Get along to the Wheel of Fortune contest this afternoon if you can. Top class solo piping in a relaxed and good-humoured atmosphere guaranteed. The pipers are Finlay Johnston, Douglas Murray, Callum Beaumont, Chris Armstrong, Angus Nicholson, Brian Lamond, Jonathan Greenlees and Alasdair Henderson. Venue is Danderhall Miners Club south of Edinburgh.
‘The aim is purely to teach bagpipes to persons of all ages and abilities, with a specific focus on young people. In the near future, pupils will be encouraged towards solo competition. Local bands support this project, and existing band players are welcome to attend, but Falkirk Trinity PS is not a band!
Gordon Walker is in recital at the Scots Guards Club at Haymarket, Edinburgh, tomorrow from 4pm; tickets are £10 and include a curry after the performance. More great piping in the capital.
Lots of entry forms now available on the RSPBA website. I hope as many bands as possible will get out and support the smaller contests, not only the majors. Some of these wee contests have been struggling of late and I feel there is a responsibility on bands, especially those in the upper grades, to do their bit to help keep them going. They are where many of us cut our teeth in the piping/pipe band game. Use them or lose them as the cliché goes.
Playing requirements for the Majors here.
We have 40 confirmed students for the second annual South Florida Pipe & Drum Academy in 10 days or so, and Matt Pantaleoni from St Louis, Missouri (pictured top), has agreed to join us at late notice as our fourth piping instructor. Organiser Noah Morrissette said: ‘We have added more students than expected, and as promised are keeping the student to teacher ratio low. We will sell out, and we are bringing another piping instructor in. We are dedicated to making this the best school possible. We have room for one more piper, two more chanter students, three more snare drummers, and four more tenor and/or bass drummers. Last minute sign ups may not be available, register NOW!’
Sponsor McCallum Bagpipes have given the Academy a beautiful engraved African blackwood practice chanter (left). This will be presented to the most promising piping student with a similar prize for the most promising drummer. Other very generous sponsors of the Academy are RT Shepherd, William Sinclair, David Naill & Co, G1 Reeds and Pipe Dreams reeds.
I hope the Scottish Schools Pipe & Drum Trust have been successful with their appeal for old pipes for their young learners. Here’s one story that appeared in Glasgow’s ‘Herald’ newspaper (thanks to Alex McNair for sending it on):
‘A CAMPAIGN to find old or unused bagpipes to train young musicians has received a donation from more than 4,000 miles away. Andi Gamblin, from Kansas in the US, saw an appeal from the Scottish Schools Pipes & Drums Trust’s bagpipe amnesty on Facebook and quickly arranged for her Kintail pipes to be sent 4,227 miles from her home to Edinburgh. Ms Gamblin, 44, has no direct Scottish roots but has been piping for the last 15 years, and travelled across the US playing with various pipe bands. She currently plays with Kansas City St Andrews Pipes and Drums and said she wanted to donate her first set of bagpipes to help young people try the instrument. The donation adds to 14 sets of bagpipes and drums that have been handed into the trust since the appeal launch on Burns Night. Ms Gamblin said: “Piping can help change young people’s lives for· the better, so I think a bagpipe amnesty is fantastic.’