Match Report Tuesday 27th June 2017

Who ate all the pies? We will get to that later.

IMG_5294We were delighted to welcome Ally Henderson and three of his charges from George Heriot’s School into the fold for a tune. Two of the trio are regulars, Brodie Watson Massey and Chris Happs but Bruce Gardiner was a welcome addition.IMG_5282

It is always a real boost to see and hear young pipers at the Eagles, but with a few FP’s in the audience there is always a strong affinity with Heriots. After our band had played a few tunes the trio came marching in with the 6/8 march, Angus MacKinnon, composed by Donald Shaw Ramsay.

IMG_5283Angus MacKinnon was a native of South Uist. With 30 years service in the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band up until the mid-1950s, he was one of the longest serving members in the band. He served under at least three pipe-majors  – Hance Gates, Duncan Cameron and Donald Shaw Ramsay. Angus MacKinnon was first published in 1953 in the first Edcath Collection, which was compiled by Ramsay and published by Hugh MacPherson.Angus_MacKinnon_score

A great tune and it was the last tune played by the Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band when the Force ceased to exist due to the emergence of Police Scotland.

The boys then went into a set that began with the Robert Mathieson composition, The First 100, followed by Gordon Duncan’s, The Soup Dragon. The boys finished with a bit of their medley and by this time they were relaxed and the pipes were singing. What a start to the night.



First up was Chris Happs who kicked off his spot with the lovely 12/8 march, Ian McMaster, written by Lincoln Hilton. For those not familiar with Lincoln’s work he is worth a bit of research on You Tube. A fantastic musical talent. Below is the link to Lincoln playing his tune

Chris then gave us the ground of Cabar Feidh gu Brath before finishing with a flourish, playing some hornpipes and jigs.



While the pies were being served Bruce Gardiner took to the floor and eased himself in with Cullen Bay. He then went into the slow air, Leaving Ireland, before hammering out some excellent reels. This was Bruce’s first time at the Eagles and we hope that this is the first of many visits. Great stuff.

IMG_5295Time for a short break and a pie. This is apart from the Pipe Major, as the locusts had scoffed the lot while he tended to his guests. Names were taken and evidence obtained.

The final player of the evening was Brodie Watson-Massey who started with the 9/8 march, Major Alister Ritchie. A competition MSR followed and you could tell Brodie was in fine form and just warming up.


The Piemen

A Gaelic Air was followed by the waltz, Richard’s Gone Bananas, (that can be found in Terry Tully’s book) and then Jig of Slurs in waltz time that led into the jig itself.



Brodie finished off the evening with the ground of The Lament for Captain MacDougall.

What a great evening and we can’t thank the young guys enough for coming along and giving us such wonderful entertainment.

A reminder that the Captain John Maclellan Memorial dinner tickets are now on sale.





Euan Anderson

Hon P(ieless)/M




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Ben Duncan – Guest Piper – 25th July

We are very pleased to announce that Ben Duncan of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will be our next guest piper on Tuesday 25th July.



Ben as Champion Piper at the 2015 Atholl Gathering (Courtesy of Derek Maxwell)


Ben is a frequent and well known prize winner on the solo circuit.  A top night of piping is assured.



Ben on his way to winning the 2017 Wheel of Fortune Contest


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Match Report Tuesday 13th June 2017

IMG_5213Hot 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.IMG_5218

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.

IMG_5221A 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.IMG_5220

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.

IMG_5219Cameron 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.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 30th May 2017

IMG_5164The band had a quick tune up and played a few 3/4s before tackling the opening tune in the Society book, Donald McLean’s Farewell to Oban. Considering this was a first attempt it was satisfying that it was actually recognisable. After a few discussions regarding settings etc, we had another couple of goes and all in all it is heading in the right direction. The band downed tools early in order to get our guest player, Steven Gray, on before the pies.

Steven is from Lockerbie and learnt his piping from Tony MacDonald in Lochmaben. Steven is no stranger to the Scot’s Guards Club as he has previously taken part in the KO competition. He is currently doing a PhD in Inorganic (look it up) Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, so hopefully we will see a bit more of him in the months to come. He is also a member of the great Inveraray and District Pipeband.IMG_5170

Steven quickly settled the pipe with some 3/4 marches and a couple of hornpipes before giving the audience the MSR, Clan McColl, Ewe with the Crooked Horn and The Smith of Chillichassie. A few 6/8 marches followed, before he ended the first half with Hector the Hero and some excellent jigs.

IMG_5162Having refreshed with a pie and a can of Iron Brew Steven warmed the pipe with some lovely 9/8 marches and then gave us the ‘Castle’ set, Tulloch, Inveraray, and Stornoway, rounding  it off with with The Sheepwife. More excellent playing followed with the hornpipe Tam Bain’s Lum and a few jigs.

With the pipe humming along it was time for a bit of Ceol Mor and Steven gave us The King’s Taxes. A first class tune on a rock solid pipe. Steven concluded his recital with some small strathspeys and reels that rounded off the evening perfectly.


They were actually enjoying it

What a tremendous performance from a nice unassuming young man who is clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with around the games. It was a real treat to hear him play and hopefully we will see more of him at the Eagles:-studies permitting.

Our congratulations go to Mr and Mrs Michael Upton who tied the knot in New York last week. Mickey has also been accepted into Police Scotland and we wish them the best of 18814017_10155404012209308_8338978597830732694_nluck.

On a very sad and poignant note our sympathies and condolences go to the family and the community of Barra on the loss of Eilidh MacLeod, who was a victim in the recent Manchester terror attack. Duncan Nicholson did her proud with some beautiful playing at her funeral, sending her off with Mull of the Mountain, Sine Bhan and Leaving Ireland. Our thoughts are with her friend, Laura MacIntyre, a fellow pupil at Castlebay Community School on the island, who was also seriously injured in the incident at Manchester Arena concert.

There are no words that can adequately express the horror of what happened that night. You just have to believe that good will always triumph over evil and we will stand firm, as one, to ensure it does.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M


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Guest Piper – Tuesday 13th June

We are very pleased to announce that Cameron MacDougall will be our special guest at the next meeting on Tuesday 13th June.


Cameron 1

Cameron MacDougall


20 year old Cameron is one of the most exciting young talents on the solo circuit.  He has already won the Open Jig, The MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd and placed second in the Silver Medal all at The Argyllshire Gathering.

Originally from Nigg, he is now a student of piping at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.



Cameron with the 2014 MacGregor Memorial trophy for piobaireachd.


Please come along and make him welcome.  Being a student, he will appreciate anyone who buys him a pint.


Douglas Gardiner




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Match Report Tuesday 16th May 2017


A souvenir from last weekends rugby final

The band took to the floor, 14 across the front rank and rattled their way through some of the tunes in the book. Perhaps the first major at Paisley was not on the agenda but this group can still be considered as dangerous and a threat!IMG_2689

The PPP was George Campbell who has clearly been polishing up the repertoire and practicing. No doubt all part of his retirement plan. George warmed up the pipe with a couple of 6/8 marches before attacking the big stuff with a first class MSR, The Braes of Castle Grant, Susan MacLeod and Pretty Marion. George finished off his spot with a set of nifty jigs. Excellent stuff.


George Campbell

Next up was Colin MacLellan, who took a break from his College of Piping duties, to give us a few tunes. Colin also chose a couple of 6/8 marches to settle the pipe and then went into Lord Alexander Kennedy and John McColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage. With the pipe purring along he gave us the lion’s share of John MacKay’s, The Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon. IMG_5090Surely one of the top ten great pieces of Ceol Mor? A tune reputedly composed for Patrick Og when he was still alive as reports of his demise, that had reached the ears of MacKay, were somewhat premature. Colin finished off his spot with a few jigs and with that we were done.

13920805_1175633149123564_2078775260044604258_nAt the next meeting, on Tuesday 30th May, Steven Gray will be our guest player. Steven is one of the top up and coming solo players and also plays with Inveraray and District, who picked up the first major, the British Championship, at Paisley at the weekend.

The band (us-not Inveraray) will have a short blast before Steven starts his playing around 8.30. Hope to see you there.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 2nd May 2017

IMG_5020As 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.IMG_5027

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 IMG_5032Calico 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.IMG_5033

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 IMG_5038one 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.IMG_5039

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 or the Eagles Pipers’ membership secretary, Craig Robertson.

See you at next meeting on Tuesday 16th May.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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