Pipe Major G S McLennan

Fred McKay pops into the Eagles when he is in town and very kindly gave us a copy of the portrait that was accompanied by a nice dram.

Thanks Fred.

Gorg1A portrait of one of the greatest pipers of all time has been presented to The Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen.

Pipe Major G S McLennan, who died in 1929 aged 46, is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most prolific bagpipe players of all time, possessing astonishing technical prowess and composing dozens of pipe tunes that are still performed around the world today.

McLennan was a Pipe Major in the legendary Gordon Highlanders, whose Museum is on Viewfield Road in Aberdeen. To mark his contribution to the Regiment and to pipe music, Bucksburn Pipe Band commissioned artist Robert Mathieson to produce a portrait of the world-famous soldier and musician.

An unveiling ceremony, which was attended by the descendants of GS McLennan

including grandsons John and Hamish, their wives and his great granddaughter Shonagh McLennan, took place at The Gordon Highlanders Museum on May 1.

Bucksburn & District Pipe Band’s annual Concert Reinvented takes place at the Music Hall, Aberdeen on Saturday May 2 where there will be a spot dedicated to the great piper in the presence of the McLennan family who will be guests at the concert.

Fred McKay of Bucksburn and District Pipe Band asked the Band President to present the portrait – entitled Tunes from a Silent Chanter – to Museum Curator Jesper Ericsson. Stuart Samson MBE, who was the last Pipe Major of The Gordon Highlanders, unveiled the painting.

Mr McKay said: “GS McLennan remains a giant in the piping world and his musical influence continues to this day, with bands around the world, including Bucksburn and District, playing his compositions. Presenting this portrait to the Museum is a fitting tribute to this great piper. His contribution to the Regiment was immense and I am delighted his portrait is now able to hang alongside other significant regimental figures.”

The Gordon Highlanders Museum Curator Jesper Ericsson said: “GS McLennan is the most famous pipe major to have served in The Gordon Highlanders; he fought in World War One and had a distinguished military career. His legacy is as an outstanding musician, composer and teacher. I am delighted that Bucksburn Pipe Band and Robert Mathieson have made such a generous gift that recognises McLennan’s contribution to the Regiment. The pipes are synonymous with the Gordons and many other Scottish regiments since Napoleonic times, and no history of the Regiment is complete without recognition of the role of the pipers who played with bravery as their comrades went into battle.”

The unveiling ceremony also included a rendition of several of McLennan’s most celebrated tunes performed by members of the Bucksburn and District Pipe Band and other invited pipers from the north-east.


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