PP Editor’s Blog: Ian’s March/ Mod Reminder/ Early Band Contests/ Knox Tour

With all his success as a pipe major it is easy to forget what a great solo piper P/M Ian McLellan was –  a winner of all the big light music titles including Former Winners’ MSRs. Ian (above), you may not know, was also taught piobaireachd by Captain Andrew Pitkeathly in the Argylls, but band work took over and he didn’t have time to pursue it. He excelled at march playing and today, thanks to Breton piper Patrick Molard, we can listen to an example of it.

Like the other clips Patrick sent of John MacDougall and Hugh MacCallum, this was recorded on a reel-to-reel tape machine at the side of the competition board at Oban in 1971.  Arthur Bignold’s the tune:

Read more about Ian’s stellar career here.


Congratulations to Johnstone PB on their success at the first contest in the west this season at Gourock. Have a listen to them at the Glasgow & West Indoor:


First of the year in Ireland too last weekend. This from John Kelly: Fingal Pipe Band Championships hosted by Black Raven Pipe Band was held at Lusk, Co. Dublin on Saturday 7th May.  Early morning rain cleared to give a dry day allowing all to enjoy the first pipe band contest of the season.  The first Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch (RSPBANI) pipe band & drum major competition of the 2016 season will be held in Bangor on Saturday 14th May followed by Enniskillen (Saturday 28th May), Cookstown (Saturday 4th June), Stormont (Saturday 11th June), Lurgan (Saturday 18th June), Glenarm (Saturday 16th July), Antrim (Saturday 23rd July), Moira (Saturday 6th August) and Portrush (Saturday 20th August).
Grade 4B 1. Sgt Walker Memorial 2. New Ross & Dist. 3. Gilnahirk
Drumming: Sgt Walker Memorial
Grade 4A 1. Portavogie 2. St. Lawrence Howth
Drumming: Portavogie 
Grade 3B 1.* Achill 2.* St. Joseph’s Clondalkin 3. Major Sinclair Memorial Drumming: Achill; Tie for 1s t, Achill won on Piping
Grade 3A 1. New Ross & Dist 2. St. Joseph’s Clondalkin 3. Major Sinclair Memorial; Drumming: New Ross & Dist
Grade Open 1.
Achill 2.* St. Joseph’s Clondalkin 3.* New Ross & Dist
Drumming: New Ross & Dist; *3 way tie for 1st, Achill won on Piping
Award for Best Overall Drumming: 1. New Ross & Dist

Pipe Major Conor Molloy (left) and champions Achill Pipe Band, Co Mayo
Pipe Major Conor Molloy (left) and champions Achill Pipe Band, Co Mayo

Mod logo.JPGWith preparations for Mòd 2016,  in the Western Isles well underway, An Comunn Gàidhealach would like to remind any potential senior and junior piping competitors that the entry deadline for Mòd 2016 piping competitions is Friday 8th July 2016.  Any late or incomplete entries submitted after this date will not be accepted. Entry forms here.

This is the sixth time that the Mòd will have been held in the Western Isles and junior and senior piping competitions will take place at Sgoil Lionacleit in Benbecula on Saturday 15th October 2016.

Pauline Craib, secretary for Comunn Phìobaireachd Uibhist agus Bharraigh said, ‘We very much look forward to hosting the Mòd piping competitions at this year’s National Mòd. Uist has a proud piping history and there is a wealth of talented young pipers throughout the islands, so it is fitting that the Mòd 2016 piping competitions return here.’

Both senior and juniors entries for any piping competitions must be submitted to An Comunn Gàidhealach by Friday 8th July 2016 and entries can be submitted online at: http://www.ancomunn.co.uk/nationalmod/entryform. An entry form can also be downloaded from the website and entered by post. Details about the competitions themselves can be found by downloading the syllabus at: http://www.ancomunn.co.uk/nationalmod/rules.

Junior competitors are also reminded of the open junior Pìobaireachd own choice competition for under-19s. This is now the fourth year that this competition has been held.

The Royal National Mòd takes place in the Western Isles between 14th and 22nd October 2016.

For any further information, please contact An Comunn Gàidhealach on 01463 709705 or by e-mail: info@ancomunn.co.uk.


Order your copy of the new ‘Bagpipe Tutor 3 – Piobaireachd’ by Robert Wallace and get £2 off the RRP of £10. The book is launched on June 1. It has all the technique and instruction on rythmn and expression the beginner requires. Each of the 20 lessons has either an audio or video high quality illustration to fully explain what is required for the successful delivery of this music.


Knox logo

This school band (Bandmaster Aynsley Hart) is from Sydney, Australia. They have an extensive tour planned for this summer. Highlights include competitive appearances at the European Championships at Forres and at the All-Ireland Championships in Malahide. They’ll be at Stirling Castle on June 27 and Glasgow City Centre on June 29. In London they play at Windsor and Chelsea Barracks before taking part in Corby Highland Gathering.


Don’t miss this opportunity for world-class piping and drumming tuition