With passing of Donald MacPherson last week and his funeral to be held tomorrow the Eagle Pipers dedicated their evening in his memory. It is well documented elsewhere about Donald’s natural abilities and his amazing competitive record but it was a treat to have the opportunity to sit with people who knew him personally and listen to many stories about the man himself.
While Colin MacLellan and Iain Speirs swapped anecdotes the first tunes of the evening came from Donald Macleod who settled the pipe with some 4/4s. He then went into some traditional 6/8s starting with the Heights of Casino. After a quick tune of the drones he then gave us P M William Grays Farewell to the Glasgow Police and Capt. Campbell of Drum A Voisk. With the pipe now completely settled he finished off his spot with the Urlar of The Old Men of the Shells.
More MacPherson chat (it was nice to note that young Angus MacPherson was the first winner of the EPS U15 Piobaireachd Quaich at
the local mod-no relation but the names lives on) was followed by a few tunes from Dr Robert Gray. Robert kicked off with an unusual setting of the 6/8 McNeil’s of Ugadale followed by the Garb of Old Gaul-a tune always welcome in the Scot’s Guards Club. He continued his spot with some 2/4 marches opening with Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban. Robert unfortunately had to rush off after his performance as he had an experiment running in the lab that he had to monitor. Sadly probably true!
The pies arrived and while Tam Peterkin gave a quick impression of a salivating bloodhound it was Jenny Hazzard who seemed to enjoy the break the most. Having just completed the Belfast marathon in less than 4 hours some treats were in order and an Eagles pie was on the list.
The PPP was Lachie Dick gave us a few tunes on a new set up that looked like a goatskin bag? The pipe was more mellow than normal and Lachie was in fine form. A very musical young man.
To close the evening Iain Speirs paid tribute to Donald MacPherson by giving us ten minutes or so about the man who had been his teacher for the past few years. He then settled the pipe and gave us the ground of The Lament for the Children. Iain is playing at the funeral tomorrow and we wish him well in what we all know is an onerous duty.
Donald Macpherson we salute you.