Match Report Tuesday 7th June 2016

Eagle Pipers v Cold Play?

UnknownA tough one and when the text came in ‘Pipey, I can’t make it tonight, off to see Cold Play’, it was somewhat of a surprise to see the author was Iain Dewar. Chris Martin is probably used to fan adulation (probably from young girls) but little did he know that a middle aged piping rocker was in the midst cheering him on. Viva La Vida!


Iain Dewar

IMG_3555The P/M got the evening under way starting with the hornpipe The Mokwa, followed by a few jigs. Some quick time 2/4 marches followed and he finished off with a few 6/8s.

Next up was Michael Chiang who had a few tunes on the P/M pipe. Despite the blow stick being about 3 inches too long for him he quickly got into his stride playing some light music, before giving us the ground of The Little Spree. This was Michael’s inaugural tune at the Eagles and we hope it is not the last. He is in Edinburgh and currently looking for a tutor.



13307492_10101514760096033_8232200273615157438_nThe pre pie piper was Nils-recently married-Michael and despite his new responsibilities he was in excellent form on a good pipe. He played a large selection of strathspeys and reels before concluding with the 2/4 marches Murdo’s Wedding and Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque.

Sir Arthur Bignold was a politician in Scotland who served as the Member of Parliament for Wick Burghs from 1900 to 1910. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1873 he was a founding member of The Kennel Club. He was proprietor of Lochrosque and Strathbran Estates in Ross Shire and served as President of the Ross and Sutherland Benevolent Society as well as a magistrate of Ross and Cromarty and Chief of the Gaelic Society. It was around this time the bagpipe march Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque, composed by John MacColl, was named after him.

Pies and time for a chat. Tickets for the John MacLellan memorial dinner are on sale and going well. Here is the facebook link. If you want to secure a ticket please contact Colin at

IMG_3556The post pie piper was Jenny Hazzard, who is marking her 20th wedding anniversary to Colin by heading back to Canada to reminisce and visit some old stamping grounds. We were all expecting The Unjust Incarceration, 20 years is quite a sentence, however, as usual, Jenny trotted out some excellent light music while her husband looked on all doe-eyed 🙂

The final player of the night was Andrew Donlon who was making a welcome return to the Eagles. Andrew is from Wooster, Ohio and plays with local band, The MacMillan United Pipe Band, but is over in Scotland to have a run out with the Spirit of Scotland. On a solid pipe Andrew settled the instrument with some big stuff that included the little heard Hugh McKay composition, Angus Campbell’s Farewell to Stirling, followed by the great G.S. march, Inveran.IMG_3562

This got us all in the mood for the evenings Ceol Mor, Rory MacLeod’s Lament. This tune can be found in full in the Campbell Canntaireachd MS and in book 11 of the Piobaireachd Society collections and is probably dedicated to the Chief of the MacLeod’s of Skye around the 1760s. Andrew made a great job of this wonderful tune and it was a real treat to hear him play. Thanks Andrew.

And with that we were done. The next Eagles meeting is on Tuesday 21st June.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 24th May 2016

Members Slow Air and 6/8 March competition

IMG_3497There is nothing quite like a wee members competition to prompt a few to dust off the cobwebs and put in an extra hour of practice. Some ‘weel kent’ faces showed up but were they fully paid up members? One for the stewards to assess while taking the obligatory doping samples. Yes there were quite a few dopes there, the 3 judges leading the way, but more of that later.

The competition was organised by the Hon President Colin MacLellan, who briefed the ensemble and the judges regarding the unique (to piping) scoring system. He went through it twice for the benefit of those from Fife. Aw right neebs.

IMG_3495In short the judges were issued with scoring cards that had to be displayed immediately after the competitor had played and left the room. Points were to be deducted for excessive tuning, those who did not buy the judges a drink and those who were T.C.T.H.B.s.

With an array of top prizes on display that included tickets to the John Maclellan Memorial dinner, the new JM book and CDs, Eagles bag covers, cords, cufflinks and a fair amount of plonk, the gloves were off.

The 3 judges for the evening, picked for their inability to understand what was actually going on were, Davy Drysdale, Pete Toole and Hamish Anderson. Pete gave us a quick scoring demonstration and the signs were not good.IMG_3504

IMG_3500Peter McCalister was up first and gave us Oft in the Stilly Night and Jean Mauchline. An excellent run was not reflected in the judges scoring who had already dropped most of the cards on the floor. Peter was followed by the first guest player from Heriot’s school, Brodie Watson-Massey who played a first class Megan’s Lullaby and Glendaruel Highlanders.IMG_3508

IMG_3512Jenny Hazzard was up next but her cards were already marked, certainly by one judge who clearly hasn’t fallen for the Canadian charm. Your secret is safe Davy. Jenny gave us The Easter Townships and Cameron MacFadyen. Next up was Greig ‘Dyson’ Canning, from Fife. Who I hear you ask? Yes fresh from his British Championship win with Inveraray and District to the Eagles to try and beat the kids for a wee prize.


The Dyson

Greig started with Hector the Hero and one would have thought the judges would have slammed him for his audacious sliding note towards the end but they were clearly having a nap. Dyson finished his run with The Dundee City Police Pipe band.


IMG_3515Next for shaving was Douglas Gardiner who was on a different pipe with RAF Halton stamped on the cover. Hopefully not a theft? DG gave us The Highland Cradle Song and P/M Sam Scott. Jim Cooper was up next and gave us one of the best performances of the night playing The Bells of Dunblane and Rabs Wedding. Erratic scoring/thinking from the 3 wise-not so- men cost him dear.IMG_3519

IMG_3520Fergus Perks gave us Oh My Dearest Dear and the classic Kenneth J MacLeod. Another fine performance, on a set of Tim Gellaitry pipes that were top notch. Alan Harper was next and played Cailin Mo Ruinsa, made famous by the singer Calum Kennedy and The 10th HLI crossing the Rhine.IMG_3522

Our second guest piper from Heriots school, Chris Happs, was the post pie piper, a title that he seemed somewhat bemused by. IMG_3525On an excellent pipe he gave us Scots Ballad and Angus MacKinnon. Chris is a member of the NYPB and is one for the future. In full No1 regalia having come straight from work, Craig Martin gave us Long Shall I return and Leaving Post Askaig.IMG_3527

We were on the home straight and the penultimate player of the night was Iain Dewar. He started with The Sleeping Tune. It must have had an effect on him as he nodded off during IMG_3530his 6/8, P/M Donald MacLean of Lewis. However, his good friend was on the panel, so you would have thought he might catch a break? Think again. Ankles done. The final player of the night was Gordon Hislop who played the slow air Ruth Grant, followed by the 6/8 Over the Chindwin, composed in 1944 by P/M Evan MacRae of the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders. The Chindwin is a river in Burma and was a major barrier in WWII for the Japanese trying to invade India and for the Allied forces trying to reoccupy Burma.IMG_3532

Once the Hon President had totted up the scores the results were announced as follows.


1st Chris Happs


2nd you know who







3rd Brodie Watson-Massey

Cunningly the judges had worked out the no alcohol could be given to children so they were waiting in the wings to collect their unexpected bonus. Not so daft after all.

What a great night and all participants are to be congratulated for taking the competition in good spirit and heart. Thanks to Colin for all his efforts in organizing it and to our Unknownerstwhile judges who were last seen staggering up Haymarket singing Sunshine On Leith.



Euan Anderson

Hon P/M



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Tues 24th May -Handicap Solo Contest

We are holding a Slow Air-6/8 March Contest at our next meeting.

It will be judged by a bench of distinguished non-pipers with an informal handicap system to ensure a level field for lesser experienced pipers.

The Hon President has assured the prizes will be “substantial”.

No tuning lights, no set tunes, just fun.




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Match report Tuesday 26th April 2016

imagesIt’s the end of April/beginning of May. It’s snowing! The band season is just about upon us and the first major is on the 19th . 3 weeks! Dig out the capes, mitts and hip flasks.

The down turn in the weather saw a quieter evening at the Eagles and the P/M got the evening under way. After trotting out some old favourites he ended with the ground and first variation of the Salute to The Prince. The heavens opened and down came the purple rain.

IMG_3424Next up was Fergus Perks, who is coming back into form after a bit of an absence from the pipe. A quick tune of the drones and he was off into some lovely light music. The drones stayed where they were and the pipe was very easy on the ear. Fergus concluded his spot with the Urlar of Colin MacRae of Inverinate’s Lament which is also known as Duncan MacRae of Kintail’s Lament. While published in the Kilberry and Piobaireachd society books there is a setting of Colin MacRae in the William Ross’ collection from 1885. This setting has toarluath and crunluath variations (singlings only) that rounds off this very melodic tune  very nicely.

Pies were very welcome on this cold night.

To finish off the night Jenny Hazzard, who was breaking in a new sheepskin bag, (T.T.O.BB), played a few tunes that included the 2/4 March Murdo MacLeod, composed by Peter R. MacLeod Snr.IMG_3427

Peter Roderick MacLeod Senior was born in Aird, Uig, on the Isle of Lewis, on the 13th December 1879. During the First World War he saw action in Egypt and Gallipoli. From 1902-1927 he was employed as a shipwright in a number of Clyde shipyards including Fairfield’s in Govan and Charles Connell in Whiteinch.


Peter MacLeod Snr

For many years he stayed at 7 Exeter Drive in Partick, Glasgow. It was during the latter part of this time that he met with an industrial accident involving a ship’s deck hatch that led to his right leg having to be amputated. The resultant ill-fitting artificial leg caused him much pain throughout the remainder of his life. He died in Erskine Old Soldiers Hospital near Renfrew on 16th June, 1965.

Jenny finished with the ground of McNeill of Barra’s March and that was the evenings evening.

Dates for the Diary

10376863_975883852467142_1714944752036193475_nThis Friday, 6th May, the Eagles are at the Royal Scottish Pipers Society rooms in Rose Street Lane, Edinburgh, KO around 19.30. Come along and bring your pipes.

This Saturday, 7th May, at the Scots Guards Club, Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, the annual Scots Guards Association dinner, featuring Angus MacColl Snr. Tickets £25 are still available86315935_glenfiddichpipingchampionship2015winnerangusmaccoll

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Recital Dinner -Angus MacColl – Sat 7th May


The Scots Guards Association is hosting an informal dinner on Saturday 7th May at the club in Haymarket.  Angus MacColl (Snr) will provide the piping.

The EPS has purchased 10 tickets (£25 per head).

Please let Euan or me know if you would like one.  First come first served.

Last year’s dinner with Chris Armstrong was superb!



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Match Report Tuesday 12th April 2016

12366250_10156305578215082_5833737885280578307_nThere is good news and bad news. Lets have the good news first. There are golf courses in heaven. Fantastic. The bad news is that you are on the first tee tomorrow morning. Nae sae good.

No one knows when their time is up and there is never a good time to go, or is there? When I read of the passing of Willie McCallum Snr. aged 87, I thought, now that’s not a bad way to sign off. Up in Stornoway having just listened to your son achieve yet another major piping success and in the company of friends at the evening ceilidh.  Can think of a more fitting way to conclude lives journey?

The loss to Willie Jnr and the rest of the McCallum family will be immeasurable, but perhaps there is some solace to be found in that he had a good kick of the ball (as my mother used to say) and passed away in an environment he truly loved amongst friends and family.

William McCallum Snr, was the head of the Kintyre Pipers Society and a primary organizer of many competitions and events, including the annual Springbank Invitational.

I smiled when I read the article in the pipes/drums that included a quote from Willie about his dad.550990_10151987579545082_131279400_n

“He’s the only person I’ve met, who can listen to piping 24 hours a day. He’s got an amazing appetite for listening to bagpipes. It’s huge. I’ve never met anyone who loved it so much.”

I had a father like that. He could kill a party stone dead by putting on the latest piping LP that had been recently added to the collection. We all know someone like that and when they pass the world is a sadder place.

With a nod to the McCallum clan the P/M warmed the pipe and when settled played a few variations from The Lament for the Earl of Antrim. Rest in peace Willie.


Fergus Perks

Fergus Perks was up next and on a lovely set of Sinclair drones kicked off with a couple of 6/8s that included the little heard Highland Brigade Depot, composed by P/M Ronald McCallum MBE, that can be found in volume 2 of The Gordon Highlanders collection. After a fine MSR Fergus rounded of with a hornpipe and jig starting with The Clydeside hornpipe, Donald MacLeod Book 3. Then he bought a pipe chanter, a McC2, that Nils happened to have in his pipe box, fresh out the wrapper/tube.

The post pie piper was Nils himself who played a variety of light music tunes before trotting out a couple of first class 2/4 marches, Mrs. John McColl and Murdo MacLeod. He then gave us the ground of IMG_3401Corrienessan’s Salute before finishing with a digital flourish playing some hornpipes and jigs.

Jenny Hazzard followed and on the usual resonant pipe was quickly into her stride playing a lovely MSR before ending with a lovely slow Irish Waltz, Inisheer and the IMG_3404Gordon Duncan hornpipe, The Starloch Turkeys. Inisheer is the smallest and most Eastern of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay, Ireland.

The surprise guest and final player of the evening was Scott Hannah. I say surprise, as he himself was very surprised to be at the Eagles as he was supposed to be at a Shotts practice. A Rip Van Winkle moment saw Scott miss his train stop and end up in Glasgow. A return to Edinburgh and a practice at the Eagles was our gain. On a robust booming instrument, that will stand the band in good stead, Scott was in fine form playing a lively MSR before finishing off with some jigs, that included the great Donella Beaton, composed by George Johnstone.IMG_3407

And that was the evenings evening.

Callum Beaumont is in Edinburgh giving a recital this Sunday 17th April, at the Scots Guards Club, 16.00hrs.

The funeral of Willie McCallum will be held on Saturday, 16 April, at 1pm at Highland Parish Church, New Quay St., Campbeltown PA28 6BN.

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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Match Report Tuesday 29th March 2016

IMG_3386The P/M broke the ice with a few tunes before handing the baton onto Iain Kirkwood who, it is nice to see, is becoming a regular attender with the pipe. Iain played a few tunes and finished with the little heard but lovely 6/8, Lord MacPherson of Drumochter.


Iain Kirkwood

High Tower made a welcome return with the pipe and gave us a few pre pie tunes on a solid robust pipe. It’s that time of year so new reeds were being blown in. Andrew finished his spot with the classic jig Kenny Gillies of Portnalong.


Andew Gray

The post pie piper was Cameron Drummond. Cameron started off with a couple of small tunes before banging out 2 classic 2/4 marches that were full of music.

A batch of reels followed next under the banner of ‘experimental’. Cameron is heading out to the USA in a few days in advance of the band (Inveraray and District), who are playing at an event in Virginia. He is giving a couple of recitals with Ally Henderson and is evolving his repertoire for said events.

The standard of playing and finger dexterity displayed in this set of tunes is only possessed by the very few ‘naturals’ we have in our midst. Stuart Liddell is the obvious example of the current art form of transforming standard time signatures into masterful alternative settings. Gordon Walker is another. To mention Cameron in that company is not a step too far.


Cameron Drummond

There is a distinct difference in class between the standard kitchen piping we hear all too often and the stuff these guys produce. It is mind boggling and scarily good.

(Interestingly Andrew Gray is also heading out to Virginia with the Fife Police Pipe Band. It sounds like a great trip. What could possibly go wrong?)

As good as the experimental reels were they were not the highlight of the evening. That came in the form of the Carlsberg setting of The Stewarts White Banner. Ok it was the Donald MacDonald setting but if Carlsberg did piobaireachd then they would all sound like this…..

Donald MacDonald, born around 1750, became a pupil of the MacArthurs, hereditary pipers to the MacDonalds of Skye. He later moved to Edinburgh, establishing himself as a maker of Highland and other bagpipes. At that time, the premier award for playing of the piobaireachd was a Prize Pipe, awarded annually by the Highland Society of London, which Donald won in 1817.

In 1822, he published a book of piobaireachd, written in a staff notation of his devising, which has remained the basis on which subsequent editors of piobaireachd have worked.Although well received, the book’s financial return prevented publication of Donald’s projected second volume.

Donald therefore presented the manuscript to the grandfather of General C.S. Thomson. Thomson used the MS as a reference in compiling ‘Ceol Mor’, a comprehensive collection of piobaireachd published in 1900.

Stewarts White Banner

‘Donald MacDonald‘s rich and ornate setting contains many points of interest including a variable throw on D, the high A/G introductory movement before E echo beats, and the interesting possibilities presented by the similar movement approaching D echo beats, whether to play these long or short, as a demi-semi quaver run as written, or to give time value to the F as seems often to happen with these compound appoggiaturas; likewise with the cascading runs down from high A which prefix the eallachs at the end of the part.’ 

While this is still a work in progress for Cameron, as this is one of the set tunes this year, it was breathtakingly musical. Cameron is playing in the Donald MacDonald Quaich competition this year, an event he won in 2013. As a set tune this year it will be interesting to see what the competitors do with this tune but this setting is a stick out and it is a must listen for any piobaireachd aficionados. Hopefully Cameron will play the complete piece prior to the Quaich competition.

Dates for the diary.

Sunday 17th April 2016 16.00hrs Callum Beaumont recital Scots Guards Association Club.

Friday 6th May 2016. Eagles visit to the Royal Scottish Pipers Society

Saturday 7th May 2016 Annual dinner Scots Guards Association Club. Piper Angus McColl Snr.

15th May 2016 16.00hrs. KO final. Callum Moffat v Ross Miller. Scots Guards Association Club.

Friday 27th August 2016 Captain John MacLellan memorial dinner

Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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