On the eve of the auction of Donald MacPherson’s clasps and other notable awards, that included a couple of Eagle Pipers’ medals, it gave food for though with regards what value we put on major piping success. After all the prize money is generally no great shakes, so in the main we play for pleasure and the chance of playing ourselves into the history books-for those at the top end of the game that is.
So what price a clasp? To buy off the shelf surely no more than £100, tops? Times 8, £800, however when under the hammer £11 000 was not enough to secure the greatest ever prize winning pipers quarry, that had a reserve in place that was clearly not met. Mind you if you had 8 clasps in your family would you sell them? That aside what remains is the absolute fact that the man himself was one hell of a player.
With the pipe nice and settled Scott Hannah, of Shotts and Dykehead fame, borrowed the P/Ms instrument and kicked off with, Shotts Farewell to Jim Kilpatrick. OK he didn’t actually play that, but if there had been such a tune it would have been more than appropriate, with Jim announcing that he is stepping down as leading tip.
What a drummer and what a record. One that will probably never be surpassed, 60 major drum corps titles, including 16 World Drum Corps Championships (a record 11 straight, 1988-’98) As leading-drummer the band won 31 major championships and six World titles not to mention his 16 solo world drumming titles. Wow.
Anyway Scott was quickly into his stride and rolled off three competition marches Major Manson Farewell to Clachantrushal, Mrs. John McColl and John MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage. And with that he was done. A new bag awaits for his own pipe!
Next for shaving was Iain Kirkwood, who played a couple of tunes before giving us the Donald McLeod composition, Queen Elizabeth the Seconds Salute. Very nice.
The PPP was Nils M. who kicked off with an old favorite, Farewell to the Creeks, also known as The 51st Highland Division’s Farewell To Sicily composed by Pipe Major James Robertson of Boyne, Banffshire, in 1915, when he was a prisoner of war in Germany.
To finish off the evening Jenny Hazzard took to the floor and explained to the audience that she has a hard winter ahead of her. She is to take part in a reprise of the 78th Fraser Highlanders 1987 Live in Ireland Concert, that is taking place on the 30th January, 13.00hrs, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, as part of Celtic Connections. Our own Michael Grey (yes ours, as once you launch a book at the Eagles you are part of the gang) is one of the driving forces behind it. Here’s what it says on the Celtic Connections website
‘Back in August 1987, Canada’s 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band performed what would come to be known as a landmark concert in Ballymena, Co. Antrim – just a few days before they became the first ever non-Scottish band to win the Grade 1 title at that year’s World Pipe Band Championships.
Nearly three decades on, the recording of that concert, Live in Ireland ’87, remains one of the best selling pipe-band albums ever, with its innovative repertoire – including Don Thompson’s “Journey to Skye”, the first ever musical suite composed for pipe band – establishing it as a pivotal milestone in its field. For this special celebratory concert, a dozen members of that legendary 1987 line-up are joined by other household names of the piping world, including Chris Armstrong, Ryan Canning, Ian Duncan, Stuart Liddell, Steven McWhirter, Duncan Nicholson, Richard Parkes, Terry Tully and Ross Walker, while John Wilson and Bob Worrall will co-host the performance.’
Jenny was only about 12 first time round and has the mammoth task of learning the concert repertoire. She started tonight and trotted out a few tunes that will be in the concert. We look forward to hearing a lot more over the winter meetings.
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 27th where Lachie Dick and Jenny Hazzard will treat us to a bit Ceol Mor before heading off to the big London competition the following weekend.
Remember the Glenfiddich Championship a week Saturday 24th at Blair Castle.