Many thanks for your kind thoughts on the tune. The story behind it: I was a piper in Field Marshal Montgomery during the 2011 season when FM won the Grand Slam.
At the end of that season the band had a celebration at a Christmas/end of year band get together in Northern Ireland. Richard had become the first Pipe Major to lead a band to two Grand Slams (1993 & 2011), an achievement that I was privileged to be a part of.
When you hear the tune it’s definitely a salute. Putting two and two together, I called it Salute to P/M Richard Parkes MBE commemorating the only P/M to win two Grand Slams. This was quickly overtaken: in 2013 Richard became the only P/M to win three Grand Slams. I was a member of that band also.
He has since added to that and from the fmmpb.com website has to date 11 World titles, 14 Champion of Champions titles and 63 major Championships. I had nine great seasons with FM winning six World titles, eight Champion of Champions, 33 major championships and two Grand Slams.
More about Donald: Donald MacPhee is an American who moved to Scotland in 1997 from Florida. A reed maker for over 20 years. Donald has achieved the pinnacle of success at both the solo and pipe band scene. He was Gold Medallist at the Northern Meeting in 2005.
Donald holds Graduate and Senior Teacher’s Certificates with the Institute of Piping. He has his Advanced and Teacher’s Certificate with the RSPBA. A fully qualified RSPBA Adjudicator and a solo adjudicator on the CPA list of Active Competitive Adjudicators, Donald is also a PDQB Assessor for the RSPBA and now a member of their Adjudicator Panel.
He lives in Alexandria west of Glasgow with his wife Christine a former World Champion Highland dancer and now a much sought after teacher and adjudicator in her own field. Donald’s website reads: ‘Donald has been piping for dancing for nearly 35 years. Taught piping by his father Alexander ‘Sandy’ MacPhee. From a very early age Donald’s dad encouraged him to pipe for his sisters (Diane MacPhee Krugh and Donna Cusack [wife of the famous piper Mike Cusack, Texas] in their dance classes. Before long Donald was piping all over the world at dancing competitions and championships. In 1995 Donald brought out his first piping for dancing CD called ‘The Competitive Highland Dancer’s Champion’s Choice’ a favourite of many dancers and teachers the world over. It was in this idiom where he met and married Miss Christine Lacey a former six-time World Champion.’