Our special guest evenings are perhaps the years highlights and this was to be no exception. We were delighted to welcome young Andrew Ferguson from Dollar into the fold. At 17 Andrew is still at school and is under the wings of master 4 times clasp winner Callum Beaumont, who incidentally won his 4th clasp at the Northern Meetings, playing a masterful, The Daughters Lament. Many congratulations.
On an old set of Lawries Andrew got the first half under way with some 6/8 marches. He then went into a couple of hornpipes, Ian Green of Greentrax and Chasing Shadows. He continued to warm the fingers up with the hornpipe P/M G. S. Allan and the jig, St. Ninian’s Parish Centre Church, composed by Bob Worrall.
Of note the George Allan referred to in the Donald MacLeod composition was Pipe Major of the 1st Royal Scots from 1907-1919 and the 2nd Royal Scots from 1921-1930. Willie MacCallum is on record as saying, ‘when my grandfather bought my silver Henderson pipes from Willie Thomson, that they had won both the Gold Medals played by George S Allan at Oban (1905) and Inverness (1906). Allan used to borrow the pipes to compete.John Wilson (Campbeltown, of Strathclyde Police fame) confirmed to me a couple of years back that his father Willie used to refer to these pipes I inherited as ‘the Allan pipes’.
Andrew then went into the meat of his first half performance with three competition 2/4 marches, followed by a set of three strathspeys and reels. What a great way to take us into the pie break.
The second half was all about getting the pipe settled for the great Earl of Ross’s March. Andrew played a selection of light music tunes before satisfying himself the pipe was ready for this big tune.
The tune is attributed to Donald Mor MacCrimmon c. 1600.
Ross seems to have been made a separate Earldom (from Moray) in the mid 12thcentury. Donald, Lord of the Isles, having been deprived of the Earldom through various kinds of feudal skulduggery, marched upon Aberdeen, and was defeated on 24thJuly 1411 at a place called Harlaw in the uplands of Garioch by a force of North East gentry and the citizens of Aberdeen. John, Lord of the Isles, is said to have surrendered the Earldom of Ross to the Scottish crown in 1476.
Andrews’s performance of the tune was mature for his years and technically very sound. The pipe held well and this is clearly a tune that will stand him in good stead for many years to come.
What a great evenings entertainment and many thanks Andrew for taking the time to come along and entertain us.
A package arrived in the post from our chums the St Andrews Caledonia Pipe band from Tasmania. Much appreciated folks.
The secretary will be sending out information about the bus trip to the Glenfiddich and remember the members competition to be held on Tuesday 1stOctober.
The P/M will be missing in action in 2 weeks time as he is taking a sabbatical but the band will continue to focus on The Conundrum and King George V’s Army.