Match Report 16th September 2014

Eagles emblem 2010The first post-Northern-Meetings Eagle Pipers night is always expected to be a little scarce on both attendance and bagpiping motivation. Although this was the case, we had an enjoyable evening with a respectable turnout of enthusiastic souls.

Due to the Hon PM being off in Cyprus on his jollies, the honour of opening the evening’s piping fell to me. Having had a short rest after Inverness, I was glad for the incentive to get back at it, and took the opportunity to play a variety of light music still on the must-practise list ahead of the late-season competitions at the Army School and in London.P1010744

Upon finishing my stint, my bagpipe was still the only one in the room (it was deemed the “Eagle Pipe” for the evening), so the Hon President Colin MacLellan decided to give us a few tunes (since they really are his pipes). Colin gave us a lovely slow air and some 6/8 marches, a big MSR, and a good helping of the Lament for Mary MacLeod – all played annoyingly well and with wonderful ease, given that he hadn’t played at all for some months.

Lachie DickNext up was Lachie Dick, only slightly late in arriving due to public transport woes from his temporary home at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy (as a final-year medical student, not a patient). Lachie surprised us with a quiz for the evening – he announced that he was to play a series of tunes, all of which were linked by a common theme, to be deciphered by the audience. He began with some 3/4 marches including Far over Struie; moved on to the Atholl Highlanders jig and Coppermill Studio; then to the Clan MacColl, Inveraray Castle and the Little Cascade; and finishing with an excellent rendition of the piobaireachd, the King’s Taxes.

Anyone got it? No, didn’t think so.

After (quite) a bit of cajoling and hinting from Lachie, I’m proud to say I cracked the code, and guessed that each of the tunes had some association with one of the pipers who will be playing at the Glenfiddich championship at Blair Castle this October. Some of these were good, strong links (Bruce Gandy composed Coppermill Studio, the Clan MacColl is for Angus, Stuart Liddell is from Inveraray). Others were considerably more tenuous (the Little Cascade was composed by GS MacLennan, who was in the Gordon Highlanders, hence Gordon McCready), for which Lachie quite rightly took a degree of abuse.IMG_0595

Anyway, thanks go to Lachie for making the effort to come up with this little quiz and keep us entertained, and for actually learning a number of the tunes just for the purpose.

And thanks to everyone else who came out for a very pleasant evening, despite the inevitable September piping fatigue. We look forward to many more over the winter, as the competition season winds down and we can all spend some time learning new music and taking the chance to give it a public airing in a friendly and non-competitive atmosphere.

Jenny

Jenny Hazzard

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Match Report Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Kai Palle and Brian

Kai Palle and Brian

With Oban done and dusted and Inverness still to come this was a wee opportunity for the competitors to have a final run before heading North to the Northern Meetings. Jenny Hazzard took the opportunity and gave a selection from her light music and the ground and a few variationimages of His Fathers Lament for Donald MacKenzie-as it transpired the tune she was actually to play on the day. Jenny acquitted herself very well in the gold medal and managed a very creditable 5th place in the A grade MSR. As thimagee P/M got the evening under way a few very welcome foreign visitors arrived not least Kai and Palle from Denmark and from further afield Brian Williamson from Canada.

Other pre pie pipes were Nils Michael and Andrew Allison. Nils is a fantastic supporter of the Eagles and can always be relied upon to give a sterling imageperformance. Tonight was no exception and he closed with three old school hornpipes Tam Bains Lum, PM GS Allan and The Train Journey North.
Andrew was next up and as you may have seen from previous match reports himagee is now a regular attender. He is working hard on his playing and the sound of the pipe. The fruits of his labour are starting to show and he produced two very fine 2/4 marches The. Argyllshire Gathering and Donald MacLellan of Rothesay.

Post pies it was Andrew Gray’s turn and he was in fine form. Andrew has had a busy year studying and we have not seen or heard from him as much as we would have liked, but he also is a stalwart of the Society. Included in Andrews slot was the very musical march Allan Dodds Farewell to Scotland composed by PM JM Mackenzie that is making a very welcome appearance at the games this year.image

And with Jenny closing the night as described above that was the evenings evening. As the PM closed the night and wished everyone much success at the Northern Meeting we were not to know that our own Iain Speirs would lift the clasp on the Friday playing Donald Gruamach’s March. A tremendous achievement and a father and son first, as we all remember Toms achievement in 1983 when he won the clasp with Tulloch Ard. Iain will be heading up to Blair Atholl full of confidence and who is to say he can not make it three in a row ? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Euan Anderson
Hon P/M

 

 

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Clasp 2014

Eagle swoops in to take clasp

Eagle swoops in to take clasp

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Match report 19th August 2014

Andrew Allison

Andrew Allison

With the worlds done and dusted and Cowal no longer a Championship the pipe band scene is pretty much over, with the focus now on the ‘medals’ at Oban and Inverness. Thus we expected a few of the contenders to pitch up and run through their stuff but alas not many took the opportunity. We still had an International flavour to the night though with Willie Rowe from New Zealand and Nick Hudson from Pittsburg bringing their sticks along.

Once the Pipe Major had broken the ice he handed over to Andrew Allison, who was playing a new bag, new chanter, new reed and looking the part, resplendent in a new Society cover and cords. Maw and Paw were there to cheer him on while enjoying a refreshment. Andrew concluded his performance with a set of reels and fancy finger work, The Wise Maiden (named after his mum? ),The Auld Fiddler and Double F Dilemma. I don’t know about a dilemma but I was perplexed listening to it :).

A wee refreshment

A wee refreshment

Magnus on the March

Magnus on the March

Next for shaving was Magnus Orr who quickly settled his pipe. In fine form he concluded with The Wee Man From Skye and The Judges Dilemma.

The pre pie piper was Willie Rowe who is currently based in Christchurch. He was quickly into his stride and on a lovely mellow pipe gave us The Duke of Roxburgh’s Farewell to the Blackmount Forrest, Bonnie Ann, Piper’s Bonnet, Inveraray Castle, The Smith of Chilliechassie and Duntroon. Willie very kindly agreed to take a Society hug back to Tracey Williams, who has been pining for Scotland, pretty much since she left, but the coverage of the Commonwealth Games and Piping Live

Willie Rowe

Willie Rowe

have recently made things worse. Don’t worry T. a big hug coming your way from us.

The post pie piper was Nick Hudson who is here with us until Inverness. Nick played a fine selection of tunes including a competition MSR and Hornpipe and Jig that included the Bill Livingstone composition The Busy Buddy. Bill was in the circle at the worlds with the Toronto Police. After all these years, quite remarkable. Hats off.

Nick Hudson

Nick Hudson

The final player of the evening was Jenny Hazzard who took the opportunity of giving one of her tunes a run-MacNeill of Barra’s March. I would like to say Jenny was in the pink but if you look closely she was on the blue.

This piece has overlapping names, “MacNeill of Barra’s Lament,” “MacNeill of Barra’s March,” “The Pride of Barra” and so on, Thus we cannot be sure that it was this tune that John Campbell from Nether Lorne gained 4th Prize with at the Edinburgh competition in 1816: his tune was called “Speadsearachd Bharra– Macneill of Barra’s Salute. “The editors of The MacArthur-MacGregor Manuscript of Piobaireachd (1820) take the view that this may be a seventeenth-century tune, and that the dedicatee may have been one of the Clanranald bailies of South Uist

Jenny on the blue

Jenny on the blue

Having just come back from the Glasgow sojourn Jenny blew the cobwebs away with some light music before playing a very musical piob on a well balanced instrument. Jenny is last on in the Gold medal at Oban so we all wish her all the very best of luck and hope she can take advantage of the draw.

 

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report 12th August 2014

P1030377Adding an extra night into the worlds week is always a bit of a gamble as there is so much else to compete with-the Fringe in own fair city and Piping Live in Glasgow but what a great night we had. Our usual and most welcome guests pitched up- The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band and they were joined by new guests, PM Ron Graham and The Quigley Highlanders, from Ontario, Canada. Their web site tells us,P1030382

‘The idea of having a community based pipe band was born around a kitchen table at the home of Millan MacPherson’s, while enjoying Celtic music and refreshments. The people sitting at that table decided to form The Quigley Highlanders Pipes and Drums (QHPD) to honour the former hamlet of Quigley’s Corners, now Lochiel, Ontario, Canada. The community was excited that the QHPD was born, and that their motto was “Know Your Past, Empower your Future”.

In 1845, Owen Quigley bought the lot on the north-west corner where Lochiel Road intersects with Old Military Road and established a store, post office, hotel and tavern, a cheese factory, a forge, sawmill, grist mill and potash plant. The corner quickly became hub of the surrounding community. Today, all that remains is a tiny cluster of houses but the old popular name, Quigley’s Corners, lives on as an important part of the history of Lochiel. The motto expresses pride in the strength and courage of the Scots who left their homeland and established their families in Glengarry. People who no longer reside in Glengarry County still feel the connection and comfort it offers.

P1030388Formation of the band went quickly. Bandsmen ranged in age from sixteen to sixty and came from a variety of backgrounds, with varying degrees of experience. Under the leadership of the band’s first Pipe Major, David MacPherson, and Lead Tip Margaret Boekhoff, were pipers and drummers who once played with Glengarry, Black Watch, Air Force, Dunvegan, Ottawa Police and others. People that never played an instrument before, including retirees quickly learned their instrument and joined the ranks.’

Magnus

Magnus

In time honoured tradition the P/M got the evening underway with a few family favourites before handing over to Magnus Orr who was quickly into his stride knocking off an MSR. It’s great to see Magnus make another appearance at the Eagles as he is one of the Edinburgh stalwarts of the piping scene and is still heavily involved in organising International piping events.

Mad Posh Dougie as christened by Tracey

Mad Posh Dougie as christened by Tracey

Next for shaving was Douglas Gardiner who had taken the bold step of having a tune with grade 3a outfit RAF Halton at the weekend. (A successful venture as it turned out as they attained a very creditable 3rd place) Douglas is quite the ensemble expert having a fondness for bass and tenor technique and I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed his run out with the band. On a quite superb bagpipe Douglas gave us a wide range of tunes including the MSR John McDonald of Glencoe, Maggie Cameron and Loch Carron.

Honestly she's a nice girl

Honestly she’s a nice girl

The room was bulging at the seams when Andrew Allison took to the floor on the P/Ms pipe. He too knocked off an MSR in his spot. Andrew is a great addition to our ranks and maw an paw make sure his hair is always neat and tidy!

Andrew playing the PM's pipe

Andrew playing the PM’s pipe

The post pie piper was none other than Andrew Donlan from the City of Washington. Andrew is a first class’s solo player and is also a member if the New York Metro Pipe Band, who were over to compete in grade 2 at the Worlds (and made the final!) http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ewjg9r/videos/p024xsgk#p024xs6b). Andrews pipe was first class- no mean feat after the soaking it got at Perth-and gave us a wide range of big competition stuff including Delvinside and Pretty Marion. To complete his Eagle’s debut he gave us a hornpipe and jig

Andrew Donlan

Andrew Donlan

closing with The Braes of Mellanish. Great stuff Andrew. Come back soon.

Tam

Tam

Tom Peterkin was up next and gave us a few more tunes from his large and quite diverse repertoire. Tom is a very musical player and he always manages to trot out a tune or two that has you scratching your head trying to recall the name.

The final player of the night was Cameron Drummond. Rosie has been flat out moving into his new pad (house warming) in Edinburgh as he starts as the new piping instructor at Fettes College at the start of the new term. It didn’t take him long to settle his pipe and once the drones were steady and locked in ( and I mean locked in) he gave us a superb Battle of the Pass of Crieff. If Cameron can sustain this form there is no doubt that he will be a strong contender in both gold medals this year.

The Battle of the Pass of Crieff

The Battle of the Pass of Crieff

And that was the evenings evening.

We are now suffering from the annual PWD, however a great time spent with friends, the Glasgow Police concert, Pipe Idol, The Worlds, Sartis, the Assman and an unforgettable visit to The Iron Horse made it all worth while.

We are back onto our usual routine of every second Tuesday starting Tuesday 19th August which is an ideal opportunity for those heading up to the Argyllshire Gathering to give some of their tunes an airing.

Hope to see you there

Euan Anderson
Hon P/M

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Match report Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Andrew AllisonThe meeting coincided with the famous Inveraray games and a poor turnout was expected but another nice wee evening emerged.

The P/M opened the night and once the pipe had settled played a couple of variations form His Father’s Lament For Donald MacKenzie. The tune is a tribute to a departed son and was composed by John Ban MacKenzie. Son Donald, like his father, was an outstanding piper and won the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting. He died in 1863.

At the time John Ban composed this tune, he was suffering from cancer and died early the next year. Despite the severe pain of his final illness, he endured long enough to complete his composition. John Ban never wrote down the notes of the tune but he did teach it to his nephew Ronald who later transcribed it and preserved it for posterity.

Next up was Andrew Allison who is becoming a welcome regular at Eagles. Andrew was in fine form and is on the look out for a new solo chanter-once he has saved up the pennies.

Magnus on form

Magnus on form

A rare visitor was the piping entrepreneur Magus Orr who seems to be constantly involved in organising large International piping events. Magnus kicked off with some 3/4s before heading into the big stuff playing a double MSR that finished with Mrs. MacPherson of Inveran and John Morrison of Assynt House. He finished off with some jigs that included The Lark in the Morning and The Geese in the Bog.

Just as the pies were being taken out the oven in walked Nils Michael and his charge for the day Andrew Yu, who had both been playing at Inveraray. A sterling effort and a pie was well deserved. Or was it two?

Andrew Yu

Andrew Yu

Andrew Yu was the post pie piper. Andrew is from Hong Kong and is presently playing with RAF Halton Pipes and Drums. Andrew was quick to settled down into his stride and played an MSR that kicked off with the little heard John MacDonald’s Welcome to south Uist. He finished off a great wee spot with Chasing Shadows and Alan MacPherson of Mosspark.

Nils ended the evening and played his Inveraray prize winning march (1st in the C Grade) Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque. This was followed by Mrs. John McColl. He ended the double MSR including the reel Duntroon, that seem to be making a wee resurgence this season.

Fresh from Inveraray victory

Fresh from Inveraray victory

And that was that.

There will be on Eagles on Tuesday 5th August as this has been put back a week to the 12th to accommodate our guests who will be with us for Piping Live and Worlds week. Hope to see you there.

IMG_1036Euan Anderson
Hon P/M

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August Date Changes

By way of reminder, the meeting on 5th August has been moved to Tuesday 12th August to coincide with Piping Live and The World Pipe Band Championships.

There is a meeting on 19th August as normal.

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