PP Editor’s Blog: All Happening in the South West etc…..

To Dumfries the other night for a recital by Gordon McCready at the Hole in the Wa’ pub. The crowd enjoy a full evening of quality piping on a very good instrument.  Gordon was supported by 86-year-old Hamish Thow – clearly a player of note in his day, Alan Clement, and a very promising, clean fingered 11-year-girl, May Cranmer. Alan is, I think, Stuart Liddell’s cousin, and like the maestro, taught by his grandfather Ronnie MacCallum.  

Gordon McCready in action
Gordon McCready in action
Alan Clement and young admirer

Gordon played a wide selection of tunes with the piobaireachd Lady Margaret MacDonald’s Salute the highlight of the first half. His music was greatly appreciated by the crowd including, MC John Saltman, local worthy and senior adjudicator Walter Cowan, top local tutor Alan Maltman and Bill Geddes’s father, Alf.

Never too young for a tune...Hamish Thow
Never too young for a tune…Hamish Thow

The Hole in Wa’ piping club has been going for 20 years and gets it premises courtesy of the proprietor, local musician Max Houlihan, the well known accordionist. The club meets on the last Tuesday of every month Oct – Apr but there is no meeting in December.

Alan Maltman is reviving the Dumfries Pipe Band and those interested should contact him on 07889310412. The band meets on a Monday evening with a beginners class at 6pm. The band already has its own cap badge courtesy RG Hardie & Codumfries-badge

We wish the band well.

Pam Brownlee has sent these results from Louisiana: ‘As promised, here are the results of our competition, held Nov. 21, in Hammond, Louisiana, at the Louisiana Renaissance Festival.  Thank you for your support! Grade 2: Piobaireachd: 1st — Jared Malone; 2nd – Derek Reed; 6/8 March: 1st — Jared Malone; 2nd – Derek Reed; Hornpipe/Jig: 1st – Derek Reed; 2nd – Jared Malone; MSR: 1st — Jared Malone; 2nd – Derek Reed; Grade 3: 6/8 March: 1st – Thomas Martin (AGL); 2nd – John McCain; 3rd – Rosemary John; Jig: 1st – Thomas Martin (AGL); 2nd – John McCain; Piobaireachd: 1st – John McCain (AGL); 2nd – Thomas Martin (AGL); 3rd – Stanley Masinter; Strathspey/Reel: 1st – Thomas Martin (AGL); 2nd – John McCain; 3rd – Stanley Masinter; 2/4 March: 1st – Thomas Martin (AGL); 2nd – John McCain; 3rd – Stanley Masinter; 4th — Rosemary John; Grade 4: Piobaireachd: 1st – Kristina Rodgers; 2nd – John Ginn; 3rd – William Bulkley; 4th – Lisa Ronis; 5th – Laura Bulkley; Strathspey/Reel: 1st – Landon Joiner (AGL); 2nd – Rachel Henderson; 3rd – Alexander Kozmon; 4th – Laura Bulkley; 5th – John Ginn; 6th – Lisa Ronis; 2/4 March: 1st – Rachel Henderson; 2nd – John Ginn; 3rd – Landon Joiner; 4th – Laura Bulkley; 5th – Alexander Kozmon; 6th – William Bulkley; 6/8 March: 1st – Lisa Ronis; 2nd – John Ginn; 3rd – Alexander Kozmon; 4th: Laura Bulkley; 5th – Rachel Henderson; Slow March: 1st – Rachel Henderson; 2nd – Landon Joiner; 3rd – Kristina Rodgers; 4th – Lisa Ronis; 5th – Alexander Kozmon; 6th – William Bulkley’

And Saturday’s Scots Guards Juniors, held at the Army School, Inchdrewer House, Edinburgh:
Under 18 Piobaireachd: 1 Harry MacLachlan   2 Lewis Russell   3 Brighde Chaimbeul   4 Callum Brown
Under 18 MSR: 1 Brighde Chaimbeul  2 Callum Brown  3 Ewan Murray  4 Harry MacLachlan
Under 15 Piobaireachd:  1 Angus MacPhee  2 Christopher Apps  3 Luke Kennedy  4 Finlay Cameron
Under 15 March: 1 Finlay Cameron  2 May Cranmer  3 Brodie Watson-Massey  4 Paul Christie
Under 15 S&R: 1 Finlay Cameron  2 Andrew Ferguson  3  Brodie Watson-Massey 4 Luke Kennedy

Back to the south-west where Bill Geddes (see pic up top) has started a piobaireachd class as part of the South West Scotland Piping & Drumming Academy with the classes taking place at Barfil Farm, home of Maggie Gordon and her father Sandy Grant-Gordon the well-known piping benefactor.
Jennifer Cranmer reports: ‘I am the Parent Rep. and have been asked to provide an update, now that we are in our second year and offering not only Summer School tuition but regular workshops. I have also attached a couple of pictures of Billy Geddes piping at Barfil Farm following the last Piobaireachd Workshop. Piping and Drumming workshops are being held in Dumfries High School and Lochryan Pipe Band Hall in Stranraer. Piping Tutor is Callum Moffat, a recent graduate of the Royal Conservatoire and currently playing with Grade 1 Scottish Power Pipe Band. Callum also won the ‘B’ grade Hornpipe and Jig at this year’s Northern Meeting.

‘Norrie Thomson is our Snare Drumming Tutor and is currently leading drummer with Lochmaben Pipe Band. Tenor and Bass Drumming Tutor is Cheyenne Nelson, also of  Lochmaben Pipe Band. Piobaireachd Workshops are ongoing as well, under the guidance of William Geddes, who is a regular prizewinner in ‘A’ grade events, most recently 4th in Gold at the Northern Meeting. Piobaireachd classes take part at Barfil Farm, near Castle Douglas, the home of Bob Lee and his wife Maggie Gordon. Barfil Farm is also home to Sandy Grant-Gordon, our Patron, and his wife Linda. The farm buildings have been converted into classrooms and are ideal for workshops. 

Bill Geddes gives an impromptu recital at the workshop at Barfil Farm, home of Sandy Grant-Gordon
Bill Geddes gives an impromptu recital at the workshop at Barfil Farm, home of Sandy Grant-Gordon

‘These workshops have been very successful so far and participants enthusiastic. Pupils come from all over Dumfries and Galloway as well as further afield; learning from local musicians who are amongst the best in their field has been inspiring and compliments the learning that the local bands and tutors are providing. It also allows pipers and drummers from different bands to make connections which strengthen the Pipe Band Community in the area. 

‘Our next Summer School is at Barony College at Parkgate, Dumfries from July 11th (arrival on Sunday 10th)- July 15th 2016. Please take a look at our website if you are interested in workshops (and for further dates) and get in touch there or via:  Facebook page: South West of Scotland Piping and Drumming Academy http://www.swspda.co.uk/events.html

The Callum Moffat mentioned above won through to the next round of the Scots Guards KO against Greig Canning last Sunday. The joust was held last Sunday at the SG Club, Haymarket.

Don’t forget Fred Morrison’s recital Tulloch Castle near Dingwall this Sat., November 28th, 7.30pm for 8. All welcome. For more info contact Inverness Piping Society.www.invernesspipingsociety.co.uk.

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1 thought on “PP Editor’s Blog: All Happening in the South West etc…..

  1. That ‘farm’ project that Mr Geddes is involved in sounds first class and is and would be the envy of many. Something like that in Aberdeenshire would reap benefits. Congratulations to the organisers and all involved as it takes time and effort.

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