7th July 2015 – Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Visit

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We are pleased to announce that Glenn Brown will bring a group of pipers from the world famous Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band to Eagles on Tuesday 7th July.  Gold Medallist Glenn will also play a piobaireachd.

This is a night not to be missed.

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Match Report 26th May 2015

UnknownSo where exactly is Dollar asked one of our visiting American guests. After a quick chat about Andy Murray, Stirling Castle, Bruce and Wallace etc. etc. they got the picture. Perhaps a small town but firmly on the map of Scottish history,culture and excellence.

Dollar Academy were the latest school to come along to the Eagles and we were in for a real treat. The school website states:

‘Our aim is to prepare our pipers to compete at all levels, including participation in the national competitions.  The Dollar Academy pipe band has won the Scottish CCF Championship for thirteen consecutive years and competes in the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association at juvenile and novice grade and in 2014 were crowned World Champions. For many of us the sight and sound of the pipeband is synonymous with Dollar Academy.’

On the piping front Matt Wilson has been at the helm for a while and he has recently been joined by none other than Callum Beaumont. Lee Innes has been involved with the drumming for some 19 years and Steven McWhirter is part of the instructors team,  thus it’s clear the school has nailed its colours to the mast regards instruction and development.Dollar

Tonights players were Sandy Cameron, Lucy Ferguson, Gregor Stewart and Cameron Bennett. Matt Wilson led the group opening with some 6/8s.

The first impression was ‘WOW’ what volume. My heart went out to the troops as I assumed they were blowing monster reeds but all were later to assure me that this was not the case. The band are on new Hardie chanters and sheepskin bags. They intend playing 14 pipers and 6/7 snares at the British this weekend and for a school band surely a sound hard to beat?

Next up was their competition MSR John McDonald of Glencoe/ Susan MacLeod/Fiona Macleod. A lovely swing in the 2/4. Have a listen at our YouTube site.

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A quick tune of the drones while playing a couple of 3/4s and the band were ready to play their medley. They kicked off with Castle Dangerous and then stepped their way through recognisable bits and bobs that ultimately formed a very well structured and musical medley. Great stuff and that brought the first half to a very satisfying close.

The post pie piper was Callum himself. On an immaculate pipe that required minimal, tuning he went straight into Mrs. John McColl and P/M J McWilliams. A hornpipe and jig followed and then we were treated to the ground and first couple of variations of The Lament for the Children. Lovely stuff and surprisingly the first time we have heard Callum at the Eagles. Haste ye back.IMG_2355

Another surprise was in store as Cameron Bennett returned with the accordion, supported by Sandy Cameron on the smallpipe. They rattled their way through some great tunes including the unusual jig, The Grouses Revenge.

IMG_2365We then had a couple of solo spots from Lucy Ferguson and Sandy Cameron on the Highland pipe. Both played an MSR and what was common to both was the lovely strathspey playing. The strathspeys in the band medley were the same. Held back a little allowing the dancing lilt to come through. Really good stuff.IMG_2370

And that brought the evening to an end. What a fantastic night. Hats off to Sandy, Cameron, Gregor and Lucy for turning out in their own time in the middle of such a hectic schedule. (not least the school exams.) To Matt and Callum, thank you and congratulations. It must be very rewarding to see the fruits of your labour perform to such a high standard.

IMG_2374One final note. Not only are Sandy, Cameron, Gregor and Lucy outstanding musicians, they are also very polite and personable young people who are a delight to chat to. I enjoyed their playing and company immensely.

Best of luck on Saturday.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 9th June when we will be hosting The Royal Scottish Pipers Society. Please come along with your pipe for tune.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 12th May 2015

UnknownWith the Hon Pres and his good lady off to Sicily, Cameron Drummond at band Practice (maybe) and Douglas Gardiner at a Skype band practice (WTF) we were short of regular attenders however a nice wee night was in store.

Faye Henderson was in the mood for a pie, new dad Tam Peterkin (Iris 9lbs 3ozs) was in the mood for a break and Craig Martin and Janne Hansen made a return to the flock after their wee sojourn to Glasgow.

The P/M had a few tunes before handing over to Nils, who was on a new set up. Included in his spot were the 2/4 marches Mrs John McColl and The Braes of Castle Grant.Unknown-1

The PPP was Craig, included the little heard Glasgow Skye Association Centenary Gathering, that can be found in Donald MacLeods book 5. Worth a look. Craig finished off his spot with some traditional hornpipe and jigs starting with Jimmy Tweedies Sealegs and The Train Journey North. JTS was composed by J Allan McGee from New Zealand and is unusual in its structure, having 5 parts, One for each Ocean? Anyone heard that story?

IMG_2023Next up was the proud father himself Tam P., who is slowly coming to terms with the fact that no matter how bad the pipe is going it is much better than ‘walking the floor’.

Fresh from a recital in Dumfries Iain Speirs treated us to some of his smaller tunes rolling out a lovely set of wee strathspeys and reels. With the pipe humming along like an organ he finished off with a group of jigs that included Donald Willie and his Dog. The question is, who can provide the name of the dog? A significant prize awaits the correct answer.Unknown-2

And that was that. Great stuff.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 26th May when Callum Beaumont will be bring along some of his young charges from Dollar Academy.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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9th June 2015 – Visit of The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society

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We are pleased to announce that The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society will be our guests on Tuesday 9th June.

There will be a combined band playing the usual family favourites so everyone bring your pipes.

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Captain John A. MacLellan MBE Memorial Trust

310625_120953121337528_1771664801_nWe are pleased to announce the 2015 edition of the Captain John A MacLellan MBE Memorial Dinner.

The date is Saturday, 29th August, 2015, at 6.30pm for 7pm, at the Royal Scots Club, Abercromby Place, Edinburgh.

The players will be Willie McCallum “Salute to the Piobaireachd Society”,

Faye Henderson “For my Lass, Fair, Pretty, and Highland”,

Iain Speirs, “The Edinburgh Piobaireachd”, and

David Wilton, “The Salute to the Succession (of Lord Carnock as Chief of Clan Nicolson).

Tickets can be reserved from the Trust Secretary, Colin MacLellan either at colin@pipereeds.com or by telephone at 07528377704.

Event sponsored by Glenfiddch Piping and Fiddle.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Captain-John-A-MacLellan-MBE-Memorial-Trust/120949951337845?fref=nf

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Scots Guards KO Final Sunday 3rd May 2015

IMG_2279Eagle Craig Sutherland edged out Steven Gray in a close encounter that was recorded by the BBC IMG_2275for Pipeline. Both were worthy finalists having acquitted themselves very well throughout the KO rounds and a packed audience enjoyed a great performance from both players.

The Scots Guards association are holding a dinner on Saturday 6th June in the Club to mark the success of this years competition. The guest player will be Chris Armstrong. At £20 a ticket. There are a few places left.IMG_2295IMG_2290

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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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