To Pittsburgh today for the weekend’s Balmoral Classic competition where I’ll be sharing a bench with this year’s double Gold Medallist Ian K MacDonald and top US piper Jimmy Bell.
George Balderose and his team have organised an entertaining weekend of piping and pipe band music. The city itself is no longer the industrial giant it once was (or so I read) but now has a burgeoning tourist industry with an eclectic mix of boutique shops, restaurants and craft beer bars. Will report back.
It is also home to Carnegie Mellon University where Andrew Carlisle is the present Professor of Piping following in the footsteps of founder Jimmy McIntosh and then the late Alasdair Gillies. Check here later for results etc.
A healthy interest so far in the piobaireachd composing competition being run by the Shasta Piping Society in the US. Reminder: Copies of original piobaireachd are to be submitted; the piobaireachd must be original to the composer(s), of any style and cannot have been published before. Prize awards for the top three compositions will be £500/£250/£100. Submissions must be received by April 1, 2017, and winners will be announced on PP in May 2017. Get the full prospectus here.
A tribute to the late Leonard Cohen: we have the SFU band playing his classic ‘Hallelujah’ on PP Facebook.
Carrie Mackay, Chairwoman of Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School, has sent this: ‘The school is holding two concerts in November. We consist of young musicians attending secondary and primary schools from Tain through to Inverness. We have competed for the last three years in major championships at Novice Juvenile level and hope to showcase our talents. We have involved the wider community by including special guest stars and traditional Highland dancers at each venue. 10%of all profits made will be donated to MFR Cash for Kids Charity. Please see attached poster [below] for details that will be of interest to your readership. We hope you feel able to support us and do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information.’
Readers in the north: please support these concerts if you can.