PP Ed’s Blog: Donald MacLeod, New England School, Stuart Liddell Pipes, Pipes & Sticks

I must say that from what little I saw of the Donald MacLeod livestreaming (on the mobile phone) it all looked very professionally done.

A high quality production with three cameras deployed so that the angles could be varied by the show’s director. Good to see BBC Radio nan Gaidheal there too so we can look forward to hearing the music in improved harmonic depth via Cailean MacLean’s excellent show on the wireless.

One thought that does occur regarding the live streaming is the extra pressure it puts on the organisers and on the pipers. Any error is viewed by thousands not just the audience in the hall. Pipers, I think, are entitled to know before they enter any contest that live streaming will occur (assuming arrangements have been finalised when the entry forms go out). Radio recording is different. Poor performances will seldom make the air. Livestream, and all your dirty washing is hung out for all to see. Of course the converse is true too. Play well and the world is listening and watching.

See our Letters page and comments section for more views on the Donald MacLeod.


Pleased at the response so far to the New England Piping Academy camp in June and delighted that Matt Pantaleoni, already known to many of the students, will be joining us to teach at Adelynrood in June. Although only four days, many of the students have said that this is long enough. Good for cramming the brain full of new work and ideas, but not long enough to burn out. Adelynrood has a good reputation for fine dining and it is in a beautiful setting right in the New England woodland. Contact registrar Cricket Cooper hereNew-England-ad


The one and only Stuart Liddell has been hard at work at McCallum Bagpipes re-creating a new line of bagpipes based on his magnificent MacRae drones (see picture up top). McCallum’s Kenny MacLeod has sent this: ‘Over the last several months we have been working very closely with Stuart to manufacture a replica of Stuart’s MacRae bagpipes right down to the closest details of the internal bores and bells, exterior profile shape, shape of mounts, MacRae engraving and including the two slightly different tenor top sizes, again to be an exact replica of his set. An official launch has been pencilled in for August at Piping Live week. I’ve enclosed a flyer that will go out to pipers and a photo of Stuart playing the new MacRae pipes at a McCallum road show recital we did last week in Zurich.’

I am keen to highlight the work of all our advertisers in these pages, (you’ll see their formal ads above and to the right, or below if on a smart phone). You support us; we will support you. So please forward on your company news as Kenny has done. New chanter, new reed, new success for your products? If you are a PP advertiser then let us have all info and pix and we will do our best to promote it around the piping and pipe band community.


The Scottish Pipers’ Association is the next professional contest on the horizon and it takes place at the College of Piping on Saturday (Apr 18). Livestreaming has been proposed and there is a healthy entry of 23. Adjudicators for the ceol mor are Ronald MacShannon and SPA President Tom Johnstone.


DVD & case front_backFilm maker John MacDonald has sent this: ‘We are finally releasing Pipes & Sticks on Route 66 to the world, almost three years to the day from when the tour ended on the shores of Pacific.  What gave us the incentive to complete the project was learning that the five guys would all be in Peterborough, Canada, at the end of the month.  We did not want to miss this unique opportunity to have a launch party on April 25.  The documentary will be available for downloading and streaming as well as on DVD.  For a Piping Press review, I’d like to send you, and whoever you designate, a link to watch the film online. I’ve attached a photo of the DVD packaging and will be happy to send you any other images that you may find helpful.  Thanks! Best regards, John.’

Please send on the link John and if possible we’ll do a review.


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