Allan Harper, opened the night on a fine bagpipe with a superb deep bass. He had everyone humming away quietly to the beautiful slow air, The Sands of Kuwait, written by LCpl Mackenzie about the Gulf War in 1991. He finished in style with the ground of one of next year’s Silver Medal tunes, Salute to Donald. Angus Lutton, Pipe Major of The Edinburgh Academy Pipe Band, played next displaying dexterity of finger seldom found in a rugby
player of his ability. His tunes included The Detroit Highlanders written by the blind piper Archibald MacNeill – a fantastic march made famous by Strathclyde Police in their 1980s pomp. Former Edinburgh Academy P/M, Nick Keyden, followed on a sparkling set of full silver Naill pipes given to him for his recent 18th birthday. What a set! Naills obviously had a little silver left over to make Nick a shiny new ear stud as well. Nick played a classic MSR including Donald MacLean’s Farewell to
Oban and the outstanding air, Sarah’s Song, apparently composed by Phil Cunningham on a napkin at a dinner for a raffle prize. The Hon P/M welcomed Donald Mackinnon’s sister visiting all the way from Canada and also Hugh Kilpatrick from Comrie, which is twinned with a town in Canada.
Breaking from tradition the television was allowed on without sound just in case Scotland could salvage some points against Spain (the current World Champs) and qualify for the European Championships but alas another glorious defeat. There is always the rugby. Oh no wait a minute were are out of that as well. While this was unfolding the Hon PM struck up his pipes to give us tonight’s piobaireachd, MacLeod of Rassay’s Salute.
It was a measure of how mesmerized we all were with Euan’s expert crafting of this tune that only one person openly moved when Scotland scored during the crunluath doubling. After the pies, Euan announced the very sad death of Dr Martin Lowe, OBE.
Martin was a board member of the National Piping Centre, Honorary Secretary of The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society and active member of numerous other piping societies. He had been greatly enthusiastic when the EPS itself was revived and indeed played for us in June when he visited with the RSPS.
10k runner, Jenny Hazzard, brought the evening to a fine close on her usual outstanding bagpipe with a set that included George M. Beley, John MacDonald of Glencoe and Bruce Gandy’s technically demanding but melodic tunes the Coppermill Studio and Thief of Pleasanton.