PP Ed’s Blog: Captain John MacLellan Contest/ Danish Pipers in WW1 Initiative

The discrepancies in our lists of competitors for tomorrow’s Captain John MacLellan Memorial Competition are explained: there is a ‘P’ grade. Here is the draw:

Good to see these leading pipers supporting this contest, particularly the big piobaireachd winners at this year’s Oban and Inverness gatherings, Glenn Brown (Senior Piobaireachd) and Iain Speirs (Clasp). However, with only a handful of entries I’m not sure how this grade is going to work out – though I can see the thinking here. The promoters want to provide for the top players and encourage them to take part in what is a real showpiece event and a model of organisation.

Glenn Brown pictured at Oban 2017 and courtesy Derek Maxwell and the William Grant Foundation

However to make it more of a contest would it not be better to have those pipers who are graded A+ (or non CPA pipers who grade themselves A+) playing with the ‘Ps’? Similarly could the B+ guys not join with the remaining ‘As’ to make that a more substantial event?

The great benefit of this contest is that it gives a platform for all the top players who didn’t quite make it on to the roster for the Glenfiddich Championship and for those who either can’t afford to go to London or can’t get time off work. So all power to Major Gordon Rowan and his team. Get along to Inchdrewer House tomorrow to support them if you can.

Piping’s man in black and the 2017 Clasp winner, Iain Speirs

On the above point about non-CPA members, it is pleasing to hear that the Captain John is not a ‘closed shop’ competition. I am sure he would have approved of the Army School opening its doors to all pipers of whatever affiliation on this particular day. Self-grading is the best way to get round the difficulty of those pipers who don’t have one. Promoters are not silly. A quick look at a track record will tell them if someone is gilding the lily. And failure in one grade should lead to a quiet suggestion that the piper in question try another lower down the caste system in subsequent years.

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John Kreiner has sent this….
Bagpipes over Denmark

Danish pipers will commemorate fallen pipers from WWI next month. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 99 years ago, the last round was fired in the Great War – WWI.

On that very day, at that very hour, more than 2,500 Scottish pipers had participated in the battles in the trenches abroad. Some 500 pipers (some sources say 1000) were killed in action and some 600 were injured.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 2017, Danish pipers will commemorate their fellow-pipers from WWI in a sort of ceremony called ‘Bagpipes over Denmark’. The well-known Danish Pipe Band, Holbæk (Holbaek) Pipe Band has encouraged all Danish pipers to go solo and play Amazing Grace on the 11th November at 11 o’clock wherever they might be at that time – at home, in a public place, on job or wherever.

The interest among the pipers has been great and some have announced that they will be wearing a kilt when piping others that they will pipe in their ordinary everyday dress.

‘We have chosen ‘Amazing Grace’ because it is a beautiful tune for commemorating ‘absent friends’, a tune all Danish pipers play and – maybe most important – it is a tune most Danes know as synonymous with bagpipe-music’, chairman of Holbæk Pipe Band, David Lundgreen says. ‘We hope that it will inspire more Danes to join a pipe band when they hear the pipes and the history behind that particular playing on that day commemorating Armistice Day in 1918.’

P/M David Lundgreen

The picture up top shows the iconic WW1 painting of a piper rallying  the troops before battle in the trenches. Does your band have any special plans for Remembrance Sunday that you’d like to share? Please pass on and we’ll highlight.