A new addition today to the PP Audio Archive in the shape of a fine performance by Donald MacPherson of the piobaireachd Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay, writes the Editor.
It is a masterful rendering recorded at a concert promoted by the BBC in Glasgow in 1987 and comes to us via his former pupil Donald McBride of Kansas and Donegal.
Donald, part of the world-class teaching faculty at next month’s New England Pipe & Drum Academy, has also included two newspaper reviews carried in the arts pages of the quality Scottish press at the time. The articles are by Michael Tumelty and Ian K. Murray, both skilled writers with a perceptive take on all music, not just piping.
Pride of place in the arts pages of the Glasgow Herald and Scotsman was/is unusual in itself for piping and this parity of esteem with other music is something I have campaigned for over the years with varying success. It is to their shame that it is not the norm. One other point; here again we see how important it is that we have written records of piping performances. Judges, audience, pipers should all be encouraged to write down and make public their thoughts. What does not seem too significant at the time grows in interest as the years pass.
These reviews and those of past luminaries such as Archibald and James Campbell, Kilberry, Seton Gordon, General Richardson, Captain John MacLellan, David Murray, John MacFadyen and many others have all enriched our piping heritage. Thank goodness we have them.
The picture up top shows Donald leading the march to the games at Oban in the 1960s. Directly behind him in the photograph can be seen Hugh MacCallum and to his left John MacDougall who both feature in our audio archive. Behind Hugh is Iain Murdo Morrison and in front of John is Arthur Gillies, Kilchrenan. Further right we can see Angus John MacLellan (pipes on right shoulder) and far right P/M Ian McLellan. Walking with the Stewards, and at the front of the photograph, is Captain John A MacLellan. I cannot identify the gentleman walking behind Captain John. Grateful for any assistance.