Archie Kenneth Quaich 2015

Archie Kenneth TrophyPopped into the Archie Kenneth Quaich at The Royal Scottish Pipers Society rooms where Colin and Jenny were on the pen for some 27 piobs. Great day and our own Tom Peterkin came out on top of what was a very close contest. This is Toms third win, having last lifted the trophy in, I think 2012?IMG_2023

The full results were

1st Tom Peterkin Lament for Captain MacDougall

2nd Andrew Frater

3rd Michael Graham

4th John Frater

5th Bob Low

6th Stewart Gaudin

IMG_2027Andrew Wright was on hand to present the prizes.

Honourable mention to Matthew Cornetto from New Jersey who was just outside the prizes playing a very nice Wee Spree.

Two Eagles sitting under our Eagle

Two Eagles sitting under our Eagle

Euan Anderson

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Scottish Pipers Association

Members and Friends,

Our next “Club Night” is this Friday 6th March at 7.30pm Usual Venue – College of Piping Otago Street Glasgow.

Adult Amateur and Veterans Competition on 28th March 2015

Professional Competition on 18th April 2015

Also on 18th April in the evening is the next in our series of WW1 Recitals

Please check the website for details AND our new Facebook Page

Yours in Piping,

Tom Johnstone, President, SPA

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Match Report 3rd March 2015

IMG_1954With shouts of ‘we have made it into Spring’ echoing around town the Good Lord decided to let us have 4 inches of snow on Tuesday morning. Sigh. This was followed by torrential rain in the late afternoon. Spring indeed! Still a few hardy souls made it along to the Eagles, including the birthday girl Jenny Hazzard, who had just returned from her birthday celebrations in Canada. 2703697148She cheered us up by telling us all of the record low temperatures in and around Toronto and by the time she had finished we were all looking for thermals. I guess when the Niagara Falls freeze you know its cold.It only seems like yesterday since Jenny arrived in Scotland all doey eyed and in love with you know who…………………How time flies.

Jenny learning the pipes

Jenny learning the pipes

The bad news- only two pipers, the P/M and Iain Speirs

The good news-there were pies and birthday cake

The P/M took the first slot from half 8 to 9 and after the pies Speirsy knocked off half 9 until 10.

The P/M played a variety of light music including a 6/8 march, General Hunt’s Welcome to the Queens Own Highlanders, composed by P/M Andy Venters and in his 4/4 selection a very musical wee tune, The White Rose of Culloden, composed by William M MacDonald. Amongst his 3/4 tunes was the recently composed Emma’s Wedding, written by Chris

Chris in conversation with fellow 'old soldier' Bob L Kilgour

Chris in conversation with fellow ‘old soldier’ Bob Kilgour

Anderson for his granddaughter, who is getting married in France on Saturday 15th August. Yes that’s right, the same day as the Worlds. So the P/M will miss this years beer tent and have to settle for some nice champagne. Family planning!!

Pies and cake. We were all in good voice as it was served to Jenny and Colin was placed in change of portions and service.

Blowing out the 1 candle

Blowing out the 1 candle

Iain reported that his dad ‘Tam’ is making fine progress, although he is a bit stiff. No complaints there-I guess? Iain took Tam to a Hibs match to assist his recovery, but the Hibees good form of late has been somewhat overshadowed by the ‘jam tarts’ rolling in 10 passed Cowdenbeath. As for Rangers, magician Dynamo was approached to see if he would be interested in helping out. ‘Rabbits out of hats I can do. Mike Ashley would take a lot of shifting……….’

Iain, on a new McCallum chanter, got his spot under way by playing Happy Birthday. After a couple of traditional 6/8s he was quickly into the competition stuff in preparation for the Uist and Barra this Saturday. On a magnificent pipe he stepped his was through various March, Strathspeys and Reels, before ending with a few very nice Jigs that included Donald, Willie and his Dog, The Curlew and a lovely setting of The Geese in the Bog.IMG_1975_2

One for the road was the order of the day and a bit more banter. Jim Dodds, a non-piping stalwart of the Society, was sporting a new Goretex coat, the origin of which has still to be established, but suffice to say he didn’t pay for it……..

The piping calendar is starting to pick up. This Friday night The Big Music Society presents Murray Henderson and Duncan Grant at The National Piping Centre:

A night exploring Ceòl Mòr in a spirit of collaboration with two exciting performances. Alongside a quartet of some of Scotland’s most thrilling young string players, pibroch master and authority Murray Henderson takes a journey into the depths of the most powerful and stirring pieces in the pibroch repertoire. Coming from a different angle, piper/producer Duncan Grant, also known for his electronic music under the pseudonym Cain, explores the sonic potential of pibroch in the 21st Century. Featuring James Lindsay, Susan Appelbe, Megan Henderson, Mharie Mackinnon, Calum MacCrimmon and John Mulhearn.

Friday, March 6, 2015 from 7.30pm’ 

Saturday 7th March               Uist and Barra

Fourteen of the best UK based pipers in the World have been invited to compete at the Uist & Barra competition – with the invitation list drawn from major prize winners in 2014. It will be held at the College of Piping, Glasgow on 7th March from 9am.

Pìobaireachd; March, Strathspey and Reel; Hornpipe and Jig

Adults £10; 16 and under £5

  • Chris Armstrong
  • Callum Beaumont
  • Glenn Brown
  • Bill Geddes
  • Alasdair Henderson
  • Faye Henderson
  • Finlay Johnston
  • Angus MacColl
  • Roddy MacLeod
  • Willie McCallum
  • Peter McCalister
  • Gordon McCready
  • Douglas Murray
  • Iain Speirs
  • Craig Sutherland
  • Gordon Walker

The judges for all three competitions will be Iain MacFadyen, Willie Morrison and Stuart Samson.

Saturday 7th March

The Archie Kenneth Quaich Competition 2015

The twenty-third annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 7th March 2015, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 10am.

Judges Colin MacLellan and Jenny HazzardIMG_1956_2

Saturday 14th March

Duncan Johnstone Memorial Competition-National Piping Centre

Sunday 15th March-16.00hrs

KO competition Scots Guards Club Edinburgh

Craig Sutherland v Angus McColl Jnr

Plenty going on so enjoy……………….

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M


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Match Report Tuesday 17th February 2015

Piper warWith the evenings getting slightly lighter and perhaps the back of our winter broken (Canadians stop screaming) there is just a hint of optimism that Spring is in the air.

You don’t have to drink to enjoy yourself. No- but it helps. A nice glass of wine with food for example and what use is a pie without a pint? With the new drink drive law in force, quite rightly, no one is taking a chance. Soft drinks and indeed coffee are the new order of the day but as yet, thankfully, people are still coming out to ‘play’. (apart from Iain Speirs who is still on breakfast duties-shame…..)

Ian Dewar

Ian Dewar

Once the P/M had broken the ice, trying out a new reed and wooden Sinclair chanter combination, he handed over to Ian Dewar who is fast becoming a stalwart of the Society. Ian has a lovely set of Gillanders and McLeod that he sets up extremely well. The drone sound is very harmonious and well balanced against the chanter. Included in his set were some old favourites including the 6/8s Leaving Port Askaig and Donald MacLellan of Rothesay.

Ian passed the baton to Holly Fredlander who was part of the Heriots group four weeks ago. It was great to see Holly along ready to have a tune. Holly is involved in the City of Edinburgh Pipe Band who are

Holly Fredlander

Holly Fredlander

provisionally booked to come along and play as a mini band on Tuesday 28th April. Holly was quickly into her stride with a slow air followed by the jigs Alan McPherson of Mosspark and Donella Beaton. This was followed by an MSR John MacDonald’s Welcome to South Uist/The Pipers Bonnet/Alick C MacGregor. Holly finished her spot off with a couple of reels that included the Niall Kenny (Edinburgh) composition, Trip to Pakistan. Excellent stuff Holly.

Colin MacLellanThe pre pie piper was the Hon. Pres. himself. Fresh from his sojourn to the Winter Storm competition/workshop in Kansas, Colin had the pipe in shape and was ready for a tune. As usual he stepped through a variety of small music before moving onto his MSR. Colin started with the great Hugh MacKay tune, The 71st Highlanders before moving onto The Pipers Bonnet and Neil Angus MacDonald.

What’s in a tune-When war erupted with the American Colonies, Britain’s recruiting efforts became crucial to her ability to wage the war and many Scottish people flocked to the cause. In 1778, some 15,000 men were enlisted into the British Army. Two-thirds of them were from Scotland. The 71st Regiment of Foot (1775–1783) was created from among these recruits. 

Upon the realization that war with the American Colonies was imminent, the British Army was expanded from its 70 numbered Regiments of Foot. The first new regiment was raised by Colonel Simon Fraser and designated the 71st Regiment of Foot. King George III bestowed the honour of being the first new regiment to Fraser because of the outstanding service of another regiment of Fraser’s Highlanders, the 78th Regiment (1753–1763), in the Seven Years (or French and Indian) War. In point of fact, however, the Regiment was never officially called the Fraser’s Highlanders; instead it was always the 71st Regiment of Foot.

71st Highlanders of Foot

71st Highlanders of Foot

Colonel Simon Fraser was the chieftain of the Frasers of Lovat. He raised the 78th Regiment of Foot for the French and Indian Wars. He regained the lands forfeit in 1746, but did not accompany his Regiment to America. He died a Lieutenant General in 1782.

The Regiment was officially raised at Stirling Castle and in April 1776 moved to Glasgow. Several clan chiefs supported Fraser in building the regiment. Six of these served as officers. In short order, the 71st exceeded their recruiting needs and the unit embarked for America over strength, including a large number of combat-proven officers from the old 78th Fraser’s Highlanders.

Hugh MacKay (1801-1864) was born in the Reay country. He was a piper in the 71st Highlanders in 1830, and was Pipe Major from 1836-1851. After that, he went to the Stirlingshire Militia, from 1852 to 1864. He was a great march player who, with Angus MacKay, made the competition march what it is today. He composed many marches, including, The 71st Quickstep, The Stirlingshire Militia, The Craigs of Stirling, Angus Campbell’s Farewell to Stirling, Charles Edward Hope de Vere and Donald Cameron.

Colin then concluded his spot with the lovely Donald McLeod composition, Lament for Islay Flora MacLeod. A lovely wee tune and Colin informed us that the tune was written in memory of Bill MacLeod’s wife, who lived in Pine Falls, Manitoba. “Bill himself told me often that Donald wrote the tune, in particular the first variation, as an imitation of her golf swing. They often enjoyed golf on the weekend during the summer school at Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.”


The pie watcher

The pie watcher

We had a visitor watching over the pies. None other than the ‘wee spoon’ herself, Katherine Belcher from Melbourne. Kat is with us for a year or so and is flat out learning solo tunes and the Inveraray repertoire. We hope to hear her at the Eagles soon.

The post pie piper saw a welcome return to Donald McLeod. Donald was quickly into his stride on a first class pipe. After a couple of warm up tunes he knocked off two classics,

Donald McLeod

Donald McLeod

Colin Thompson and the 74th Farewell to Edinburgh. He paused for breath before playing a very entertaining set of small Strathspeys and Reels. Lovely. He continued with the hornpipe and jig, Raigmore and John Paterson’s Mare and concluded with the ground of The Lament for the Children. First class. Donald is finalising arrangement for the Duncan Johnstone competition on the 14th March and entries are just about closed.

Clan MacFarlanes gathering

Clan Campbell’s  Gathering

The next piper was Gordon Hislop, who was on piobaireachd duties. Gordon is a pupil of Tom Speirs and a regular attender at the Eagles. After playing a few warm up tunes Gordon tackled Clan Campbell’s Gathering and what a lovely job he made of it. Well-done Gordon.

The final player of the night was Lachie Dick, also a member of the City of Edinburgh Pipe Band, who are celebrating another successful Wheel of Fortune competition. Lachie quickly settled his pipe and was into the big stuff early on. He then played, for me the highlight of his spot, three Duncan Johnstone jigs, Finlay Murchies Birthday, James MacLellan’s Favourite and Ray Anderson. He finished off his spot with the ground of The King’s Taxes.

Lachie Dick

Lachie Dick

And that was that. A great night indeed.

Colin and Jenny are off to Canada to celebrate Jenny’s big birthday so safe travels (pack the snow shovels) and we have a round of the Scots Guards KO competition this Sunday 22nd where Grieg Wilson will be taking on Scott Barrie.

The piob. slot is up for grabs in 2 weeks time for those who may want a run out pre DJ competition?

See you in two weeks.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 3rd February 2015

UnknownDo you just not love piping? Not just the music but all the mishmash that goes with it. The global social bond and banter and the general es·prit de corps that seems stronger than ever. Thus it was very pleasing to welcome Michael Grey and Malky Bow (of the Consternation) from Canada who brought along the third musketeer John Slavin of Piping Today fame.

Michael usually pops over for a bit of Celtic Connections therapy but this year he threw in a couple of band practices with the Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe band. The last time we saw Michael at the Eagles was for the launch of his book Damed Suites and Other Music.

Now coincidence is a funny old thing. Earlier in the week the Hon P/M had been sifting through some old sheet music when he came across a copy of a 6/8 March, titled the RCR March. No composer or background clues. He duly brushed it up and played it during his opening set. There were a few enquiries regarding the tune and Michael stated that it was the Royal Canadian Regimental March. The P/M of course stated that he knew that and that he was playing it in honour of the guests. ‘Aye Right’ came back the reply.

Have a listen to this YouTube clip

and you’ll get the idea.

The P/M picked up his copy back in his Drambuie Kirkliston days. P/M Martin Wilson had apparently been over at the Halifax Tattoo with the Edinburgh Police Band and had seized a copy of the tune then and brought it into the DK repertoire.


The pipes and drums of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment march onto the parade square at Queen’s Park in Toronto on April 27, 2013.

Here’s a bit about the RCR……………..

The Royal Canadian Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Canadian Army.

The regiment consists of four battalions, three in the Regular Force and one in the Primary Reserve (militia). The RCR is the senior infantry regiment in the Regular Force, but its 4th Battalion (formerly the London and Oxford Fusiliers) is ranked 11th in the order of precedence among infantry regiments in the Primary Reserve.

The RCR was originally authorised as the Infantry School Corps on 21 December 1883, and established its first three company stations at Fredericton, New Brunswick; St Jean, Quebec; and Toronto, Ontario. In 1887 a fourth Company was authorized and the next year was established at London, Ontario. Now consisting of three Regular Force battalions and one Reserve Force battalion, the regiment’s four battalions are now stationed in Ontario and New Brunswick.

With many of its soldiers drawn from Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces in recent decades, the regiment maintains a general connection as the “local” infantry regiment for eastern Canada.

The RCR maintains a Regimental Headquarters (RHQ) in Petawawa, Ontario, which has no operational command role but handles regimental affairs outside the responsibility of the individual Battalions.

Bugles and Drums

The first band of The RCR was formed under “A” Company of the Infantry School Corps in 1894, when Sergeant Charles Hayes. 

The regiment reported having an active band throughout much of the First World War, once their instruments were smuggled forward for them to use. With few lapses, the regiment maintained a Drum and Bugle band at least until the 1990s, when the 1st Battalion had a Drum and Bugle Corps within the ranks of C Company.

Pipes and Drums

In 1970, following a review of the regular army, a number of infantry battalions were disbanded. The Canadian Guards and the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada lost both of their regular battalions, with personnel being distributed to The Royal Canadian Regiment.

The 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment adopted the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch, becoming the Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.

The 3rd Battalion of The RCR, similarly, adopted the Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion, The Canadian Guards, when they were disbanded. In 1977 the 3rd Battalion Pipes and Drums were redesignated the Special Service Force Pipes and Drums.

The 2nd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment currently maintains the only Pipes and Drums in the Canadian regular army.

“The Regimental March of the Royal Canadian Regiment” by Lieut. Langford and G. Offen was published by Capt. F.A. Lister, R.C.R., 1910. First line: “Oh! we’re crushing the gravel again today”

The tune also comes under the name St Catharines. Who arranged the pipe music remains a mystery but perhaps some of our Canadian chums can shed some light?

IMG_1900Next up was the man himself Michael Grey. We don’t get enough opportunity to hear Michael play and when we do it’s a real treat. Not just because you know you are going to listen to some first class piping but the content is always of interest. Michael mixes and matches traditional tunes with some of his own compositions and other little heard tunes and they always prick the interest.

Michael started off with some 6/8 marches Ian Symington and Fonzie McDonald’s Welcome to the Real World (great name not sure about the spelling?) He then slowed the tempo down with The Old Days before playing 2 x 2/4 marches Breadalbane Street and Verna Leith’s Wedding March composed by Archie MacNeill, Glasgow that can be found in the late great Scott MacAulay’s collection of music.

As the pies were being delivered Michael rounded off a beautiful wee spot with a couple of his own hornpipes Low Midge Tally and Bob Worrall at St Anns.

A well earned pie, a few beers and plenty of chat followed.

The last player of the night was Lachie Dick, who currently plays for the City of Edinburgh Pipe Band, host/organisers of the Wheel of Fortune and Lachie had plenty of raffle tickets to sell. He started off with a tune from the band repertoire, a musical  3/4, 13 Frederick Street, before going into a slow air and ending with a jig, Hag at the Churn.IMG_1908

On a very soft and settled pipe he played a very nice Dr. Angus MacDonald/Susan McLeod/The Grey Bob. Excellent stuff and this is a man that could do some damage at the Duncan Johnston that is coming up on March 14th.

And with a couple of hornpipes, including George S Allan, Lachie brought the evening to an end. Michael, Malky and John headed to Haymarket for the last train but the Canadian contingent will soon be together again as there is a big bash over there in a couple of weeks for Jenny’s big birthday. The one after 39………..

A great night and thanks to Michael G for taking the time to pop through and play a few tunes for us.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

PS Congratulations to Brian Lamond who picked up the overall at the Wheel of Fortune.


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Eagles Tuesday 3rd February

Michael Grey in town……… Grey


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Match Report 20th January 2015

Heriots logoAfter the festive excesses and our seasonal break it was back into action for the Eagles. We were delighted to host a few pupils from George Heriot’s School who, despite it being a ‘school night’, were delighted at the opportunity to have a tune.

Willie McIntyre is the senior piping instructor and he is ably assisted by Ally Henderson, the current Pipe Sergeant with Inveraray and District Pipe Band. In recent years the band have stepped outside the closed schools competitions and have taken part in several of the ‘Major’ events, not least The World Pipe Band Championships, where they have had notable success.P1040131

The Eagles have quite a connection with Heriots as Colin Maclellan, the Hon P/M, Euan Anderson, Iain Speirs and his brother Gregor all played in the band. All be it in slightly different eras. Back in the day it was Jack Crichton who was the main piping instructor and he handed the baton to P/M John Allan who in turn handed it to Willie. The school has produced many great pipers and drummers and it is pleasing to see that continuing.

The quartet for the night was Andrew Henriksen, Paul Christie, Cameron McGill and Finlay Wallis.

P1040135While they were upstairs tuning the P/M got the evening under way with a few tunes. He didn’t stray very far from the radiators as it was another cold Scottish evening.

The quartet came down and Willie introduced the boys and gave us a wee bit of background on some of the tunes they were going to play. They kicked off with a small medley of tunes starting off with a 4/4 arrangement of Captain Carswell, before going into The Soup Dragon and Fraser Allison’s Jig. A great start and on fine sounding pipes.P1040133

The boys continued with some hornpipes, Mr Jack and Bob Strachan. The band regularly play at the school’s Christmas concert at the Usher Hall and their next set was from last years show. The Rainbow Country, The Golden Ring and Blue Cloud. The hands were warmed up and the crisp fingering was to be admired. Willie gave the drones a quick tune and the band signed off with some of their standard repertoire.P1040134


Holly in fine form

What a great session of music but we were not done there. Holly Fredlander, also a pupil at the school, then gave us a solo spot. As the pre pie piper she didn’t waste any time before getting into the big stuff with a great MSR, Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque, The Caledonian Society of London and Sandy Cameron. Holly is a great talent and she regularly plays in solo competitions. Tom Speirs is currently guiding her with piobaireachd and to conclude the first half of the evening she gave us a very musical Corrienessan’s Salute. (What a crunluath). Excellent stuff.


We will miss you Stacy

We were all ready for the pies and for the last time Stacy – our regular barmaid-brought them to the table. Stacy has a new job and unfortunately can no longer do a Tuesday night, so it is with a heavy heart we bid her farewell. During her tenure she has listened to some 100 piobaireachds and learned that piping is far more important than world politics.

After the pies Andrew Allison gave us a few tunes. He was sporting his new Christmas present, some kind of beetle tattoo. (not one of the fab four you understand). Andrew had given the pipe a bit of a makeover and was in fine form.

P1040146And with that we called it a night. The flu bug had captured a couple of victims in Cameron Drummond and The Hon Pres. himself so we wish them a speedy recovery. We also wish Tom Speirs the best of luck, as he is going into hospital for an operation that will hopefully see him fully fit and back on the judges bench soon.

Many thanks to the troops from George Heriots for taking the time to give us such a great start to the year. Our next meeting is Tuesday 3rd February. Remember if anyone wants one of the piobaireachd slots just let me know and I will put it in the diary.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M


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