The January 1, 2017, edition of Pipe Band Magazine will be available to read courtesy the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association towards the end of the week.
The magazine, a free download, contains a tribute to drummer Jim Kilpatrick and his amazing career both in bands and as a soloist with Jim coming out on top by some distance of all those expert drummers who have won the coveted world solo title. The magazine prints the full list of winners since the contest began in 1947 when the winner was George Pryde.
Still with drumming there is a picture feature on last year’s World Solo Drumming with a history of the contest itself by retired adjudicator Alistair Aitken.
The magazine records the passing of two great stalwarts of the pipe band movement of the last 50 years, journalist and broadcaster Tommy Millar, Northern Ireland, and former Honorary Vice President Scottie MacLean, Hertfordshire.
The Know Your Judges feature highlights the background and career of popular Irishman Tony Sloane now domiciled in the south of England.
Chairman Gordon Hamill’s New Year message reports a very healthy outlook for the Association in the years ahead. There is a full interview with Major Gordon Rowan, the new Director of Army Bagpipe Music and all the news from the branches. Check here and on the RSPBA website for the download link from Friday.
Neil Clark reports the sale of his superb set of Henderson silver and ivory pipes (pictured) advertised on Piping Press a couple of weeks ago. They were offered for £5,500. It is pleasing to report that pipes of this quality have gone to very good player based in west-central Scotland. It is surely right that these top instruments end up with pipers who will do them justice rather than, say, a beginner for whom a basic set would fulfill all needs, or a collector who merely wishes to hang them on a wall or stow them away as part of his a collection – as we know has happened in the recent past.
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Nathan Mitchell in Canada has sent this: ‘Hi everyone, Thank you for supporting the Winnipeg Collection in the past. The request has been made to produce a second book in support of the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). I am asking you, your band or any musicians who may be interested in submitting tunes to the collection to reply for more details. Look forward to hearing from you, all the best! Nate www.facebook.com/winnipegcollection‘
I know readers enjoy a look back over the past and that’s one benefit of the closed piping season: we can get on with some research which fulfils that need. Here are some results from Don Varella’s ‘Piping World’ magazine of 1969. Noteworthy is the old points system that used to be used in pipe band contests. Bands today don’t know how lucky they are with the much more transparent and fairer placings system. The picture up top is of the Robert Armstrong Memorial Pipe band who are mentioned in the Grade 1 winners’ list at Newcastle, County Down, that year. And what about the 214 Glasgow BB taking second in the Grade 3 contest at the Scottish Champs? I played with the band that day I am proud to say. The idea that Juvenile bands are good enough for these grades (and they are) is not a new phenomenon.
In the solo lists we see the emergence of Malcolm McRae (Australia) and Donald Bain (NZ) in the main competitions:
Ayr Highland Gathering, August 3
Grade 1 Edinburgh City Police 92¼ pts; 2 Muirhead & Sons 92pts; 3 Shotts & Dykehead 90½
Grade 2 Paisley 2 Newmains 3 Killoch Colliery
D/Ms: 1 J Williamson 2 J Noble 3 J Hermiston
Judges: P/M A Herd D/M J Marr
Newcastle, Northern Ireland, August 3
Open: 1 Ballynahinch 82pts. 2 29th Old Boys 81¼ 3 R Armstrong Mem. 81¼; Best Drums: Major Sinclair Mem.
Dornoch Games, Aug. 9
1 Willie MacDonald, Inverness 2 John MacDougall
3 John Burgess 4 J Mathieson
March: 1 J Burgess 2 J Mathieson 3 J MacDougall
S&R: 1 J MacDougall 2 J Mathieson 3 Donald Bain (NZ)
Gold Medal: 1 Thomas Pearston, Glasgow 2 Sgt. John Slattery, Scots Guards 3 J MacDougall, Arbroath 4 John Wilson, Campbeltown 5 Malcolm McRae, Australia
1 John MacFadyen 2 J MacDougall 3 M McRae 4 Duncan MacFadyen
Former Winners’ MSR
1 Ian McLellan, Glasgow Police 2 Hector MacFadyen 3 Hugh MacCallum
March: 1 Jimmy McIntosh, Dundee 2 Willie Morrison, South Uist
S&R: 1 Iain MacFadyen, Glasgow 2 John Graham, Avonbridge
Scottish Pipe Band Champs., Edinburgh, Aug. 10
Grade 1: 1 Muirhead & Sons 113pts; 2 Shotts 112½; 3 Glasgow Police 110½
Grade 2: 1 BP Grangemouth 113½; 2 153 RCT 112¾; 3 Bilston Glen 112½
Grade 3: 1 Mt Carmel 98¾; 2 214BB 94¾; 3 Knightswood Juveniles 94pts
Grade 4: 1 Motherwell & Wishaw Police 2 Hawick British Legion 3 Monktonhall Colliery.
Strathpeffer Games, August 10
Piob.: 1 J Mathieson 2 M McRae 3 D Bain 4 J MacDougall
March: J Burgess 2 J MacDougall 3 J Mathieson 4 D McRae, Dornoch
S&R: 1 J Mathieson 2 J MacDougall 3 M McRae 4 D Bain