PP Editor’s Blog 7/11/14

[easyrotator]erc_14_1414056032[/easyrotator]With all the live streaming that is going on these days it is heartening to know that active consideration is being given to doing just that with the World Solo Drumming. This Andante – sponsored event would be a certain winner with the pipe band fraternity worldwide, especially, of course, the percussionists. As I said in my report a couple of weeks ago, if the piping is good, both main branches of the pipe band endeavour can get some pleasure from the day. There’s certainly a compelling atmosphere in the main hall for the Adult Final and if that can be relayed via the web to bands worldwide then what’s not to like?
Speaking to Fife’s Greig Wilson at the WSD (he was playing for Reid Maxwell’s son, Grant) I learned that he is playing next season with Simon Fraser University under P/M Alan Bevan. Isn’t it remarkable how things have changed in the modern world? There was a time not so long ago that a Fifer playing in a Glasgow band would have raised questions in Parliament. Now these Cardenden laddies are travelling 4,000 plus miles just to gaze on the Pacific and play through a few 6/8s in beautiful BC.
Raibert MacMhuirich from the US writes: Pleased to report that we will feature a WORLD PREMIERE pipe march composed by the legendary Duncan Bell at the concert below:
Some great looking piping shows coming up next year featuring Shotts and Cullybackey. The latter have Fred Morrison in concert. Here are the relevant posters:1958515_982111881805426_2374371926836969064_n


These and other dates will be found in the PP Diary. Make sure you send on your event/ competition details.
Well done to Michael Grey for that great pic of GS McLennan and Mary Aitken (she of the tune) dancing to his (GS’s) playing. I hope Mike won’t mind me using a thumbnail here. Go to his site for the full story.
George-S-McLennan-piping-for-famous-dancer-Mary-Aitken-at-the-games_late-1920s_2 **
Summer already seems like a distant dream here in Scotland, and reviewing my notes from the games and various other competitions, I think it was a fairly successful solo season all round. Very few complaints about judges came our way – only one in fact, and it concerned a particularly, shall we say, mature member of the fraternity who gave a prize to a boy after tuning his pipes on the boards for him – much to the chagrin of parents and other competitors not afforded such partial attention.
The other controversy (that may be too strong a word) was over the lack of support for the minor games. I understand that the Competing Pipers’ Association Grading Committee are now open to feedback from the smaller games, not just those with five-star ‘B&C’ billing. This is very important. Andy advertAs I have written, a good performance on the machair at North Uist is as significant as one at Inveraray. That performance should be logged with the committee, no matter that there were only a handful of pipers playing. A good tune is a good tune irrespective of the prestige or popularity of the games in question. I hope the Grading Committee will actively encourage judges to send notice when such good playing is heard. If pipers know that their efforts at the small games could be worthy of mention to the powers that be, then they will be more likely to give the much-needed support to the more far-flung gatherings.
Now that London is out of the way I think it is time for us to launch our Piper of the Year poll so look out for it soon. Lastly on the summer, I’ve added two short video clips to the report on the Argyllshire Gathering. They are of Douglas Murray leading the march to the games.
To end, a word of encouragement to all those playing at Remembrance Day services this weekend. Make sure you give them the full three measures of Flowers of the Forest with repeats. I’ve noticed that playing only the first and third parts, sometimes even without repeats,  is becoming more prevalent these days. I ask you, how can you delete one of the most beautiful and touching passages of pipe music ever written, the second part? Cold it may be, but make them listen to the whole thing; give the congregation time to contemplate the gallantry and the sacrifice of our military by doing full justice to this solemn melody.