Hot on the back of Steven Gray’s excellent performance at the last Eagles meeting came Cameron Macdougall, another marvellous young talent, who is not long out his teens. Originally from Nigg, Cameron went to Tain Royal Academy before heading to Glasgow to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
In his formative piping years he was taught by Niall Matheson and Major John Allen. He has played in the Dornoch pipe band for most of his piping career and has competed with the Isle of Islay pipe band for the past two years.
Cameron has already had notable success in the solo arena winning the McGregor Memorial and the open jig at Oban! More recently he won the piobaireachd and overall prizes at this year’s Duncan Johnstone Memorial competition.
Once the band had blown away the cobwebs and knocked out a few tunes, Cameron took to the floor for a few pre-pie tunes. He opened with one of his own compositions, Maggie’s Wedding, followed by the 6/8 Bengullion. This was followed by a slow air and he finished with a few reels ending with the Irish reel, The Antrim Rose.
A big MSR was up next, Inveran/MacBeth’s Strathspey and Miss Proud. Excellent stuff on a Lawrie bagpipe with very steady mellow drones. With the pipe humming he went into two, 2/4 marches, Miss Ashley Bell and Alasdair Gillies, the latter being composed by Fred Morrison. They were full of music and swing and probably new to most of the audience? Cameron finished his first spot with a hornpipe and jig set that included the great tune Jimmy Boyce’s Fancy. What a great first half and it was time for Cameron to have a well-earned pie and a pint.
After the break Cameron gave us the beautiful and rich Donald Dughal Mackay, one of the great tunes. The tune is also known as Lord Raey’s Lament. Iain Dall Mackay, the blind piper, most probably wrote the tune. Donald Dughal Mackay was born in 1590 and knighted in 1616 as Sir Donald MacKay of Strathnaver. He passed in 1649 having played a prominent role in the thirty year war, raising a regiment of 3,000 men, which served in both the Danish and Swedish forces.
Cameron stepped his way through this big tune bringing out the music with ease. With excellent technique and pipe the audience were given a real treat. After rapturous applause Cameron finished with a 3/4 march and the jig The Curlew.
First class stuff from a young man with a big future.
And with that the evening was done. Congratulations go to Field Marshall Montgomery and Jenny Hazzard on picking up her first major win at the weekend in Belfast. For those statisticians out there P/M Parkes is on 66. Yes 66.
Remember after church this Sunday there is a small pipe band contest in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh.
The Eagles band will continue to work on the book repertoire including Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban. See you in 2 weeks time, 27th June, in the Scots Guard’s Association Club.