Big weekend of games ahead. Some say it is the start of the games season proper (it is the Glasgow Fair holiday period) though there have been plenty of good contests running since the end of May. Tomorrow we have piping at Balloch, Inverness and Tomintoul and on Sunday at Roseneath. Check here for results as we get them.
Next week we have Inveraray on Tuesday, South Uist on Wednesday, Tobermory and the Benbecula Young Piper on Thursday, North Uist on Friday 21st, and on Saturday July 22nd Lochearnhead, Taynuilt and Airth. A busy time for pipers and I hope as many as possible will get out for a tune. The games are an important nurturing ground and we have seen a decline in attendance in recent years at some of them. I would urge pipers to support the smaller games in particular.
A good tune/ performance here is just as important as at any of the graded events, sometimes more so when you consider that at Inveraray the tunes are given out a week beforehand. What kind of test is that? Results from there may be judged accordingly. Contrast that with Braemar where it’s eight tunes given one before or sometimes at the judges’ table.
Pipers worry that even if they win at the wee games, the CPA’s Grading Committee pay their success no heed. Well, why not record your playing on your phone in your sporran and send it to the grading committee if and when required to bolster your case?
The weather forecast for this weekend is not too promising but high pressure is predicted to build across Scotland into next week so sunny skies – maybe.
I forgot to include this photograph from my trip to St Petersburg in Russia earlier this year. Spotted in a shop window was this Jeremy Corbyn lookalike. I suspect the UK Labour Party leader would not be seen dead in the garb of a Tower of London beefeater, though I believe some of his political opponents will say that that is exactly where he should be sent.
One of our advertisers, Wallace Bagpipes, have a smart new website (still shot above) which is worth checking out. Craig Munro, the company’s Production Director, writes: ‘We’re excited to announce that our new and refreshed website is now live! The updated site includes changes to navigation, with drop-down menus for both mobile and desktop versions. We’ve also improved the structure of our content, so you’ll get to where you want to be quicker. Please feel free to browse our new site www.wallacebagpipes.com and any feedback is welcomed.’
Bumped into Margaret Bennett, mother of the sadly missed piper Martyn, the other day and she is still continuing her great work promoting traditional music and song. Margaret has a masterclass workshop tomorrow at Ochtertyre near Crieff featuring two star musicians, flute player and singer Cathal McConnell and singer Michelle Burke. Good luck with that Margaret and keep up the good work:
John Kelly has sent some additional pictures to go with his earlier feature on the All-Ireland Pipe Band Championships. The picture top shows the Dromara Pipe Band, All-Ireland Champions in 1949. Personnel were: L to R: (front row) Hugh Steele, Irvine Woods, J.M. Spence, S.J. Spence, James A. Campbell, Victor McManus, S. McManus (Pipe Major), M. Johnston, S. M. Woods, R. Nelson and H. Nelson. (back row) J. Maguire, R.S. Dickson, W.W. Woods, S.J. McManus, J McAdam, H. Murray, J.B. McDowell, W.J. Barlow, A. Sherlock and S. McDowell.
John has also included this picture (above) of Joe McAdam and Samuel Woods who played with Dromara at the first ever All-Irelands in Dublin in 1946. Joe and Sam were pictured at the Craigavon Championships held in Lurgan Park last month still enjoying their pipe band music.