As this years hosts the Eagles gave a warm welcome to honorary Pipe Major Dan Lean and the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society. A move to the larger hall upstairs was still not big enough to accommodate the joint band of some 35 players. After a bit (and I mean a bit) of tuning we sorted ourselves into some order and played through a few sets of tunes.
To conclude the first half the RSPS played a few tunes as a group that included an MSR, starting with The Australian Ladies. The pies and refreshments were most welcome as there was a fair amount of sweat on the brow by then.
The post pie pipers were our two Heriots members Brodie Watson Massie and Chris Happs. Playing as a duet they kicked off their spot with the march, Pipe Major Sandy Spence. They held the audience in the palm of their hands as they stepped through some tunes that only young nimble fingers can manage. They finished off with great aplomb with Rip the Calico and Dancing Feet that was laced with lovely harmonies.
Alan Forbes, from the RSPS, then took to the floor and very topically gave one of this years set tunes, the Lament for John Morrison of Assynt House, composed by Donald MacLeod. For those playing the tune this year remember to seek out the additional notes about it on the Piobaireachd Society web site. Alan made a first class job of what is quite a tricky tune to memorise.
Next up was Craig Sutherland who has joined the ranks of the SFU. Craig has been coming to the Eagles for a few years now and it has been very pleasing to watch him blossom into a world class player. With a nod to our guests he started off with the great Roderick Campbell 2/4 march, The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society. This was followed by The Lonach Gathering and some big strathspeys and reels. He then played the Urlar of one of the Nameless tunes before signing off with some marvellous jigs.
The 2017 Captain John A. MacLellan MBE, Memorial Trust, Piobaireachd Recital Competition and Dinner, will take place on Saturday 26th August at the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel, Princes Edinburgh.
This is a fantastic evening and this years pipers are Willie McCallum, Finlay Johnstone, Iain Speirs and Faye Henderson.
The Judge is Dr Angus MacDonald.
Tickets are £37.50 that includes a wonderful dinner, are available from Colin MacLellan via Colin@pipereeds.com or the Eagles Pipers’ membership secretary, Craig Robertson.
See you at next meeting on Tuesday 16th May.