I believe many of our readers will be able to identify the three gentlemen in the picture above (thanks Ronald Telfer, Oban, for passing it on). It is of three great champions of yesteryear, James MacGregor, Glenalmond, Ronald Lawrie, Oban, and Hector MacFadyen, Pennyghael. Would anyone care to have a stab at the year? Also, the trophies should be a giveaway for the competition but I cannot for the life of me place them. Can anyone help?
Tom Johnstone, President, Scottish Pipers’ Association: ‘Dear Members and Friends, Just a reminder that this Saturday will be the first in our new series of Knockout Contests. Venue: College of Piping; Date and Time : 7.30pm Saturday 7th November 2015; Pipers: John Patrick (holder) vs Finlay Johnston; Licensed Bar.
Format : Audience Vote – 8 pipers in the series and final will be held on 7th May 2016. Please come early to enjoy refreshments and also to ensure you get a good seat and are not too late for a voting slip. Look forward to seeing you all.’
Welcome on board to our latest advertiser Craig Muirhead and his new publication ‘Arranged’ – pop songs arranged for pipes. Craig tells me there is a big demand for this material especially from bands doing concerts. Craig has played pipes and piano since he was a youngster (he’s still only 24!). He is currently the residential Piping Instructor at Strathallan School in Perthshire. He also plays with the Scottish Power Pipe Band and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. www.arrangedforpipes.com
Anyone wishing pipes from the Piping Press Shop needs to order them now to get them before Xmas. The shop is offering a 5% discount on all items over £20 until December 24. Enter ‘Christmas Cracker’ at checkout to get the discount.
Piper, singer and all round Gaelic polymath Allan MacDonald has made some valid points about Scotland’s Gaelic television service in the press, and I particularly agree with him that all programmes broadcast in English on the station should have Gaelic subtitles (and vice versa). From the perspective of the non-Gaelic speaker, I would have to say I find this channel refreshing with the sort of cultural content, particularly traditional music and piping, that you just don’t get on the mainstream BBC and STV. If MG Alba did the Worlds I am certain the programme would have less froth and bubble and would concentrate more on the music – and with a chief presenter who knew something about it.
Donald McBride tells me that it is 25 years, almost to the day, since the death P/M RG Hardie. Donald describes Bob as the ‘most generous man he ever knew’. Those who knew him well could add a few superlatives to that. I’ll be adding Bob to our Famous Pipers column soon, so look out for that.
Bagpipe Tutor 1 is now available on Amazon. Check it out here.
Shotts Junior Piping & Drumming Championship is tomorrow in Calderhead High School, Shotts, from 9am. Healthy entry with the following leading players included in the judges roster: Gordon McCready, Peter Hunt, William Geddes, Finlay Johnston, Graham Drummond, Mike Fitzhenry, Ally Henderson. Finlay will need an early finish to get into town for the SPA KO.