipes and Drums. Michael, who was playing a bespoke bagpipe (cover), gave away free CDs of the scores for the tunes he played. You can find out more Michael and his music, Dunaber Music at www.michaelgrey.com.
This was Andrew Berthoff’s first venture into this arena and I believe it will be an annual spot with pipes and drums promoting a wide variety of musical events at the festival.
I was unfortunate to miss the following Fridays lunchtime recital given by our own Cameron Drummond. Several reports confirmed that Cameron gave a master class that belies his youth and experience. However there was one unsavoury moment when someone tried to gate crash the performance without buying a ticket. While I will not embarrass the individual here Rosie spotted the culprit and politely asked Douglas Gardiner (I lied) to go and buy a ticket. Ah the landed gentry eh?
Hon Pipe Major