Robert Wallace: The winner of our Piper of the Year – chosen by pipingpress.com readers – is P/M Stuart Liddell. Stuart was placed just ahead of P/M Douglas Murray and P/M Richard Parkes. I am sure voters will have been impressed by Stuart’s successes on both the solo and band platforms but more than anything by the brilliance of his playing, and, of course, that of his band, Inveraray & District.
Some are already tipping them for the Worlds in 2015 but that would surely be a risky bet considering the equally brilliant and supremely successful P/M Richard Parkes and his Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. Not many bands achieve legendary status in their lifetime – I can think only of Strathclyde Police under P/M Ian McLellan and perhaps Shotts under the McAllister family and Muirhead & Sons under P/M Robert Hardie. Richard’s band is up there with these greats and will take some stopping. Anyone who bests them will be fully deserving of the ‘World Pipe Band Champions’ moniker.
Double Gold Medallist Douglas Murray was our third contender and whatever he goes on to achieve here on in, the history books will record his feat of being only the 11th man ever to win both medals in the same year. I am sure Douglas will have set his sights on the senior prizes at Oban and Inverness and also on improving the performance and position of his band, Fife Constabulary.
I would like to thank these gentlemen for allowing their names to be put forward for this popular poll which, at the end of the day, really does not signify terribly much. All three contenders are masters of their art, and this nor any other poll, is going to alter that.[easyrotator]erc_14_1414056032[/easyrotator]
Tonight is a celebratory one all over Scotland (and elsewhere of course) and many bands and pipers will be out on the home turf giving musical meaning to the party. Starring on BBC TV will be Boghall & Bathgate who I hear may be filmed playing at the spectacular Kelpies installation near Grangemouth. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be in Inverness and Ross Ainslie and Breabach – folk groups that feature pipes – will be playing at the Edinburgh festivities. The BBC show should be available throughout the UK, if not on council telly then via satellite.
Our last act of 2014 is to thank everyone for their support during the past four months of this new web magazine and wish you all a Happy New Year. Here is official confirmation of the stats for the four-month period: