The Pipe Major opened the proceedings with some sprightly played small 2/4 Marches in an attempt to bring some ‘spring’ to the evening but alas coats were still on as the Scottish summer is still in hiding and the heating was refusing to cooperate. None the less he finished off with a MSR before heading to the bar for a coffee!
Frequent attendee Lachie Dick was next up and he assured the company that work had been done on the new reed and his screaky high A had been consigned to the trash can. The pipe was robust as he gave us a fine rendition of Donald MacLellan of Rothesay/Tulloch Castle/Bessie McIntyre. Unfortunately a couple of small High A things popped out that resulted in Lachie receiving a private session from the Hon Pres. at the end of the evening!
Next up was Robbie Ross who lulled us all into a false sense of security by playing a couple of lovely 9/8 marches on a much-improved pipe. He then played a couple of 2/4 marches including Jeannie Carruthers before going into the most unusual strathspey that included C sharps, C flats and (C)eizures. When asked by the P/M to give the provenance for the tune Robbie explained that he found the setting in an old book. The P/M instruct him to burn it.
The pies were a welcome treat and by the time they were consumed there was quite a healthy audience waiting on the next player, Joshua Townsley. A young man in fine form and full of confidence. He opened with a couple of 6/8 marches before playing the, lovely 2/4 March Mrs Duncan MacPherson, followed by Highland Harry and Bessie McIntyre.
He took his time tuning the pipe before playing the ground and opening variations of the Earl of Seaforth’s Salute. Very polished and nicely phrased.
Jenny Hazzard was up next and she took the evening by the scruff of the neck. Pipes straight out the box and into P/M Sandy Spence, one of the late Gordon Duncan’s compositions. It was pleasing that his brother Ian was in the audience to hear it. She followed this with another 2/4 March, Murdo MacLeod followed by MacBeth’s Strathspey/Neil Sutherland of Lairg and the reel Lochiel’s Away to France. Now that the pipe was truly settled the audience were treated to a lovely Lord Lovat’s Lament. One of the great tunes and Jenny did it justice.
The final player of the evening was Robert Gray who, with his usual aplomb, finished off an excellent evening. Included in his spot were the 6/8 marches The Heights of casino and the McNeill’s of Ugadale.
And that was the evenings, evening.
Note: Scots Guards KO competition Sunday 14th semi final. Finlay Johnston v Niall Stuart.
The Vale of Athol Pipe Band has confirmed a mini band for Tuesday 11th June 2013.