US professional piper Nick Hudson has sent this:
‘Hi Rab, Wanted to let you know of a potentially newsworthy item: we’re starting a piping society in Pittsburgh, similar to the Eagles. Standard fare, I know, but…it happens to be the oldest society in the USA, dating from 1898.’ Press release:
‘The oldest piping society in the U.S.A. predates such bastions of our age as the Piobaireachd Society, the RSPBA, and the Eagle Pipers’ Society. The Pittsburgh Bagpipe Society was formed in 1898. After having long lain fallow, the new iteration has been rekindled by local professional pipers, Andy Carlisle, Nick Hudson, and Palmer Shonk.
‘This is gathering of pipers and enthusiasts (even drummers are welcome!) where attendants have a chance to hear some of the city’s top players for free and have a drink or two. It is an informal stage for all pipers, young and old, seasoned professional and young learner.
‘The inaugural meeting is open to all: this Friday, 1/30/15, 8pm in Pittsburgh. Contact info@PittsburghPiping.org for more details. Bimonthly meetings are planned hereafter.’
Congratulations to all involved in Pittsburgh and if you are in the area please give this initiative your support if you can. If you are a junior or amateur piper then make every effort to attend these gatherings. There is no better way of improving your own playing than by listening to experts. We would be interested in more on the background to the Society and wonder if there was some association with Scots steelmen who moved there to work for Andrew Carnegie.
The National Piping Centre have confirmed the departure of Chris Armstrong: ‘Today we say goodbye to one of our longest serving tutors, Chris Armstrong. Chris started working at The National Piping Centre back in August 2001. We’ve been digging through the archives and came across this photo of him competing in the Duncan Johnstone competition in the same year, 14 years ago! Best of luck to Chris for the future.’