Adding an extra night into the worlds week is always a bit of a gamble as there is so much else to compete with-the Fringe in own fair city and Piping Live in Glasgow but what a great night we had. Our usual and most welcome guests pitched up- The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band and they were joined by new guests, PM Ron Graham and The Quigley Highlanders, from Ontario, Canada. Their web site tells us,
‘The idea of having a community based pipe band was born around a kitchen table at the home of Millan MacPherson’s, while enjoying Celtic music and refreshments. The people sitting at that table decided to form The Quigley Highlanders Pipes and Drums (QHPD) to honour the former hamlet of Quigley’s Corners, now Lochiel, Ontario, Canada. The community was excited that the QHPD was born, and that their motto was “Know Your Past, Empower your Future”.
In 1845, Owen Quigley bought the lot on the north-west corner where Lochiel Road intersects with Old Military Road and established a store, post office, hotel and tavern, a cheese factory, a forge, sawmill, grist mill and potash plant. The corner quickly became hub of the surrounding community. Today, all that remains is a tiny cluster of houses but the old popular name, Quigley’s Corners, lives on as an important part of the history of Lochiel. The motto expresses pride in the strength and courage of the Scots who left their homeland and established their families in Glengarry. People who no longer reside in Glengarry County still feel the connection and comfort it offers.
Formation of the band went quickly. Bandsmen ranged in age from sixteen to sixty and came from a variety of backgrounds, with varying degrees of experience. Under the leadership of the band’s first Pipe Major, David MacPherson, and Lead Tip Margaret Boekhoff, were pipers and drummers who once played with Glengarry, Black Watch, Air Force, Dunvegan, Ottawa Police and others. People that never played an instrument before, including retirees quickly learned their instrument and joined the ranks.’
In time honoured tradition the P/M got the evening underway with a few family favourites before handing over to Magnus Orr who was quickly into his stride knocking off an MSR. It’s great to see Magnus make another appearance at the Eagles as he is one of the Edinburgh stalwarts of the piping scene and is still heavily involved in organising International piping events.
Next for shaving was Douglas Gardiner who had taken the bold step of having a tune with grade 3a outfit RAF Halton at the weekend. (A successful venture as it turned out as they attained a very creditable 3rd place) Douglas is quite the ensemble expert having a fondness for bass and tenor technique and I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed his run out with the band. On a quite superb bagpipe Douglas gave us a wide range of tunes including the MSR John McDonald of Glencoe, Maggie Cameron and Loch Carron.
The room was bulging at the seams when Andrew Allison took to the floor on the P/Ms pipe. He too knocked off an MSR in his spot. Andrew is a great addition to our ranks and maw an paw make sure his hair is always neat and tidy!
The post pie piper was none other than Andrew Donlan from the City of Washington. Andrew is a first class’s solo player and is also a member if the New York Metro Pipe Band, who were over to compete in grade 2 at the Worlds (and made the final!) http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ewjg9r/videos/p024xsgk#p024xs6b). Andrews pipe was first class- no mean feat after the soaking it got at Perth-and gave us a wide range of big competition stuff including Delvinside and Pretty Marion. To complete his Eagle’s debut he gave us a hornpipe and jig
closing with The Braes of Mellanish. Great stuff Andrew. Come back soon.
Tom Peterkin was up next and gave us a few more tunes from his large and quite diverse repertoire. Tom is a very musical player and he always manages to trot out a tune or two that has you scratching your head trying to recall the name.
The final player of the night was Cameron Drummond. Rosie has been flat out moving into his new pad (house warming) in Edinburgh as he starts as the new piping instructor at Fettes College at the start of the new term. It didn’t take him long to settle his pipe and once the drones were steady and locked in ( and I mean locked in) he gave us a superb Battle of the Pass of Crieff. If Cameron can sustain this form there is no doubt that he will be a strong contender in both gold medals this year.
And that was the evenings evening.
We are now suffering from the annual PWD, however a great time spent with friends, the Glasgow Police concert, Pipe Idol, The Worlds, Sartis, the Assman and an unforgettable visit to The Iron Horse made it all worth while.
We are back onto our usual routine of every second Tuesday starting Tuesday 19th August which is an ideal opportunity for those heading up to the Argyllshire Gathering to give some of their tunes an airing.
Hope to see you there