I won’t run through the programme, you can check your CD for that. My favourite tunes were the Clumsy Lover, the 6/8s Ishbel T. , Cameron MacFadyen and Fairview Cottage, the reels Ness Pipers and the Little Cascade, the intro march Up to the Line and the Irish air, the Cliffs of Duneen. Of the individuals, Ian K MacDonald was outstanding (listen to the clip below) as was young drummer Grant Maxwell, Reid’s son, his control and dynamics instantly appealing to this listener.
I, and I think the audience, would have liked to have had a word from the pipe major, but he was obviously focussing all his attention and energy on keeping the music flowing. This he did with consummate ease, conducting through the slow airs, playing every note and giving us the ground of the Lament for the Children to boot:
After three hours, pipers and drummers left the stage to a deserved standing ovation. As they did so, one reflected that this concert had a message for all pipe bands: pick your material well. Do not present a new tune to the public just to be different. There were no poor melodies at the ‘Live in Ireland’ concert, no hand-knitted constructs, bazouki-style straight from the Beirut bazaar. Just good solid pipe music – some of it new back in the 80s – but all melodic and all suited to the parameters and modes established by the Highland bagpipe itself. And I’ll wager that when the team assembles in 30 years time for the next anniversary show the music will still sound fresh and attractive. Good tunes, well played cut it every time.
A Warm Welcome Awaits at the
South Florida Pipe & Drum Academy