PP Editor’s Blog 31/10/14

     
To London today for the annual piping championship from where I will report for pipingpress.com. If the piping is anything like as good as at the Glenfiddich then we are in for a treat. London was always an opportunity to catch up with friends down south and I am sure this year will be no exception. I first went down in 1976 (Chelsea Town Hall) and hardly missed a year until I stopped competing in 2010. It did not seem like 34 years I must say.

The music starts in the Kensington Conference Centre at 9am with results due anytime late afternoon, so stay tuned. Now just for your entertainment here is a terrific picture of some of the main contestants from 40 years ago, yes 1974.

bratach 1974 picSadly, three of these champion pipers are no longer with us. Can you name everyone?
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The live stream from the Glenfiddich Championship is now available for re-watching at http://www.thepipingcentre.co.uk/livestream/. It is superbly done – they skip the tuning and we get the Fergus and Roddy show to boot!
To take the competition to the next level, to make it more of a test, they need to follow London’s 2015 example and try prescribed tunes in the ceol mor. Considering the prizemoney I don’t think the pipers would have any objection.
I hear the appeal for donations for the Donald MacLeod competition has been successful in raising a susbstantial amount of cash.
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A recent visit to the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh revealed this artwork, entitled ‘The Pibroch’. It is on the wall of the main stairwell. Don’t know anything about it.  Perhaps our arty readers could volunteer some info about the painting and the artist. The gallery is well worth a visit just to see this picture.

IMG_2252-2**
Colin Hughes, ex Pipes and Drums 1st Btn. Queens Own Highlanders, has sent an interesting letter about Home Guard pipe bands and has also forwarded a good picture of the Queen’s Own Highlanders band in 1974, P/M Andy Venters, P/Sgt Iain Murdo Morrison et al. The letter is, as you might expect, in the Letters page and the QOH pic in the History page.
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The night before last Saturday’s Glenfiddich I attended the Scottish Traditional Music Awards Hall of Fame ceremony at the Oran Mor nightspot in Glasgow’s West End. It was a special evening seeing a lot of folk music worthies of the past and piping judge Tom Johnstone. We were treated to a sumptuous meal, free drinks and some special singing and playing especially from Maeve MacKinnon who had the audience in rapt silence.

Hall of Fame

Adorning the walls we had a selection of photographs of piping inductees Ian Duncan, Ian McLellan, Donald MacPherson, Gordon Duncan, Donald MacLeod, John Burgess, Rona Lightfoot, Iain MacDonald (Glenuig) and Iain MacFadyen.

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