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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Another great day for the Eagles at the Capt. John MacLellan competition

IMG_2898A great days piping and a fitting end to the season. Congratulations to all the prizewinners,not least the overall champion Cameron Drummond. Innes Smith,winner of the A grade Piobaireachd, earns a place at next years Captain John MacLellan Memorial dinner.

Premier & A-Grade
Overall: Cameron Drummond
Piobaireachd
1st Innes Smith, Glasgow
2nd Jonathan Greenlees, Glasgow
3rd Cameron Drummond
4th Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh
5th Ed McIlwaine, Vancouver
Judges: Tom Speirs, Rab Wallace

MSR
1st Cameron Drummond
2nd Steven Leask, Glasgow
3rd Jonathan Greenlees
4th Graham Drummond, Bathgate, Scotland
5th Craig Sutherland, Crieff, Scotland
Judges: Iain MacLellan, Stuart Samson

B-Grade
B Piobaireachd
1st Anna Kummerlow
2nd Greig Canning, Edinburgh
3rd Steven Leask
4th John Cameron
5th Gordon Barclay
Judges: Bruce Hitchings, Colin MacLellan

MSR
1st Graham Mulholland
2nd Andrew Bova, Glasgow
3rd Lachie Dick, Edinburgh
4th Andrew Hall
5th Ross Cowan, Motherwell, Scotland
Judges: James Banks, James Hamilton

C-Grade
Overall: John MacDonald
Piobaireachd
1st John MacLeod
2nd John MacDonald
3rd Alex Gherig
4th Andrew Bova
5th Jonathan Simpson
Judges: Andrew Frater, Ronnie McShannon

MSR
IMG_29001st Katherine Belcher
2nd Edward Gaul
3rd Jonathan Simpson
4th john Macdonald
5th Gordon Barclay
Judges: Walter Cowan, Barry Donaldson

Open Hornpipe & Jig
1st Steven Gray
2nd Cameron Drummond
3rd Graham Drummond
4th Steven Leask
5th Sarah Muir, Inveraray, Scotland
Judges: Iain MacLellan, Stuart Samson, Tom Speirs, Rab Wallace

IMG_2895

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Match Report Tuesday 10th November 2015

IMG_2879With Remembrance day in mind the P/M kicked the evening off, breaking in his new Red Welt bag, with The Battle of the Somme.IMG_2877

‘Fought between July 1 and November 1, 1918 near the Somme River in France, it was also one of the bloodiest military battles in history. On the first day alone, the British suffered more than 57,000 casualties, and by the end of the campaign the Allies and Central Powers would lose more than 1.5 million men.’

Iain Kirkwood was up next and after a few warm up tunes gave us the ground and first couple of variations of His Fathers Lament for Donald MacKenzie.IMG_2861

A quartet from Fettes College, under the wing of Cameron Drummond, then took to the floor. Seamus O’Baoighill, Torquil LeRoy-Lewis, David Maitland-Biddulph and Harry Campbell of Losrosque (ok Harrys not from Lochrosque but it just goes better with the groups names) were in great form. Having a quick run out before the schools competition this coming Friday, they settled the pipes down before playing their IMG_2863competition medley. Great stuff boys and best of luck.

The pre pie piper was Nils Michael. Nils was in a relaxed mood and his pipe was rich and well balanced. He played an excellent selection of light music that included the 2/4 Marches, Tommy MacDonald of Barguillean and Douglas Gardiner, both IMG_2870composed by Dr Bruce Thomson. The amusing anecdote is that while Nils was playing the second tune, Douglas Gardiner, there were the usual glances around the room to see if anyone recognised it. Shakes of the head all round, including Douglas Gardiner himself. When Nils finished and announced the title, Douglas asked where he got the music. ‘You sent it to me’, was the reply. So so funny. ‘It’s been a while since I’ve heard it, said DG.’

bruce_thomson

Dr Bruce Thomson

Scan

Douglas Gardiner by Dr Bruce Thomson

As the pies were being served the P/M made mention of the notable prizes won at London by Eagles members, not least Cameron Drummond who dam near won the overall champion piper. His hornpipe and jig, The Stornoway Hornpipe and The Handshaker was out of this world.

Bratach Gorm

1st Roddy MacLeod, “A Son’s Salute to his Parents”

2nd Gordon Walker, Moscow, Scotland

3rd Callum Beaumont, Bo’ness, Scotland

4th Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland

Also competing: Glenn Brown, John-Angus Smith

Judges: Neill Mulvie, Jack Taylor, Bill Wotherspoon

Open Piobaireachd (William Gillies Memorial)

1st Chris Armstrong

2nd Roddy MacLeod

3rd Cameron Drummond, Edinburgh

4th Willie McCallum

5th Jamie Forrester, London

Judges: Roddy Livingstone, John Wilson, Andrew Wright

Premier and A-Grade
MSR (London Medallion / John MacFadyen Quaich)

1st Callum Beaumont

2nd Willie McCallum

3rd Cameron Drummond

4th Roddy MacLeod

5th Glenn Brown, Glasgow

Judges: Jimmy Banks, Walter Cowan, Bob Worrall

March (J.B. Robertson Rose Bowl)

1st Alasdair Henderson, Dunoon, Scotland

2nd Gordon Walker

3rd Callum Beaumont

4th Cameron Drummond

5th Chris Armstrong

Judges: Euan Anderson, Andrew Frater, Iain MacLellan

Hornpipe & Jig (Mary Flora Beaton Cup)

1st Cameron Drummond

2nd Alasdair Henderson

3rd Callum Beaumont

Judges: Euan Anderson, Andrew Frater, Iain MacLellan

A-Grade

Piobaireachd (Snuff Mull)

1st Cameron Drummond

2nd Alasdair Henderson

3rd Derek Midgley, New Jersey

4th Innes Smith

5th Peter McGregor

Judges: Tom Johnstone, Ronnie McShannon

MSR (Strachan Cup)

1st Steven Leask

2nd Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh

3rd Ben McClamrock, Baltimore

4th Ross Miller

5th Ashley McMichael

Judges: Jimmy Banks, Walter Cowan, Bob Worrall

Hornpipe & Jig

1st Steven Leask

2nd Ross Miller

3rd Ashley McMichael

Judges: Euan Anderson, Andrew Frater, Iain MacLellan

B-Grade

Piobaireachd

1st Xavier Bouderiou, Brittany

2nd Greig Canning, Edinburgh

3rd Ben McClamrock

4th Nick Hudson, Pittsburgh

5th Ross Cowan, Annan, Scotland

Judges: Archie MacLean, Rab Wallace

MSR

1st Lachie Dick, Edinburgh

2nd Callum Moffatt

3rd Greig Canning

4th Andrew Hall

5th Graham Mulholland

Judges: Euan Anderson, Dixie Ingram, Colin MacLellan

Hornpipe & Jig

1st Calum Watson

2nd Callum Moffatt

3rd Andrew Wilson

C-Grade

Piobaireachd

1st Ross MacKay

2nd Graham Mulholland

3rd Jonathan Simpson

4th John Mackey

5th Callum Carswell

MSR

1st Alasdair Donaghue

2nd Eddie Gaul

3rd Ross MacKay

4th Katherine Belcher

5th Craig Holsquist

Hornpipe & Jig

1st Alasdair Donaghue

2nd Greg McAllister

3rd Andrew Bell

IMG_2871

Katherine Belcher

The post pie piper was the wee spoon herself and she was quickly about her business with an eye on this weekends Capt. John MacLellan competition. On a lovely pipe she played 2x 2/4 marches Mrs Donald McLean and Arthur Bignold of Losrosque (Harry’s uncle?). This was followed by a spot of Ceol Mor that will stand her in good stead for the weekend, despite her 1st on draw.

Douglas Gardiner, (who has a 2/4 march named after him ya ken) was the final player of the night. Douglas is also having a run out at the weekend and he stepped his way through a variety of light music before giving is a lovely Battle of Auldearn No2. Great pipe and well executed.

Douglas Gardiner

Douglas Gardiner

‘The battle of Auldearn was fought during the civil wars of the mid seventeenth century in May 1645 between a Covenanting army and the royalists under the famous Marquis of Montrose.’

And that was the evenings evening.

Coming up, The Capt John MacLellan competition this Saturday at the Army School of Piping KO 09.00hrs.

The Scots Guard’s KO competition rounds have been published.IMG_2866

Fred Morrison is in Edinburgh on the 29th November.

See you the next Eagles meeting on Tuesday 24th NovemberIMG_2867

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match report Tuesday 27th October 2015

With the Glenfiddich behind us, (congratulations go to Angus McColl on his overall win), and the final big indoor contest looming in London this weekend, another piping year is coming to a close, but work has still to be done.

P1040372As we welcomed international piping impresario Bob Worrall to the fold, Kat Belcher got the show going. She was straight into the big stuff on a lovely steady instrument. After a couple of MSRs she treated us to the ground of the great Lament for the McSwan of Roaig. If she can take this quality down South she should do well.

The Wee Spoon

The Wee Spoon

It was nice to see Anne Vroomen from the Netherlands in the audience. Anne was also up at the Glenfiddich championships and was catching an Eagles night before heading home.

P1040373

Anne and Scott Hannah

Next for shaving was Lachie Dick, who was on another good pipe, well balanced and pleasing to the ear. After a few warm up tunes he was straight into his London competition tunes before presenting a very musical MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart. The tune was technically sound and again this standard will hold up well in the competition arena.

P1040376

Lachie Dick

Cameron Drummond was the post pie piper and he tuned up with first variation and doubling of The Unjust Incarceration. This was followed by a couple of jigs and 2 x 2/4 marches that included the little heard and technically challenging Glengarry Gathering. First class.

P1040378

Cameron Drummond

Andrew Gray was next up, back on his old set of sticks that suited the solo performer. Again Andrew was quickly into his London tunes knocking off a double MSR. He concluded with a lively hornpipe and jig, The Ladies Hornpipe and Kenny Gillies of Portnalong.

P1040379

Andrew Gray

Last to play was Jenny Hazzard, who had clearly survived the strip the willow challenges at the Atholl Palace (in high heels). Jenny followed suit by not wasting much time before heading into the big stuff. Once the pipe was settled she played The Lament for the Duke of Hamilton.

This tune may have been composed by Padruig Mor MacCrimmon in honour of William Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Hamilton. The Duke, age 35, was fatally wounded at the Battle of Worcester, 1651. Padruig Mor was himself at the battle, serving under Ruaridh MacLeod of Talisker and Norman MacLeod of Berneray, sons of the deceased Sir Ruaridh Mor, 15th Chieftain of Harris and Dunvegan MacLeods.

Or

Composed by Patrick Mor MacCrimmon and James the 4th Duke of Hamilton was killed in a duel in Hyde Park by Lord Macartney 1712’………………

P1040382

Jenny Hazzard

Whatever the tunes origins Jenny made a splendid job of it. Although a lament Jenny kept a nice tempo in the latter stages with a nice brisk fosgailte to finish.

What a lovely wee feast of Ceol Mor.

Good luck to all in London and hope to see you at the next meeting on Tuesday 10th November.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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What’s in a name? From Dunaber Music-We stand correct Sir.

major-manson-at-clachantrushal-231x300September 13, 2015 on 6:56 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Random Thoughts, Solo Piping, Whinges | No Comments
There are a couple of instances where people might talk and, so, where I find myself more riled up than other times: those that get me going more than almost any other: the first, the georgebushian “nucular”, for nuclear (as in war and bombs) and the second related to the pipe tune, “Pipe Major Manson’s Farewell to Clachantrushal” for “Major David Manson AT Clachantrushal”, the later being the accurate and right name for this bagpipe 2/4-timed march – played always and often in bagpipe circles.

Why the bother, you ask? And get a life – I hear you.

I think, first, if I was true to myself and fessing up, well, it’s a parochial [Great Highland] bagpipe thing: it’s just not permitted in our little world to have perceived errors in fact or musical score portrayed as otherwise in any situation – dammit. Along with that, this tune is played a lot, and in name, represented wrongly – a lot.

The second? As a guy who makes tunes from time to time it bugs me that people frequently screw with titles – tune titles. To pipers (and some publishers) tune titles mean little and, generally, and are forgotten often.

Not many tune titles happen by accident and all of them are there to represent something important to the composer, and, in turn, the star of the tune – be that a person, place or thing.

And so, did the melody in question – composed, in this example, by Donald MacLean (Lewis) stand as a “fond, emotional farewell” or a “geezuz, for gawd sakes, yer still here?” commemoration [yes, Donald MacLean of THAT 6/8-timed march by Donald MacLeod]?

Here’s the frontispiece for the small two-tune folder published by Glasgow’s College of Piping in the 1950s; just to keep us right.

Major David Manson at Clachantrushal

And a few words on the composer, Pipe Major Donald MacLean, courtesy of http://www.pipetunes.ca:

“On June 12, 1940, he, along with the likes of Donald MacLeod, John Wilson, George McIntyre and many other pipers in the 51st Highland Division, were captured in France at St. Valery. He would spend the next five years as a prisoner of war in Germany and Poland. It was during this time that he wrote his famous competition march “Major David Manson at Clachantrushal” on a practice chanter borrowed from fellow piper Alex Craig. David Manson was a retired officer of the Canadian army who worked as a Glasgow silversmith. He had visited Donald’s home before the war and gave him a set of engraved silver pipes. “Clachantrushal” refers to a monolith – said to be the largest standing stone in Scotland – that stands near the home.”

Clachantrushal: A place, it seems, to be “at” and not “from”.

And get those tune titles right.

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Match Report Tuesday 13th October 2015

IMG_2815On the eve of the auction of Donald MacPherson’s clasps and other notable awards, that included a couple of Eagle Pipers’ medals, it gave food for though with regards what value we put on major piping success. After all the prize money is generally no great shakes, so in the main we play for pleasure and the chance of playing ourselves into the history books-for those at the top end of the game that is.IMG_2814

So what price a clasp? To buy off the shelf surely no more than £100, tops? Times 8, £800, however when under the hammer £11 000 was not enough to secure the greatest ever prize winning pipers quarry, that had a reserve in place that was clearly not met. Mind you if you had 8 clasps in your family would you sell them? That aside what remains is the absolute fact that the man himself was one hell of a player.

IMG_2813The P/M got the evening under way with a couple of Donald’s tunes before moving onto some 3/4s and finishing with a couple of  Donald’s McLeod 6/8’s.

IMG_2781

Scott Hannah

With the pipe nice and settled Scott Hannah, of Shotts and Dykehead fame, borrowed the P/Ms instrument and kicked off with, Shotts Farewell to Jim Kilpatrick. OK he didn’t actually play that, but if there had been such a tune it would have been more than appropriate, with Jim announcing that he is stepping down as leading tip.

What a drummer and what a record. One that will probably never be surpassed, 60 major drum corps titles, including 16 World Drum Corps Championships (a record 11 straight, 1988-’98) As leading-drummer the band won 31 major championships and six World titles not to mention his 16 solo world drumming titles. Wow.

Unknown-1Anyway Scott was quickly into his stride and rolled off three competition marches Major Manson Farewell to Clachantrushal, Mrs. John McColl and John MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage. And with that he was done. A new bag awaits for his own pipe!

IMG_2790

Iain Kirkwood

Next for shaving was Iain Kirkwood, who played a couple of tunes before giving us the Donald McLeod composition, Queen Elizabeth the Seconds Salute. Very nice.

The PPP was Nils M. who kicked off with an old favorite, Farewell to the Creeks, also known as The 51st Highland Division’s Farewell To Sicily composed by Pipe Major James Robertson of Boyne, Banffshire, in 1915, when he was a prisoner of war in Germany.

Nils was in fine form and played the lovely slow air Samantha’s Lullaby.IMG_2797

To finish off the evening Jenny Hazzard took to the floor and explained to the audience that she has a hard winter ahead of her. She is to take part in a reprise of the 78th Fraser Highlanders 1987 Live in Ireland Concert, that is taking place on the 30th January, 13.00hrs, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, as part of Celtic Connections. Our own Michael Grey (yes ours, as once you launch a book at the Eagles you are part of the gang) is one of the driving forces behind it. Here’s what it says on the Celtic Connections website

LiveInIreland87-5

LiveInIreland87-5

‘Back in August 1987, Canada’s 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band performed what would come to be known as a landmark concert in Ballymena, Co. Antrim – just a few days before they became the first ever non-Scottish band to win the Grade 1 title at that year’s World Pipe Band Championships.

Nearly three decades on, the recording of that concert, Live in Ireland ’87, remains one of the best selling pipe-band albums ever, with its innovative repertoire – including Don Thompson’s “Journey to Skye”, the first ever musical suite composed for pipe band – establishing it as a pivotal milestone in its field. For this special celebratory concert, a dozen members of that legendary 1987 line-up are joined by other household names of the piping world, including Chris Armstrong, Ryan Canning, Ian Duncan, Stuart Liddell, Steven McWhirter, Duncan Nicholson, Richard Parkes, Terry Tully and Ross Walker, while John Wilson and Bob Worrall will co-host the performance.’

IMG_2806Jenny was only about 12 first time round and has the mammoth task of learning the concert repertoire. She started tonight and trotted out a few tunes that will be in the concert. We look forward to hearing a lot more over the winter meetings.

The first round of the Scots Guards Association knock out competition takes place this coming Sunday 18th at 16.00hrs. Defending Champion Craig Sutherland v Brian Lamond. Should be cracker.Unknown

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 27th where Lachie Dick and Jenny Hazzard will treat us to a bit Ceol Mor before heading off to the big London competition the following weekend.

Remember the Glenfiddich Championship a week Saturday 24th at Blair Castle.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 29th September 2015

imagesSo where was the match report for Tuesday 15th September I hear you ask? Well truth be told, nobody could be arsed to do one.

Now this typically Scottish phrase ‘couldnae be arsed’ or ‘cannae be arsed’ or ‘ersed’ if you prefer, is disarmingly honest. After all how many times have we heard people come up with lame excuses for not showing up or failure to complete a task?

Did you go to band practice last night? Naw, couldnae be arsed.

Have you learned the set tunes yet? Naw, cannae be arsed. Usually followed by ‘loads of time’

How about popping along to the Eagle Pipers tonight? Naw, cannae be arsed.

Well we all feel like this from time to time about a multitude of things, but sometimes you just have to knuckle down. Can you imagine the school pupil turning up in the morning and when asked for their homework replying, ‘Sorry couldnae be arsed’

Thus, while refreshingly honest, the CBA attitude does have its consequences!

UnknownThe match report for the 15th was a victim to the CBA syndrome, which is disappointing, as apparently Kyle Howie, of Red Hot Chillie Pipers fame, turned up and put on a first class display of light music. Kyle attended the RSAMD and is currently a member of The MacKenzie Caledonian Pipe band.. The bagpipe is not the only instrument Kyle can play and he has written quite a few good compositions He is a great player with strong technique.

If you have Facebook have a look at this clip and you will see what I mean. It will probably also be on YouTube? Thunderstruck.

https://www.facebook.com/john.elliott.7355079/videos/10153708720941004

With the P/M away on a family holiday and others ‘resting’ it was a quiet night and the only other player of the evening was regular Gordon Hislop.

Tonight saw a healthier turn out and the P/M kicked the evening off with some 6/8s followed by some 3/4s. Suffering from a sore back and swollen left hand (all the result of a deep tissue massage from a wee chap called Pavil, who may or may not have a passport….) the P/M managed to waddle down the floor without falling over.

Iain Kirkland

Iain Kirkland

Next for shaving was Iain Kirkwood, who has been at the Eagles before but never played. It can be quite daunting to ‘break the ice’ but Iain was quickly into his stride and knocked off 2 x 2/4 marches The Crags of Stirling and The Argyllshire Gathering. Well done Iain.

Lachie Dick, who is now based in Glasgow and working around 70hrs per week as a junior doctor (pay the guys and girls what they deserve please) was not suffering from CBA. He was in fine form. Having settled the pipe down with some nice 9/8s he gave us an MSR kicking off with John MacDonald of Glencoe. With the pipe booming he played the hornpipe, GS Allan, followed by two jigs that were of the highest musical quality. It transpired the second jig was one of his own compositions that remains, as yet unnamed. Ahhem…….IMG_2751

The post pie piper, who has been suffering from acute CBA this year, made his first appearance of 2015. Andrew Allison was back and it has to be said in splendid nick. The pipe was quickly and accurately tuned and after a very nice MSR he played the Jigs Rory McLeod and Alexander MacAskill. Good hands.

IMG_2753The final payer of the night was Colin MacLellan. While Jenny and her mum Evelyn,(see below) who is over for a wee holiday, sat dreaming of 10K runs, Colin worked his way through his light music, starting off with a few waltzes. To finish off he produced a nice and positive rendition of The Groat that brought the evening to a very nice conclusion.

The next meeting is on Tuesday 13th October and remember to get your tickets for the Grants Championship that is on Saturday 24th October.IMG_2757

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

Evelyn Hazzard

Evelyn Hazzard

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