SPA WW1 Concert


Scottish Pipers’ Association
Comunn Nam Piobairean Albannach
Pipers and Pipe Music of the Great War

Royal Scots Fusiliers prior to WW1
Royal Scots Fusiliers post WW1

Jeannie Campbell reports: Last year the Scottish Pipers’ Association received £7,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for this project researching the lives of the pipers and the music they played and composed during the Great War. The Association is presenting the stories of the pipers and their music in a series of five concerts.

The third concert will take place at the College of Piping in Glasgow on Saturday 6th December 2014 at 7 .30pm. The concert will feature the pipers and music of the Gordon Highlanders and the Black Watch. Once again the stories of the pipers will be told and their music introduced by the military historian and writer Colin Campbell. A quartet of young pipers from the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming will play to start each half and the soloists will be pipers Donald MacPhee and Robert Wallace. Music composed by George S Mclennan, James Robertson, William Fergusson, Thomas Clarke, Dan Macleod, Andrew Kirk, John Wilson, John Maccoll, James Duff, William Cruickshank and others will be featured.

Piper Donald MacPhee in action at the Northern Meeting
Piper Donald MacPhee in action at the Northern Meeting

Admission will be free of charge and young people, pensioners and other concession groups will be encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be available during the interval. The concert will be streamed live over the internet so can be viewed by everyone vvorldwide. For the live streaming go to the College of Piping website Those intending to watch on line can order the booklet to accompany the series from the College of Piping for £4 plus postage. When replying to the invitation to take part, piper Donald MacPhee said he would be honoured to play the music of the Black Watch, especially as his great-uncle, Piper Michael MacPhee, Black Watch, was one of those who served during the Great War.


We are looking forward to another wonderful evening of music and stories. For anyone with an interest in piping or in the First World War this will be an event not to be missed. Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: ‘The First World War changed the face of modern history, touching the lives of everyone in this country and beyond. These concerts will bring that history to life with stories and the music of our brave pipers. We are particularly delighted that young people will be involved and are sure that as well as enjoying an evening of great entertainment, people will leave with a greater understanding of the heritage of the conflict.’

3 thoughts on “SPA WW1 Concert

  1. In the photo of the band from ww1 i recognise my Grandfather, Piper James Prattis of the RSF. I have the same photo!!. He is standing 5th from the right, pipes under his arm. I have another photo of the group out of dress uniform. His chanter is still in the family, it is inscribed on the ivory surround ” James Prattis 1917″. I have actually held it and tried to play it, it still has the reed!

    1. That’s terrific Jim; could you send on copies of your pictures and one of the chanter plus any additional info on your grandfather? RW

      1. hi, I’m sorry I haven’t accessed the site for some time. I will try and scan the other band photo over. he also played in a famous local pipe band here, in the falkirk area , wallacestone pipe band. I have a band photo of that too as well as some randoms in his after war years. I think my aunt has the chanter, as I haven,t seen it for many years. his discharge papers contain the words “first class shot” !

        regards, jim

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