Forres Prepared/ USPF Solos/ New England Piping Academy/ New CD

The new Forres logo

Preparations for next weekend’s European Pipe Band Championships are well in hand. The promoters, ‘Piping @ Forres’, have sent this: 

‘Final Piping At Forres preparations are in place for the European Pipe Band Championships, sponsored by Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, being held in Forres on Saturday 27 June. 105 bands, including eleven Grade 1 bands and the current European and World Champions, will play in Grant Park in four arenas offering an opportunity to see world-class pipe bands in Moray.    

‘Doors open at 9am with the first bands on an hour later and continuous piping  thereafter until around 5pm when all bands, led by children from the local Anderson’s Primary School, meet in the main arena for the presentations and to play as a massed band – a sound expected to be heard for miles across Moray.      

‘As well as over 3,000 pipers and drummers from eight years to 80 in their colourful tartans, there will be Highland dancers competing and a Drum Major competition – adult, juvenile and junior. Chieftain for 2015 is Mark Laing of nearby Dunphail Estate whose great-grandfather, Sir Alexander Grant, gifted Grant Park to the town of Forres. 

‘In addition to the piping you can try the pipes and drums in the Education Centre, supported by The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation or take part in the World Tattie Scone Championship now in its fourth year.  Watch the Nairn Academy steel band or wander around the 100 stalls around the park.  The Craft and Retail village, includes a Johnstons of Elgin sponsored craft tent while in Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, the Food and Drink village, includes a Walkers Shortbread sponsored marquee featuring some of the finest produce in Moray and the surrounding area.  For adults, new for 2015 is a Scottish Gin Bar run in conjunction with the Drouthy Cobbler, Elgin, to add to the five beer tents, including one selling craft beers. 

‘Advance ticket sales stop in local shops on 20th June and online on 21st June and thereafter tickets will only be available on the day.  Tickets are in the form of wristbands and will allow spectators to come and go freely throughout the day.  Ticket prices on the day are: Adult (18-59) £12.50; Youth (12-17)  £8; Senior Citizens (60 +) £10  Children under 12 free (if accompanied by an adult) although they must be in possession of a wristband. Family – Ticket 2 adults, 2 youths  – £30.’

uspf logoOne of the most important solo competitions in North America, the United States Piping Foundation, takes place at the University of Delaware tomorrow. Here is the order of play and tunes:

Amateur Piobaireachd begins at 9:00 am:
1: Praskovich, Ryan: Lament for Mary MacLeod
2: Kimove, Kaitlin: Park Piobaireachd No. 2
3: Bielski, Maeghan: Lament for the Departure of King James
4: Man, Stanton: MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute
5: Coulter, Andrew: Lament for Captain MacDougall
6: McConnell, Thompson: Salute to the MacCrimmon Cairn at Borreraig
7: Washam, Grace: Lament for the Viscount of Dundee
8: Tate, Colin: MacGregor’s Salute
9: Crowley-Duncan, Allyson: Desperate Battle of the Birds
10: Neville, Laura: Beloved Scotland
11: Isensee, Harry: I Got a Kiss of the King’s Hand
12: Regan, Sean: King’s Taxes
13: Dyson, James: Lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar
14: Janoski, Vince: Lament for Hugh
15: Bean, Eryk: Parading of the MacDonalds

Amateur MSR:
1: Janoski, Vince: Dr Alastair C MacLaren, Arniston Castle, Dr MacPhail
2: Bean, Eryk: John MacFadyen of Melfort, Islay Ball, Alick C MacGregor
3: Crowley-Duncan, Allyson: Crags of Stirling, Stac Polly, Miss Proud
4: Kimove, Kaitlin: Mrs John MacColl, Struan Robertson, Blackberry Bush
5: Dyson, James: Leaving Lunga, Duncan Lamont, Sound of Sleat
6: Bielski, Maeghan: Parker’s Welcome to Perthshire, John Roy Stewart, Man from Glengarry
7: Tate, Colin: Colin Thompson, Tulloch Castle, Broadford Bay
8: Isensee, Harry: 93rd at Modder River, Inveraray Castle, Dr MacPhail
9: Washam, Grace: Dr EG MacKinnon, Doune of Invernochty, Lord MacDonald
10: McConnell, Thompson: Lochaber Gathering, Bob of Fettercairn, Sandy Cameron
11: Neville, Laura: Craig-n-Darroch, Lady Loudon, Grey Bob
12: Coulter, Andrew: Hugh Kennedy, Dora MacLeod, Bessie McIntyre
13: Man, Stanton: P/M George Ross’s Farewell to the Black Watch, Tulloch Gorm, Rejected Suitor
14: Praskovich, Ryan: Marchioness of Tullibardine, Shepherd’s Crook, Traditional
15: Regan, Sean: Southall, Susan MacLeod, Cockerel in the Creel
Judges for both Amateur Classes: William McCallum, Nancy Tunnicliffe.

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Professional Piobaireachd begins at 8:00 AM:
1: Lewis, Andrew: Park Piobaireachd No. 2
2: Gandy, Alex: Old Men of the Shells
3: Webster, Campbell: Isabel MacKay
4: Bell, Duncan: The Groat
5: Carlisle, Andrew: Red Speckled Bull
6: Cole, Dan: MacFarlane’s Gathering
7: Hudson, Nick: MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute
8: Frank, Victor: Catherine’s Lament
9: Gandy, Bruce: Lament for the Children
10: Ouellette, Eric: King’s Taxes
11: Midgley, Derek: Rout of the Lowland Captain
12: Lyden, Dan: Hector MacLean’s Warning
13: McClamrock, Ben: Ronald MacDonald of Morar’s Lament
14: Bell, James: Too Long in This Condition
15: Cherry, Liz: Donald of Laggan
16: Donlon, Andrew: MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute
17: Murray, Alastair: Earl of Seaforth’s Salute
18: Walker, Andrew: Lament for MacSwan of Roaig

Professional MSR – tunes to be played twice:
1: Hudson, Nick: Mrs Duncan MacFadyen, Mrs. Donald MacPherson, Neil Angus MacDonald
2: McClamrock, Ben: John MacFadyen of Melfort, Tulloch Gorm, Mrs. MacPherson of Inveran
3: Donlon, Andrew: Angus Campbell’s Farewell to Stirling, Caledonian Society of London, Miss Proud
4: Gandy, Bruce: Pap of Glencoe, Bob of Fettercairn, John Morrison of Assynt House
5: Bell, Duncan: Colin Thompson, MacBeth’s Strathspey, Kildonan
6: Bell, James: Duncan MacColl, Dora MacLeod, Cockerel in the Creel
7: Midgley, Derek: Hugh Kennedy, Tulloch Castle, The Sheepwife
8: Carlisle, Andrew: John MacDonald of Glencoe, Dora MacLeod,  Rejected Suitor
9: Webster, Campbell: Brigadier Cheape: Islay Ball: Brown Haired Maid
10: Lyden, Dan: Alan Dodd’s Farewell to Scotland: Lady Loudon: Bessie McIntyre
11: Walker, Andrew: Clan MacColl:  Piper’s Bonnet:  Man from Glengarry
12: Frank, Victor: Kantara to El Arish: Maggie Cameron: The Angler
13: Lewis, Andrew: Braes of Castle Grant: Shepherd’s Crook:  Cockerel in the Creel
14: Cole, Dan: Inveran: Highland Harry: Thompson’s Dirk
15: Gandy, Alex: John MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage: Ewe wi’ the Crooked Horn: Ca’ the Ewes
16: Murray, Alastair: David Ross: Tulloch Castle: Lt-Col DJS Murray
17: Cherry, Liz:  Helen Black of Inveran:  Lady Loudon: Grey Bob
18: Ouellette, Eric: Father John MacMillan of Barra: Lady MacKenzie of Gareloch: Miss Proud
Judges for Professional Class: Robert Wallace, Mike Cusack

Check here for first results and for comment and photographs .

nepa logoThe first New England Piping Academy kicks off next Wednesday at Adelynrood Retreat, Byfield, MA. Instructors are Matt Pantaleoni and Robert Wallace. Leading reed manufacturers have agreed to help sponsor the camp and they join other leading manufacturers such as David Naill & Co.

Principal Robert Wallace said: ‘We are grateful for the support these companies have shown for our endeavours. Students will be offered an intense course of piping study but all conducted in an atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie. We have a healthy intake for the first year and have great plans to expand in 2016.’

Robert Wallace: Canadian piper Michael MacDonald (pictured top), played with me in the Muirheads band in 1976 and we have remained friends ever since. Michael, now 62, has just brought out a CD ‘Geoffrey Street Piper & Friends’ and very enjoyable it is too. I liked the simplicity of some of the tracks, particularly then opening one. Just good slow airs with Tony cyanus’ sympathetic guitar. Have a listen:

Pleasant. Now how often do you hear a piper play the tune that has immortalised him? Well here is the man himself playing Jim McGillivray’s fine jig ‘Michael MacDonald’:

Lost none of the ability that made sim such a favourite with his grumpy P/M. Get more info and order the CD here.


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1 thought on “Forres Prepared/ USPF Solos/ New England Piping Academy/ New CD

  1. Mike 62 already! It doesn’t seem that long ago since you and I, Mike and Donald McBride did the expedition to the Uist Games. Never did thank you for the accommodation you managed to set up for us!

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