Silver Medal Tunes/ James Campbell Letters/ Composing Competition/ John Wilson

By Duncan Watson
By Duncan Watson

The third part of Duncan Watson’s article on the value of James Campbell’s Masters of Piobaireachd letters is published today. Of consideration are the playing of crunluath breabach, the ‘strange’ crunluath found in Battle of the Pass of Crieff and MacKays’ Banner, Variation 1 of the Prince’s Salute and the ‘chelalho’ movement found in the Lament for the Viscount of Dundee. Read Duncan’s piece here.

shasta-comp-bannerSlight tweaks to the rules of the Shasta Piping Society’s Composing Competition have been made. Check them out here.

Lessons on the Group 1 tunes for the 2017 Silver Medal are now available via the Piping Press Shop. The tunes are Hail to My Country, Lord Berisdale’s Salute, Rev. Dr Norman McLeod’s Lament and the Sword’s Lament. The tunes are played in full on the practice chanter by editor Robert Wallace and offer guidance on how these tunes – all from Piobaireachd Society’s  Book 16, may be tackled.

We know our readers love their piping history and will appreciate the above picture. It is of John Wilson, Strathclyde Police and Campbeltown. John was pictured in the Oban Times shortly after he won the Open Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering. The date is not given. The article reads: 'John, who has been playing the pipes since he was seven, was first taught by his father Mr William Wilson, a member of the local pipe band. In recent years he [John] has been studying piobaireachd under Pipe Major Donald MacLeod, Glasgow. He won the Gold Medal at Inverness in 1968. Last week was his third attempt in the Argyll & Sutherland Cup contest [for Open Piobaireachd].

'He has also competed regularly in recent years for the Highland Society' of London's Gold Medal for piobaireachd in which he has been a runner-up as well as being placed third and fourth.' [John subsequently won the Oban medal in 1983.]

'A student of architecture - he holds an interim degree from Heriot Watt University - John plans to join the Glasgow Police so that he will have more time for his piping.'