PP Editor’s Blog: Old Muirheads Pic/ Balmoral Classic/ Shasta Contest/ RACPADS Concerts

spa logoTom Johnstone, President of the Scottish Pipers Association, has sent on this interesting picture of a Muirhead & Sons dance back in the early 70s.

Tom writes: ‘Hi Rab, Attached is the old photo I found. I am guessing 1969/70. You will recognise the Andersons and wives also Davy Hutton and Rab Turner and Marion, John Finlay but don’t see Sheila [Finlay]. Don’t know who the two guys next to me are. I think the one between John and Tam is a drummer called Davy Scott but not 100% sure. In front of me is my first wife Elizabeth who is Jim and Billy Begg’s sister. Quite a small crowd – don’t know why – also a shame Bob [Hardie] wasn’t there.’

Great pic Tom. From memory I can ID, back row: Yourself, ? know the face but can’t name, Stewart Brown who played with the 153 TA band under P/M Peter Snadden in Fife, John Finlay, Davy Scott, ex-214 BB drummer (not sure if he played in Muirheads or was at the dance as a guest), Piper Tommy Anderson, Marion Turner, ?.
Middle: Can only identify, to the left of the Provost, Alison Anderson (Jimmy Anderson’s former wife) and Betty Anderson, wife of Peter.
Front: P/Sgt Davy Hutton, Drummer Peter Anderson, L/D Robert Turner and Piper Jimmy Anderson. Grateful to readers for any further information.


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.


shasta-logoA 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.’racpads

Readers in the north: please support these concerts if you can.


World Class tuition and…..