This evenings meeting of the Eagle Pipers Society got off to a relaxed start with PM Euan Anderson opening with a set of three 2 parted 2/4 marches composed by himself. Some interesting and innovative melodies were on show but unfortunately Euan has not named these compositions despite apparently writing them around a decade ago so we will wait and see if fitting names can be assigned. He rounded his stint off with an air, The Haunting, then his own arrangement of the 4/4 March version of the same tune finishing with Murdo’s Wedding.
There was no rush to proceedings this evening and the relaxed atmosphere continued when Michael Gray took over from Euan and raised the tone of the evening….. Or rather pitch, playing the Killworth Hills to warm. We then heard a mini MSR; PM Willie Ross’s Farewell to the Scots Guard, O’er the Bows to Ballindaloch and The Piper of Drummond. There was more music to come and Michael continued with two big Marches; The Glenfinnan Highland Gathering and The Balmoral Highlanders. Next was a competition style Strathspey and Reel that powerfully finished Michael’s selection off.
After a flick and a kick start of a cane bass reed, Donald MacLeod set off with another march, this time Lieutenant Colonel DJS Murray, both warming his pipes and showing off their booming sound. Donald was on form and keen to air some competition material, playing; Hugh Kennedy, 74th Farewell to Edinburgh, The Piper’s Bonnet, Tulloch Castle, The Sound of Sleat and the Smith of Chillichassie.
A modest amount of pies were consumed at the break and we heard the news that the Scot’s Guards knock out competition set for this Sunday, 20thNovember has been postponed in order to run the Scots Guards Junior Solo Piping Competition held over the same weekend at Redford Barracks. Good luck to all involved. Congratulations were in order, yet again, at the Eagles as a number of our members had good tunes and took some of the top prizes down in London, well done!
Before jetting off to Canada to judge the top Amateur competition there, the George Sheriff Memorial, Colin MacLellan gave another glimpse of his huge repertoire, beginning with an air heard on the 78thFraser Highlander’s Live in Ireland album.
This was great to hear and brought back fond memories of the first piping album I ever owned. Some heavy 6/8 Marches introduced some even heavier 2/4 marches, The Abercairney Highlanders and The Braes of Castle Grant. MacBeth’s Strathspey and Inveraray Castle gave way to a trio of competition reels, Broadford Bay, Bessie MacIntyre and Alick C McGregor. Colin finished off with a Hornpipe and a deluge of Jigs beginning with the Jig of Slurs and ending with “Jig by DA Campbell”.
Our last player of the evening was Doctor Robert Gray who warmed his pipes up with a pipe version of the Border Ballad. A couple of Marches to start; PM Bob Martin and Leaving the Field then into some 2/4s, Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban and John MacDonald’s Welcome to South Uist, played with purpose and swagger. It was good to hear another two tunes that brought back early memories for me, two of my first competition tunes I learned with Donald McBride in Edinburgh. Robert then offered his Piobaireachd services and the room was grateful and eager to hear his tune, MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart’s Lament No1. An enjoyable tune that rounded the night off in a very satisfactory style.
Angus Lutton from Edinburgh Academy will be on the next meetings piobaireachd.
Note: There will be no Eagles meeting on Tuesday 27th December.