PP Editor’s Blog: 8th Argylls/ Argylls Book/ Lorient/ SPA/ RSPBA Tunes

Director of Army Bagpipe Music, Major Gordon Rowan, has sent this picture of the editors in close confab using a giant screen to proof and edit the book.

Such technology! No excuse for errors now lads! They are poring over the last tune in the book which is scheduled for launch at the Piping Live festival in August. Don’t forget the Army solo and band contests at Inchdrewer House this weekend.

Messrs Henderson and MacLellan get down to some hard graft whilst P/M Cowan supervises

I was sorry to hear of the passing of piper Rolf Wehrle from Switzerland last week. Rolf gave me a lot of money for the College of Piping whilst I was there. I trust the photograph of him and his late wife remains in situ in the tuning room he sponsored. Jeannette Keller, Rolf’s girlfriend, said he had had a heart operation but sadly suffered multiple organ failure post theatre. Sincere condolences Jeannette; he was a very generous and kindly man.

Lorient organiser Tom Johnstone is looking for a pipe band. Tom writes: ‘This year at Lorient it is the year of Scotland and I have a problem that you might be able to help with. One of my three allocated pipe bands has pulled out at short notice. I am therefore looking for one band to replace them. The grade of band is unimportant and in fact we often have bands who are not RSPBA members.

‘Dates including travel will be 2nd – 14th August. We are ideally looking for a band with No 1 uniform with feather bonnets and at least 25 players. Transport to and from the festival is paid for together with accommodation, food and entry into most venues.
Duties include taking part in the Grande Parade, performing at the Stadium show (it’s like a tattoo) and various other ad-hoc performances. All-in-all it’s a great experience as you know. My first visit was around 1976 as the young pipe major of Grade 2 Rolls-Royce Pipe Band and I love the Festival as it is constantly evolving whilst continuing to feature many of the great artistes such as Fred Morrison. If anyone is interested they should email me at tompiperair@gmail.com

With his other hat on as Scottish Pipers’ Association President, Tom reminds us:  Competition Dates 2017; Adult Amateur and Veterans Contest – Saturday 1st April 2017; Professional Contest – Saturday 8th April 2017; Juvenile Contest – Saturday 9th September 2017 (provisional). Entry forms here.

Lee Moore’s reports on the summer school in East Lothian: ‘Scottish Schools Pipes & Drums Trust are holding a five-day piping and drumming workshop from Mon 3 – Fri 7 April 10 am – 3pm each day. The summer school is open to all young pipers/chanter players, snare drummers and bass and tenor drummers in East Lothian. The venue is Prestonpans Royal British Legion who have kindly offered their premises free of charge to help keep the cost of tuition down. The cost of the summer school is £75 for the week. Tutors for the workshop will be the Preston Lodge team of tutors, Lee Moore and Eilidh Alexander (Pipes), Simon Grant (Snare Drum) and Jordan Bailie (Tenor and Bass Drums). SSPDT will consider helping out those in financial need and applications for help will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Please contact Lee Moore on lee.moore@sspdt.org.uk to enquire about financial help.’

Whilst on summer schools the RSPBA is now accepting registrations for its popular class. Sign up here.

Neil Clarke reports a healthy uptake of his free tutorials of the RSPBA’s 44 prescribed two-part marches on his YouTube playlist. All are played according to the RSPBA music provided on their site and Neil is now planning a look at some of the four-part tunes too. Well done sir! Here’s an example of Neil’s work and the link.


2 thoughts on “PP Editor’s Blog: 8th Argylls/ Argylls Book/ Lorient/ SPA/ RSPBA Tunes

  1. Hello Robert

    Regarding the photo of the band on Piping Press today – this is NOT the 8th Argylls. It is the 11th Battalion Argylls who were based at Dalton at the time of the photo. The 11th were formed from the 8th to my knowledge. This photo is on my old website at


    with names of all the band members. It will be quicker than listing them all here. The photo was taken in 1944.

    Regards Hugh MacCallum

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