New Boghall Pipe Sergeant/ Brittany/ Young Piper of the Year Entries

Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band have sent this: ‘We are pleased to announce the appointment of Calum Watson to the position of Pipe Sergeant of the Grade 1 band. He takes over from Alexander Scougall who will shortly be moving to the north of England to take up a promoted post with his current employer.

‘An accomplished solo player and bandsman, Calum Watson joined the Peoples Ford Boghall organisation from George Watson’s College. Under the tutelage of Pipe Major Iain Simpson, he enjoyed great success and went on to win three World Championships and two back to back ‘grand slams’ in the Juvenile grade.

‘He has had numerous solo successes including the overall B grade prize at the Cowal Gathering (in both 2015 and 2016) and the CPA overall winner for Piobaireachd in 2016.

A stylised picture of Calum

‘On making the announcement, Pipe Major Ross Harvey said: ‘It is a very natural appointment to make Calum Pipe Sergeant. He is the complete package and he has the support of the entire band. Calum’s ear for tuning is first rate and his tune arrangements are already firmly in our repertoire. He brings a youthful energy to the band on already wise shoulders and I cannot wait to see the band develop further with Calum’s talents in the Pipe Sergeant’s seat.’

‘Calum said:  ‘It is a huge honour to have been appointed as the band’s Pipe Sergeant.  Ross has been a huge inspiration to me over the years, having been my first Pipe Major back in 2007. I am looking forward to working closely with Ross. The band is working extremely hard behind the scenes and I am certain it won’t be long before we are firmly back in the prize list.’

‘The band are looking forward to competing at the European Championships in Forres this weekend, where P/S Watson will take up his position for the first time. We would like to wish Alexander Scougall all the best with his new role, and look forward to him continuing to be an active member of the pipe corps.’

Big weekend of piping and bands in Brittany. Competitions in MSR, Breton music, piobaireachd, drumming:

Pauline Craib has reminded everyone that the closing date for entries for this summer’s Young Piper of the Year Competition is 30 June. The contest takes place at Sgoil Lionacleit, Benbecula, on July 20th at 9am. There are contests for chanter, novice piping, under 15, Under 18 and Adult under 30. Entry forms here. Some of the rules make interesting reading, writes the Editor:

Competitors must wear Highland Dress, including jacket when competing. Please note, this dress is optional for those competing in Open Chanter and Novice Piping competitions.

Junior competitors who have already competed in senior events for prize money in competitions elsewhere are thereby disqualified from entry to all junior events.

The judges are empowered to withhold all or any prizes offered if they unanimously agree that the standard of merit achieved by a competitor or competitors is inadequate.

In the event of an equality of points, the overall prizes shall be awarded to the competitor with the highest points in the relevant Ceòl Mòr Competition.

So no shirtsleeve order on Benbecula and well done to the organisers for instilling this dress sense in these young competitors. I think only the Northern Meeting now insists on this in the senior world – much to their credit. Withholding of prizes: have there been any occasions when such a rule could have been applied to the competitions at Inverness and Oban? I can’t think of any in the modern era but I am sure that in times past this would have been a sensible caveat. The picture up top is of the 2016 winners at the Young Piper.

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