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Visit of The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society – 2nd May 2017

We are very pleased to announce that our friends from The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society will be visiting us on Tuesday 2nd May 2017.

This is always a hugely entertaining evening so plan your Bank Holiday wisely.

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Match Report Tuesday 7th February 2017

img_4459Tonight was the first of the years ‘special’ evenings that saw Douglas Gardiner take the reigns to run a Ceol Mor based night. To get things underway the band took to the floor and some 13 pipers blasted out a few sets before we got to the serious business.img_4440

First up was Kenny McBride and with little fuss he was straight into one of the great tunes, Lord Lovat’s Lament. It must have been quite a few years since Kenny has played a piobaireachd in public but what a

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Kenny McBride

start to the night. A strong tune with excellent technique saw the night get off to a first class start.  George Campbell took us to the pie break with a very nice ground of Corrienessians Salute and the ambience of the night was set.

The pie break had a bit of a twist to it as Douglas ran a small piobaireachd quiz.

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George Campbell

Several teams were formed and monitors were put in place to ensure Mr Google did not get involved. Half an hour later saw a tie between team MacLellan/Hazzard and McCalister and team Peterkin and Anderson, both on 12 points. A tie break question secured a win for the P and A who

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The pensioners

were awarded a bag of fruit gums and Wether’s Originals for their efforts. No expense spared on the prizes !

The post pie/quiz piper was Iain Dewar who gave us the ground of Flame of Wrath for Squinting Patrick. Jenny Hazzard was next with the ground of The Edinburgh

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Iain Dewar

Piobaireachd and this was followed by Peter McCalister, who played one of this years silver medal set tunes, Peter James MacInnes Lullaby, also known as Cronan Phadruig Seamus, composed by Donald MacLeod circa 1960.

An interesting tune worthy of serious consideration for the list, but you need to have a good piob. high G to do it justice. Fortunately Peter’s was spot on and we were treated to a lovely rendition of this little heard modern tune. Peter claimed the prize ( a bag of wine gums) for the

img_4454most modern Piobaireachd of the evening only to be reminded, by a very modest Jenny Hazzard, that The Edinburgh Piobaireachd was composed in the 1980s. The good Doctor made rather feeble attempt to pass over the wine gums but Jenny politely declined. Had it been a pint of Best the outcome may have been different?

The last nugget of the night came from Tom Peterkin who gave us img_4452the ground of Tulloch Ard. Despite expecting his second child Tom is still aiming to give the Archie Kenneth Quaich a tilt later this year.

And with that we were done. Great music, minimal tuning and good craic.

 

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Tam ready for action

Back to normal on Tuesday 21st so please come along and have a tune with the band.

See you then

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match report Tuesday 24th January 2017

img_4435Warlocks and witches in a dance,

No cotillion, brand new from France,

But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,

Put life and mettle in their heels,

In a window alcove in the east,

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The Hon P/M at the 1st Burns supper of the year Edinburgh Castle

 

There sat Old Nick, in shape of beast,

A shaggy dog, black, grim, and large,

To give them music was his charge,

He screwed the pipes and made them squeal,

Till roof and rafters all did ring,

Coffins stood round, like open presses,

That showed the dead in their last dresses,

From Tam o’ Shanter

Robert Burns

On the eve of the Bard’s birthday we took to the floor to give more than a passing nod to the great man but also to reflect on the passing of two pipers.

unknownOne you will have heard of, Lt. Col David Murray, who was a respected amateur piper in his young days. He served with the Royal Scots and The Black Watch, and was commissioned into the Cameron Highlanders in 1941. He was also a past Piping Convener of the Northern Meeting and past President of the Piobaireachd Society as well as a respected Senior Adjudicator.

The other bad news is Elaine Potts (Marnoch) who was perhaps not so well known, as she was latterly not very active in the piping scene, has also passed. However back in the day Elaine was a fine player and a contemporary of fellow Aberdonian Patricia Henderson.

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Megan and Elaine

Lance Bombardier Megan Beveridge of the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery, recently became the first female to pass the Pipe Majors course at the Army School of Bagpiping and Highland Drumming. Megan became the first serving female soldier to be lone piper at the Edinburgh Tattoo, however, back in 1977, Officer Cadet Elaine Marnoch, was the first ever-female lone piper. She was there to wish Megan luck. Two famous lady pipers.

Elaine sadly lost a long battle against cancer but I will always remember her belting out the classic Willie Lawrie march, The Pap of Glencoe.

img_4417Another well attended evening saw 12 pipers take to the floor. While old stalwarts were absent the new brigade were out in force including the infamous John Murphy who is clearly enjoying retirement from the licensed trade. The band stepped its way through a few sets before breaking for pies.

During the break young Amara Taylor played Morning has Broken on the chanter. The pie munching audience gave vocal support with background harmony.

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Amara Taylor

The post pie piper was Michael Upton who will see 2017 as a watershed year. He is due to join Police Scotland and tie the knot later this year. On an old set of Robertson drones, once the property of Andrew ‘Lefty’ Craig, Michael played a

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Mikey Upton

couple of 3/4 marches on an instrument that was steady as a rock.

Next for shaving was Robbie Ross. Once Robbie had settled the pipe he played a big MSR and closed his slot with the lovely jig Dr. Flora MacAuley of Carradale, composed by Allan MacDonald.

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Robbie Ross

Up next was Alan McGhie who trotted out some lovely wee 2/4 marches that included The Dornoch Links and Greenwoodside. Great to see Alan becoming more of a regular at the Eagles.

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Alan McGhie

Fergus Perks was next in line and he was quickly into his stride with The Balmoral Highlanders followed by a strathspey and reel. Fergus closed with a couple of jigs.

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Fergus Perks

The final player of the night was John Fraser who gave us a blast of Burns finishing off with a few bars of Auld Lang Syne. Great stuff John.

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John Fraser

And that was that. A fine night indeed and a fitting nod to the Bard.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 7th February. There will still be some group playing at the start of the night but then Douglas Gardiner will host a Ceol Mor session, so dust off the piob. books. See you then.

 

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Piobaireachd Night -7th February

Tuesday 7th February will be a ceol mor evening when everyone is invited to play a whole or part piobaireachd.  In the spirit of the Society, this is an all-comers evening so we are keen to hear tunes from pipers of all ability ranges.

There will be a short piob-quiz hosted by Douglas Gardiner plus prizes for the following:

  1. Shortest tune
  2. Longest tune
  3. Most modern
  4. Most adventurous setting.

Dust down your Kilberry and dig out that easy reed.

borreraig

 

 

 

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Match report Tuesday 10th January 2017

img_4391Salutations and compliments of the season to all.

Santa’s sacks are empty and everyone is looking to get back into the swing of things. Some waddling to the gym, some looking for the magic diet and detox plan but the hardy few  will keep going until Rabbie’s birthday comes along. You know who you are.

Some have even dusted off the cobwebs from the great Highland bagpipe and are in fine early season form.

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The Guards Club needs you

img_4382The New Year has seen the Eagles introduce a new format with communal playing between 8pm and 9pm and then a few solo tunes after the pie break. Craig Robertson, the incumbent secretary, has taken on the task of pulling together a small book of tunes that will be circulated to members in a few weeks.

img_4379So who would turn up and break the ice and take the plunge? Quite a few actually and at one stage we had 17; yes 17 pipers on the floor. With no chanter setting, minimal drone tuning and a few different settings here and there it was a recipe for disaster, but all in all it was really quite good. More importantly it was good fun. Although not everyone thought the tone was spot on…..

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Amara Taylor (Heriots girl) aged  9 was not so impressed apparently

After a blast through some old standards the band took a well-earned pie break and had a light refreshment.

The post pie piper was none other than Kenny McBride. As you will all know Kenny is an ex Pipe Major of Lothian and Borders Police and finished his band career with Shotts and Dykehead. Recently retired from the police Kenny is obviously spending a bit of time on the pipe as he gave us a splendid selection of light music.

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John casting an eye over Kenny

Another retired policeman John Fraser took to the floor next and once again John was not to disappoint. John has a vast repertoire of tunes and he concluded his set with a reel, Sandy Strafed the Germans’. Strafed meaning to pepper with bullets.

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John strafing the audience with music

A WW1 composition it can be found in Logan’s collection by Percy W Scott.  ‘Gott strafe England’ (May God punish England) was a German saying from the war.

The final player of the night was newcomer and yet another retired police officer, George Campbell. With all the retired officers on board the Pipe Major was feeling at home and no longer the only old pensioner at the bar! George, a former player with Boghall and Bathgate, didn’t hang about and he went straight into the big stuff with some competition march, strathspeys and reels. Great stuff.

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George Campbell

What a start to the year. It was fantastic to see so many come along with pipes and a real bonus to have the retired Police Scotland boys join the fold.

The Wheel of Fortune Competition is on Saturday 11th February in the Danderhall Miners Welfare Club and our own Jenny Hazzard is one of the contestants.

The next Eagles meeting will be on Tuesday 24th where the bands first 2 tunes will be the 6/8s,The Glendaruel Highlanders and Dovecot Park. Who knows what will follow but the evening may have a Burns flavor?

img_4380Come along and bring your pipes. You don’t have to be a member but you might have to buy a drink!

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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2017 New Year Meeting

Our first meeting of 2017 is on Tuesday 10th January.

Bring your pipes – it will be the first our new band sessions.

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Match Report Tuesday 6th December 2016

unknownThe last meeting of the year involved plenty of chat and festive cheer. It was half 9 before we realised that a tune was required. Up to the plate stepped Peter McCalister and after a few light music tunes he presented and played the little heard War or Peace, Cogadh Na Sith.img_4247

Note-This is ancient piobaireachd is a tune played on the eve of a battle to rouse clansmen to a high emotional state, or, in battle. It was also once commonly known as “The True Gathering of the Clans”.

At the Battle of Saint Pierre in 1813, a piper of the Gordon’s played Cogadh no Sith and was killed as he played. A second piper took up the tune and was also killed. A third piper completed the tune.

img_4243Probably the best known playing of Cogadh no Sìth was at the Battle of Waterloo when Piper Kenneth MacKay of Tongue played the tune.

Kenneth MacKay was a piper with the 79th Cameron Highlanders. As his regiment was forming a square to defend themselves against the charging French Cuirassiers, the proudest cavalry of its day, Kenneth MacKay stepped outside the square and took up his pipe to play Cogadh no Sith. Ouitside the square he marched despite the repeated charges of the French cavalry, all the while playing Cogadh no Sìth.img_4250

The square held firm despite heavy casualties – over 300 officers and men killed or wounded. Kenneth MacKay by some miracle was unharmed. The Cameron Highlanders were singled out for special mention by the Duke of Wellington. When representatives of the regiment were invited to Paris to appear before the royalty of Europe, Kenneth MacKay played Cogadh no Sìth for the Tsar of Russia.

He was later presented with a set of silver mounted pipes donated by Britain’s Prince Regent.

Now that all said, as most of you will know, the picture of MacKay depicts him playing an F. There are none in the tune?

Anyway once again great stuff from Peter and a very fitting way to conclude the year that saw some 15 piobaireachds aired.

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The family will eat at Christmas

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 10th January 2017 where the new band format will commence, so everyone please bring your pipes. The Society is putting together a new member tune book that hopefully will be available early next year.

So all in all another great piping year has come to an end with fond memories of fun and frolic’s. After all that’s what it’s all about, is it not?

Compliments of the season to you and yours.bagpipe-santa

Euan Anderson

Hon. P/M

The Eagle Pipers’ Society

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