Paul White: The City of Edinburgh Pipe Band is pleased to announce that the draw has been made for the 2015 Pipe Majors Wheel of Fortune competition.
The event, which will be held in Danderhall Miners Club on Saturday 7th February, will see some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians take part in a unique competition where musical expression and entertainment comes to the fore. The order of play is as follows:
- Angus J. MacColl
- Callum Beaumont
- Douglas Murray
- Angus Nicolson
- Alasdair Henderson
- Lee Moore
- Niall Stewart
- Brian Lamond
‘For me, the Wheel of Fortune was the perfect ice breaker after a 10-year absence from competitive piping. The relaxed atmosphere was very enjoyable and there seemed to be less pressure than I remembered from competing before. The committee and other competitors made me feel very welcome, which was fantastic – it’s a bit unsettling being thrown in against some double gold medalists on your first outing as a competitor in a decade!
‘The competition is very fresh feeling and makes for an interesting afternoon’s listening too as the pipers are allowed to be themselves. A wee bit of individuality and a free rein musically is very refreshing, both for the audience and the players. In mainstream competition, individuality is something that is little noticed, I think, due to a standardised, competition-based, way of teaching. I think it is a strong value that the Wheel of Fortune will invite players who are not regular competitors.’
From the September 1939 edition of ‘Piping and Dancing’……
‘SPBA Notes…The old established Inverkeithing contest took place as usual on Lammas Saturday, before a fine attendance of spectators. There was a record entry os 18 bands – a wonderful tribute to the popularity of the Inverkeithing officials. The judges were Pipe-Major J.O.Duff, Edinburgh, and Drum-Major Wm. Patterson, Edinburgh.
Open Contest – 1 Bowhill Parish (Pipe-Major RS Hepburn) 91¼ points; 2 The Clan MacRae Society (Pipe-Major JF Nicoll) 90½ points; 3 Kinglassie (Pipe-Major G Smart) 89½ points.
Gold Medal for best bass drummer: Edinburgh Police; Gold Medal for best solo drummer: Bonhill Parish.
Fifeshire Contest: 1 Kinglassie, 89½ points; 2 Michael Colliery, 86¾ points; 3 Bowhill Colliery, 84¾ points.
Special Prize: Grade Two – Dundee Police, 80 points; Grade Three – Glencraig, 80¼ points.
A Gold Medal for bass drummers! Now there’s a thing. There has been an ongoing debate regarding drumming prizes, and all the talk is that they should be done away with entirely and bands judged as a unit rather than separate entities. See the latest edition of Pipe Band magazine for a mention of this. What do you think? Should there be prizes for bass, tenor and side drummers?
Still with ‘Piping and Dancing’ in 1939, they report in the same issue….
‘Order for 4,000 Sporrans…..It was stated in the ‘Glasgow Herald’ of 16th August, that a Glasgow firm, Peter Henderson Ltd, bagpipe-makers and Highland costume outfitters, 24 Renfrew Street, has received a Government order for 4,000 sporrans. The order is part of a contract for 10,000 sporrans placed with various sporran making firms. An official of Messrs Henderson stated that in view of the order the firm would require to engage more workers as, apart from the new order, they were under contract to the Government to produce 1,000 sporrans a year in addition to individual orders. He added that the order would cost about £3,000 [approx. £130,000 in today’s money].
Given that war with Germany was about to be declared it could be presumed that this massive order was for Scottish regiments readying for the conflict.