In a rush to get away and see his sister in a new play Cameron took over the P/Ms traditional spot of opening the evening. The naked pipe is no longer and as you will see in the photograph it is now resplendent in new silver. Cameron’s chanter also has a silver sole, something that has become a bit of a rarity. As usual he was in sparkling form and his fingers danced their way through a wide variety of light music tunes before he ended with the hornpipe Mr and Mrs J Duncan’s Golden Wedding Anniversary. I think one from the Inveraray and District PB repertoire?
Now the P/M had not intended to play but he was presented with a rather unusual gift posted all the way from Australia by Paul Hughes. A rather nifty balmoral styled golf hat. In fact Paul sent over 2. Paul is hoping that the P/M and the Hon Pres. will adorn the hats while up at the open golf championship at St Andrews this year. We will see.
When the P/M was done pies were served and the PPP was none other than the wee spoon herself Katherine Belcher. The second half was pleasing on two counts. One, it was an all female affair and secondly two of the ladies were from Australia and that gave us a chance to pay tribute to Anzac Day and mark the 100th anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915.
Kat is over here for a year or so to soak up the atmosphere and develop her piping. She is well established in the solo and Pipe Band world and this season will turn out for the aforementioned Inveraray and District. Kat settled the pipe down (lovely resonant drones) with some
light music including the Conundrum. She continued with a hornpipe and jig before finishing with the ground of The Viscount of Dundee. A great run out before the Highlands and Islands competition on Saturday.
Jenny Hazzard was up next and again took advantage of the Eagles arena to run through some of her competition stuff for the weekend. Why don’t more pipers do this? Jenny’s final tune was a hornpipe John F Kennedy, composed by Pipe Major William (Billy) Gilmour in 1965. Great to hear something different.
The final player of the evening was Amber Sinclair (Ives). Amber graduated from the RSAMD in 2007 and is originally from Ballarat in Australia. This was Ambers first time playing at the Eagles and we were delighted that she had agreed to play the piobaireachd. Once the pipe was settled Amber tackled the little heard Isabel Mackay.
‘In his “Historic, Biographic and Legendary Notes to the Tunes” attached to David Glen’s Ancient Piobaireachd, Henry Whyte (“Fionn”) states
This beautiful Piobaireachd was composed by some unknown piper to Isabel Mackay, daughter of John, second son of Hector Mackay of Skerry. She was celebrated for her accomplishments and personal beauty. She is immortalised by Rob Donn, the bard, in a poem of considerable merit. She married [John, son of] Kenneth Sutherland of Keoldale. [Factor of the barony of Durness who was also notable as being the violin teacher of Joseph MacDonald of Compleat Theory fame, see Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, pp.20-21] Here are some lines of a translation of the bard’s verses:–
Isabel Mackay, list to her sigh;
Isabel Mackay, all so lonely;
Isabel Mackay, list to her sigh;
Isabel Mackay, all so lonely. ‘
You have to laugh. Some unknown piper……….
Anyway Amber made a lovely job of this tune and she clearly knows what she is doing with it, managing to keep the piece moving along and linking the variations with nice touches of timing changes. Well done Amber and thank you very much for stepping up to the plate.
Good luck to all taking part in the Highlands and Island competition this weekend and remember the Scots Guards KO Final on Sunday.