In my review of the Northern Meeting there was one glaring omission – a failure to mention the superb piping of Niall Stewart (left) in winning the Former Winners’ Silver Star. I had to leave before this event began but caught up on the BBC iPlayer. If any young piper is interested in learning how point and phrase their ceol beag then they should download this performance and keep it as a constant reminder of how it is done. The tempi were spot on, the pipe booming, and the finger a model of clarity and precision.
It is a pity those overseas can’t access these recording done by Gary West, Iain MacInnes and the ‘Pipeline’ team. Special dispensation is given by the BBC governors to allow the World Pipe Band Championship to be streamed internationally. It brings thousands of online overseas viewers to the BBC and must do a great deal of good for UK plc and/or Scotland plc. Piping is such a global endeavour now that I believe it would be propitious if solo recordings from such as the Northern Meeting and the Glenfiddich could be made more readily available to all pipers no matter where they are domiciled. Wouldn’t cost much and like the Worlds could only do good for our public image – and the furtherance of the art.
Today sees the annual Springbank Invitational contest and I hope someone down in Campbeltown will forward on the results. In two or three weeks time we will have another important contest, this time in Edinburgh. It is the Captain John MacLellan Memorial run by the Army School and the Competing Pipers’ Association. It was very well attended last year and well supported by the pipers too. Hopefully there to defend his title will be the 2013 champion Gordon McCready pictured below.
The date is October 4 and the place, the Army School of Piping and Highland Drumming at Inchdrewer House, Colinton Road, Edinburgh 0131 310 5561. There are graded contests for P/A (six of each) , B (four of each) and C grade (three) pipers, both for piobaireachd and light music. In addition there is an open Hornpipe & Jig. So this is a major event and I believe it important that it grows in stature. The capital city needs a prestigious piping competition.
Next Saturday (Sept 20th) sees the SPA’s Juvenile Amateur competition so get along to the College of Piping and support the kids if you can.
Still on the competition front, but looking ahead to next year, the leading amateur piobaireachd competition organised by the Music Committee of the Piobaireachd Society will be held in the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society rooms, Rose Street Lane South on March 7. The Committee has announced that judges for the event will once more be husband and wife team of Colin MacLellan and Jenny Hazzard. The Committee tries to keep the same benches for two years in a row and this will be Colin and Jenny’s second stint. Crit sheets they produced last year were greatly appreciated by the competitors.
I have started a small shop as part of this website and readers can access it here. Not much in it yet but through time I hope it will build up with an emphasis on tuition and tuition materials.
Thanks to the many thousands of readers who are following pipingpress.com and for all the messages of support. Those asking about reports of contests such as at Lochaber should be reassured. I will get round to them soon. Nicholas Taitz on the Northern Meeting review: ‘An excellent report of the Gold Medal, this is just the kind of detailed appraisal and report we would expect from Rob Wallace. So much better than a mere run down of results. Very much reminiscent of the old ones by MacNeill, though Rob is more detailed and comprehensive in his review. Perhaps this is due to lack of space constraints between the old wee magazine and the modern limitless blogosphere…’
Elgin & District Pipe Band (left) are looking to appoint a new Pipe Major and Pipe Tutor. Anyone interested in taking on either of these roles should contact the band Secretary through their Facebook page or by phoning 01343 550434.
Any band looking to publicise some aspect of their work should email email@example.com for inclusion in the magazine’s Branch News column – all for free.
Copy deadlines are Nov 5 (earlier because of the Festive Season), Feb 15, May 15, and Aug 15. The magazine is a free download from rspba.org and from Oct 1 from this site.
Hector Russell has forwarded the items below after reading of Ullapool piping teacher Gary Nimmo’s drum tutor quest in my last posting. The tune at the bottom is P/M Alex MacIvor by Angus Lawrie: