Match Report 28th April 2015

IMG_2267In a rush to get away and see his sister in a new play Cameron took over the P/Ms traditional spot of opening the evening. The naked pipe is no longer and as you will see in the photograph it is now resplendent in new silver. Cameron’s chanter also has a silver sole, something that has become a bit of a rarity. As usual he was in sparkling form and his fingers danced their way through a wide variety of light music tunes before he ended with the hornpipe Mr and Mrs J Duncan’s Golden Wedding Anniversary. I think one from the Inveraray and District PB repertoire?

The not so naked pipe

The not so naked pipe

Now the P/M had not intended to play but he was presented with a rather unusual gift posted all the way from Australia by Paul Hughes. A rather nifty balmoral styled golf hat. In fact Paul sent over 2. Paul is hoping that the P/M and the Hon Pres. will adorn the hats while up at the open golf championship at St Andrews this year. We will see.

Euan AndersonWhen the P/M was done pies were served and the PPP was none other than the wee spoon herself Katherine Belcher. The second half was pleasing on two counts. One, it was an all female affair and secondly two of the ladies were from Australia and that gave us a chance to pay tribute to Anzac Day and mark the 100th anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915.

Kat is over here for a year or so to soak up the atmosphere and develop her piping. She is well established in the solo and Pipe Band world and this season will turn out for the aforementioned Inveraray and District. Kat settled the pipe down (lovely resonant drones) with some

Kat on the march

Kat on the march

light music including the Conundrum. She continued with a hornpipe and jig before finishing with the ground of The Viscount of Dundee. A great run out before the Highlands and Islands competition on Saturday.

Jenny Hazzard was up next and again took advantage of the Eagles arena to run through some of her competition stuff for the weekend. Why don’t more pipers do this? Jenny’s final tune was a hornpipe John F Kennedy, composed by Pipe Major William (Billy) Gilmour in 1965. Great to hear Jenny Hazzardsomething different.

The final player of the evening was Amber Sinclair (Ives). Amber graduated from the RSAMD in 2007 and is originally from Ballarat in Australia. This was Ambers first time playing at the Eagles and we were delighted that she had agreed to play the piobaireachd. Once the pipe was settled Amber tackled the little heard Isabel Mackay.

‘In his “Historic, Biographic and Legendary Notes to the Tunes” attached to David Glen’s Ancient Piobaireachd, Henry Whyte (“Fionn”) states

This beautiful Piobaireachd was composed by some unknown piper to Isabel Mackay, daughter of John, second son of Hector Mackay of Skerry. She was celebrated for her accomplishments and personal beauty. She is immortalised by Rob Donn, the bard, in a poem of considerable merit. She married [John, son of] Kenneth Sutherland of Keoldale. [Factor of the barony of Durness who was also notable as being the violin teacher of Joseph MacDonald of Compleat Theory fame, see Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, pp.20-21] Here are some lines of a translation of the bard’s verses:–

Isabel Mackay, list to her sigh;

Isabel Mackay, all so lonely;

Isabel Mackay, list to her sigh;

Isabel Mackay, all so lonely. ‘

You have to laugh. Some unknown piper……….

Amber Sinclair

Amber Sinclair

Anyway Amber made a lovely job of this tune and she clearly knows what she is doing with it, managing to keep the piece moving along and linking the variations with nice touches of timing changes. Well done Amber and thank you very much for stepping up to the plate.

Good luck to all taking part in the Highlands and Island competition this weekend and remember the Scots Guards KO Final on Sunday.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Fred Morrison and Stuart Liddell – Saturday 9th May

Tickets are still available for the RSPS Recital on Saturday at The Edinburgh Academy.

£15.00 for possibly the finest two pipers in the world!!

Tickets should be available on the door or contact Andrew Cook (0131 339 7989 andrew.cook@keme.co.uk).  Don’t call Alan McGhie – he is on holiday

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Tuesday 26th May – Dollar Academy Visit

Continuing our current theme of inviting schools to perform at Eagles, we are pleased to announce that on Tuesday 26th May, pipers from Dollar Academy will entertain us.

The Dollar Academy pipe band has won the Scottish Schools CCF Championship for thirteen consecutive years and are the current Juvenile World Champions.

Need we say more?

Junenile2014_overview

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Match Report Tuesday 14th April 2015

The P/M DiaryWhen the P/M had finished breaking the ice we welcomed Robbie Ross back to the fold after quite an absence. His reappearance may coincide with the fact that Master Ross is now walking and Robbie needed to escape from the house? Robbie always entertains and he played some old settings of tunes that can be found in the Glen books.

Robbie Ross

Robbie Ross

Next up was the Hon Pres himself fresh (ish) from his international judging sojourns. Colin was in great form and in good shape for the Masters piping recital that was due to be held in the National Piping centre. I say due as unfortunately there has been a late postponement to the original date, but it will be rescheduled.

IMG_2157Colin started of with one of Robert Matheson’s tunes, Song for the Smallpipe, followed by a couple of old school 6/8s. He continued with a selection of small strathspeys and reels before playing 2 x 2/4 marches, Young Willie Murray, composed by his dad, and a relatively new Roddy MacDonald tune, Dalvey. Lovely stuff. Colin kept things in the family by playing his fathers setting of the Cameronian Rant, that is distinctly different and a healthy alternative to the more traditional setting, followed by the reels The Rejected Suitor and The Man from Glengarry. Time for pies.

The Post Pie Piper was father to be Tom Peterkin. Tom’s life is about to drastically change within the next  week and there is a general election on so Tam will literally have his hands full.    Tom started with the lovely slow march, The Skye Gathering, that can be found in the Scots Guards Book 1. He then played the little heard GS march, Inverlochy Castle followed by a few jigs. Best of luck to you and Mrs P with the new arrival. We look forward to wetting the baby’s head.

You will need these and more

You will need these and more

The Lament for Alan My Son

The Lament for Alan My Son

The final player of the night was Lachie Dick, who was resplendently turned out as he was on piobaireachd duties. As per usual Lachie played some excellent light music from his repertoire and when the pipe was locked in played The Lament for Alan My Son, composed by Duncan Johnstone.

Duncan Johnstone was born in Glasgow on 25th July 1925; the youngest of five children. His parents although living in Glasgow, hailed from the Outer Hebrides. His mother, Catherine MacMillan from Barra, and his father, Alexander Johnstone from Benbecula, greatly influenced his taste in music and through them, his love of the great Scottish West Coast music was born.

Duncan’s father encouraged him at the early age of nine to take piping lessons at first from himself, then from Glasgow policeman Angus Campbell. As a result of their tuition and encouragement, he won his first competition in 1938.

In 1970 he began teaching in his home on the south side of Glasgow as well as being a principal instructor in the College of Piping between 1974 and 1978. Duncan was a prolific composer of bagpipe music and In his lifetime Duncan composed over sixty tunes including Farewell to Nigg.

In 1980, Duncan’s son, Alan, lost his fight against leukemia and his courage prompted Duncan to compose a most poignant piobaireachd, Lament for my Son, Alan.                                                                                                                        

UnknownIn 1996 Duncan was awarded the Balvenie Medal by Messrs William Grant & Sons as recognition of his lifetime commitment to piping. Duncan passed away on 14th November 1999.

This is one of the great 20th century piobaireachds and the score can be found in Duncan Johnstone’s ”His Complete Compositions” as well as Pipe Major Angus MacDonald MBE’s Collection Volume 2. If you are looking for something relatively new but has a classical feel, this tune is it. It clearly captures the emotion that prompted the composition and to his credit Lachie gave a sterling performance if it. There are one or two recordings online that are worth a listen.

The Scottish Pipers’ Association Professional competition will be held in the College of Piping in Glasgow this Saturday from 9am. Following on from it will be another of their popular and well-received illustrated lectures on pipers and pipe tunes of World War 1. This National Lottery supported event has free admission and Saturday’s lecture, at the same venue, features author Colin Campbell and pipers Niall Stewart and Iain Speirs.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 31st March 2015

Edinburgh AcademyEdinburgh Academy joined us tonight for a few tunes and it was very nice to see a return to the Eagles from their tutor, Michael Gray. This is the third school we have had along in as many months and these school nights are a very welcome addition to our programme of events.

Once the P/M had blasted out a few tunes Iain Dewar took to the floor and when he had warmed the pipe up with a couple of 3/4s ,he played a very sprightly urlar of Beloved Scotland.

Iain Dewar

Iain Dewar

By this time the boys, P/M Angus McPherson, P/S Angus Hawkins and Calum Reynolds were ready to have a tune. They played the current band medley and quickly settled into their stride. Great stuff.

Angus MacPherson,Calum Reynolds,Angus Hawkins

Angus MacPherson,Calum Reynolds,Angus Hawkins

The pre pie piper was Angus Hawkins who played a march followed by the jig, The Banjo Breakdown. This jig was hugely popular back in the day and is a very old bagpipe tune. It was written by Donald MacPhee and first published in 1876 as the ‘Yankee’, a hornpipe.

Angus Hawkins

Angus Hawkins

That took us nicely to the pies and after the break the post pie piper was young Cynan Williams from Wales. Aged 12, he is about to take part in the local Edinburgh Mod chanter competition, so he gave us a blast of his tune, Campbell’s Farewell to Redcastle. What a lovely job he made of it and all done on a ‘special’ borrowed chanter. Special in the way that it had been bought at a dinner auction by the none too sober Douglas Gardiner, who was now trying to offload it. Due to Cynan’s

Cyan Williams

Cyan Williams

fine efforts I do believe a buyer was found. I hope you got your 10% Cynan but if I know Douglas, I doubt it.

Next for shaving was Calum Reynolds, playing an MSR that kicked off with Hugh Kennedy. He was immediately followed by his P/M, Angus MacPherson, who played an MSR starting with The Braes of Castle Grant. With the pipe settled he gave us a very musical rendition of Lament for the Old Sword. Lovely high G and very bright fingers later in the tune.

Calum Reynolds

Calum Reynolds

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Angus MacPherson

Lachie Dick closed the night. Good news- he was in fine form on a great pipe and gave us a wide selection from his repertoire. Bad news (for us –good for him) is that he has secured a two-year sabbatical in Glasgow perusing his medical career. He is very excited about this. Ga’un yersell wee man…………………but it may mean that we will see less of him. I hope not as he will be a sad loss to our evenings.

And that was the evenings evening.

Many thanks to the boys from Edinburgh Academy, who took time form their busy schedules to come along and play for us. Please visit us again whenever you can.

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Last Train to Glasgow Central

Remember the second semi final of the Knock Out featuring Greig Wilson and Steven Grey will be at 16.00hrs, Sunday 12th April, at the Scots Guards Club.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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RSPS Piping Recital – Saturday 9th May – Fred Morrison and Stuart Liddell

If Carslberg did piping concerts, it would be a lot like this:

The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society are hosting a recital on Saturday 9th May from 7.30pm at The Edinburgh Academy, Henderson Row, Edinburgh, featuring;

  • Stuart Liddell
  • Fred Morrison
  • Sarah Muir

Bar and Car parking at venue

Tickets £15.00 available from Alan McGhie, Honorary Secretary, RSPS at

alan.mcghie@googlemail.com

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Match Report Tuesday 17th March 2015

IMG_1979The P/M got the evening under way playing a different pipe and set up,a circa 1940 set of Lawries with a Gannaway bag, Bannatyne moisture control system and a Sinclair chanter. The pipe quickly settled and the P/M finished his slot with I Got a Kiss of the Kings Hand.

Next up was Malcolm Kerr, a newcomer to the Society, who settled his pipe with a slow air before playing the great march, John MacDonald of Glencoe. And with that he we done. Short and sweet. Malcolm is a member of the Royal Scottish Pipers Society and was a very welcome guest. The RSPS will be our guests on Tuesday 9th June.

Malcolm Kerr

Malcolm Kerr

Andrew Allison

Andrew Allison

Andrew Allison made a welcome return and he was in fine form. In his closing set of tunes he played a set of jigs that included the little heard Alexander MacAskill of Berneray. This was composed by Dr John MacAskill and named after his father. The reel Lexie MacAskill, named after his mother, is better known, but it was nice to hear this jig getting an airing.

And that took us to the pies. The post pie piper was Lachie Dick who played a wide variety of light music including a nice wee medley that included the jigs, The Seagull and The Geese in the Bog.

Last up was Douglas Gardiner, fresh from his win in the piobaireachd and overall at the Duncan Johnstone Memorial contest last weekend. While he did NOT win the dress and deportment there he was immaculately tuned out this time round and to everyones relief he was actually wearing a kilt.

Lachie Dick

Lachie Dick

Not great quality but you get the idea

Not great quality but you get the idea

On a first class pipe Douglas settled down with some light music that included the slow Air, Those Endearing Young Charms……

Beleive me, if all those endearing young charms,

Which I gaze on so fondly today,

Were to change by tomorrow and fleet in my arms

Like fairy gifts fading away

Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,

Let thy loveliness fade as it will,

And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart

Would entwine itself verdantly still

It is not while beauty and youth are thine own

And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear

That the fervour and faith of a soul can be known

To which time will but make thee more dear.

No, the heart which has truly loved never forgets

But as truly loves on to the close

As the sunflower turns on her God when he sets

The same look which she turned when he rose

Douglas played the MSR Young Willie Murray/Highland Harry/Rejected Suitor before playing his prize-winning tune, The

The Desperate Battle of the Birds

The Desperate Battle of the Birds

Desperate Battle of the Birds. There are many stories about the origins of this tune and you can settle on the one you prefer but here is one version,

The Battle of the Birds forms the theme of a famous Highland folk-tale. It begins thus: “There was once a time when every creature and bird was gathering to battle. The son of the king of Teathertown said, that he would go to see the battle, and that he could bring sure word home to his father the king, who would be king of the creatures this year…”

A lovely performance, full of music. Congratulations Douglas.

Edinburgh Academy school will be coming along on Tuesday 31st March to provide some the evenings entertainment.

IMG_2055The Scots Guards Association have announced they are holding a dinner on Saturday 6th June to conclude this years knock out competition. Chris Armstrong will be the guest player.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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