Modest to a fault, Alastair quietly works away producing beautiful hand-crafted instruments and chanters. In my early day the Sinclair chanter was THE pipe band chanter and I think several of the top bands still play them today, though I am not sure how many.
Thank you Alastair for showing me round and sharing some of your expertise.
Dr. Stephen Rooklidge: ‘Could you let your US readers know about a scholarship opportunity? Any K-12th grade student, eligible to receive a set of renovated bagpipes and maintenance items, may submit their scholarship application materials at the website link below. We’ve recently awarded a good set of used pipes to a young man who plays in his school band but had no pipes of his own. We are holding a prize pipe competition fundraiser this April in Redding, California to enhance the scholarship, and hope the local community steps forward for a good cause while enjoying an evening of piobaireachd played by a wide variety of amateur players. Thanks for this. All the best. Steve
Still in the US, Noah Morrissette of the South Florida Pipe & Drum Academy has sent this: ‘When you registered online, it was not obvious how to pay for the Academy. We apologize, and we have made it MUCH more obvious. If you were planning on attending, please visit the registration page, and go to the bottom where it says, ‘Register Here’ and click on the instrument you will be playing at the Academy, then ‘add to cart’, ‘view cart’, and checkout. Once again, I apologize for any confusion this may have led to. Thank you, Noah.’
Reader Aad Boode has written re Alasdair Gillies and P/Ms of the Queen’s Own Highlanders. Check out his letter here.
Alasdair’s mention of the Northern Meeting had me looking through some old programmes. Up top is a picture from 1990 of the 1989 prizewinners taken on the stairway at Eden Court. I could identify them as follows: Murray Henderson, Les Hutt, ?, P/M Gavin Stoddart, Jonathan Gillespie, Graham Mulholland, Alasdair Gillies, William McCallum, four youngsters I didn’t recognise, then at the back Allan MacDonald and Duncan MacGillivray.
‘In recent years the World Pipe Band Competition, open to civilians, has become an important annual event with enormous attendance figures. It may not meet with everybody’s approval but I am happy to say that here the Clan has done good work, for the 78th Fraser Highlanders from Toronto have recently distinguished themselves both as winners and again as runners-up in Glasgow, while the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band – all young players from Vancouver BC, have also shown that Canada can find pipers who rank with the best against all comers from home or abroad. At the risk of repeating myself, the message is ‘Learn to play the pipes!’