There was a funny buzz in the air and a strange sense of excitement as the P/M brought the evening to order with some Gaelic airs and the lovely Kilworth Hills. Perhaps from the jet engines that are frantically importing all our foreign chums and the clear adrenaline rush that the World’s fortnight seems to bring year after year?
The Worlds – a 2-day event this year. I wonder how that will go?
Our solo players were in Skye doing their stuff in the Dunvegan medal and Speirsy had turned up to put in a last minute session before heading up for the Silver Chanter-but more of that later.
Next for shaving was young Ali Scougall, his first time at the Eagles. Ali plays with Boghall and Bathgate having come up through the ranks with them. I didn’t make the connection at the time but I know his Aunty Mary and Mum Janette (his own personal fan club) and it was a shame they were not at the Eagles to witness an outstanding inaugural performance. Having warmed up with the 6/8 Bengullion he went straight into the little heard Glengarry Gathering. A great but very tricky march. Having finished his strathspey and reel he gave the McCallums a final tweak before playing the jigs Biddy from Sligo and The Piper’s Bonnet. Ladies, you would have been proud.
Up next was another newcomer Harry Richards from Dunblane, who attends Strathallan School and is currently under the wing of the piping instructor
there, our own Cameron Drummond. I must be getting old. Ok of course I am getting old but do these young guns have no nerves? Harry gave the pipes a quick tune played a few bars of a slow air and launched himself into The Abercairney Highlanders followed by P/M William MacLean. This was followed by a very musical slow air and the challenging jig, The Loch Ness Monster. And that was that. Easy peasy.
As I tried to swallow the large piece of green cheese, that had somehow become stuck in my throat, I realised that the evenings youth take over was far from complete as, fresh out of diapers waiting in the wings, was Lachie Dick. Now I am exaggerating as I know Lachie is at University and studying to be a doctor however he really needs to learn that, in Edinburgh, serenading a young femme fatale with a haggis supper is not the done thing. (every good Detective has his informants).
Don Juan opened with the little heard Willie Ross jigs Arlitrach (book 5 page 45) and The Cat and the Dog. With his pipe now humming he played a first class MSR, The Pap of Glencoe, Maggie Cameron and The Grey Bob. He steadied himself and finished with the piobaireachd, The Massacre of Glencoe. You can listen to this on our You Tube site at
and that wonderful tune put the cherry on the cake to an outstanding first half.
As the pies came in we got the results of the Dunvegan Medal and were delighted to hear that both Tracey and Jenny were placed.
The full result was:
1st Michael Elder, Fife, Scotland, “The Groat” (an old chum of mine from Drambuie days)
2nd Tracey Williams, Glasgow,” Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay”
3rd Darach Urquhart, Glasgow, “I Got a Kiss of the King’s Hand”
4th Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh, “Lament for the Earl of Antrim”
5th John Angus Smith, London, “Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon”
The Clasp results were:
1st Innes Smith, Bridge of Allan, Scotland, “The King’s Taxes”
2nd Michael Elder, “Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay”
3rd Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow, “Lament for MacSwan of Roaig”
While I offer my congratulations to Innes I am going to foot his erse if he does not drag himself along soon to the Eagles for a tune! You have been warned Smith . 🙂
The post-pie piper was Cameron Drummond, (who recently failed in his threat to stomp all over me at golf), playing the naked bagpipe. Cameron has been
playing a set of mountless Naills for some time now deciding if he should take the plunge. They were magnificent as was the playing. Amongst his marches he played one of my favourites, the Lochaber Gathering. His strathspeys and reels can be heard at
The Young Piper of the year must surely be threat in the Gold Medals this year?
As mentioned earlier Iain was keen to have a tune in preparation for the Silver Chanter. Iain has just returned from the family holiday in Canada and could have been forgiven for being a bit rusty but the current Glenfiddich champion was in the groove. The Lament for MacLeod of Colbeck is one of the bigger pieces and a classic. Listening attentively in the audience was the Hon President who won the Silver Chanter with this tune in 1990. Iain did this tune more than justice and you can have a listen at
What a night. Fantastic. While it is great to see our own top players come along and we get to hear them when they are in top competitive form, it is just as important, if not more so, that we get the new young up and coming pipers along. They are the future and as far as The Eagle Piper’s are concerned, the more the merrier. Thus to Ali and Harry my thanks for coming along and please don’t be strangers.
We are rolling into an extra evening next week on Tuesday 13th August where we anticipate an absolutely packed house including our overseas members and guests who we hope will drop in for a visit and hopefully a tune. Andrew Gray is on the piob.
See you then at the Scots Guards Club Haymarket Terrace Edinburgh. 7 30 for an 8pm start.
PS The Eagles did rather well at North Berwick last Saturday. Congratulations.
1st Iain Speirs, “In Praise of Morag”
2nd Alex Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, “Grain in Hides and Corn in Sacks”
3rd William Geddes, Dumfries, Scotland
4th Ed Bush, Cardinal, Ontario, “The Earl of Seaforth’s Salute”
March, Strathspey & Reel
1st Cameron Drummond
2nd Alex Gandy
3rd Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
4th David Wilton, Glasgow