PP Ed’s Blog: SPA Pro/Jimmy Jackson/ SPJA/ Xavier Vid/ Balmoral Schools/ Allan Chatto/

What will be the first professional piping contest of the season (following the weather cancellation of the Uist & Barra) will be held this Saturday April 14. It’s the Scottish Pipers Association contest and it will be held at NPC West (College of Piping, Otago St. to us old timers) with a good entry in all categories.

Last year’s overall winner was Sarah Muir (pictured top with her trophies) who will be defending her title on Saturday. One change for this year will be the introduction of two marches, two strathspeys and two reels in the Former Winners MSR.

Sarah winning at Oban in 2015

So if you are starved of high quality live piping, NPC West is the place to be at the weekend.


I could not manage Jimmy Jackson‘s funeral last Monday but I am sure there were many there to pay their last respects. More on his life has been promised by Jimmy’s family and we’ll publish in due course. In the meantime Eddie Gorman in Ontario has sent this:

‘Rob, Very sorry to hear of Jimmy’s passing. Played for him in Dumbarton and District. He was a gem of a man and I learned a lot from him. Was a hard taskmaster with the band but had a great sense of humour. Although it’s been many years since I last saw him, I’ll always remember the stories he had and that mischievous glint in his eyes when telling them.’


An upbeat report from the Solo Piping Judges Association this week but a bit rich when they say there are no complaints outstanding. I’m afraid the stain of 2017 will remain with the individuals concerned until an apology of some sort is forthcoming. No need to go over old ground; the culprits know who they are.


Bouderiou Bagpipes latest promo video:


Elaine Lee of Balmoral Schools: ‘New for 2018! Four FREE pre-session practice chanter lessons for beginning pipers who register for a Balmoral summer session. Pipers with little or no experience are entitled to receive their lessons from qualified Balmoral instructors, via Skype or in person. We encourage beginning students to begin these free lessons at least eight weeks before the start of their chosen session, sooner if possible. Register here:https://balmoralschoolofpiping.org/summer-school-registration-form/.

See display ad for more.



Allan Chatto OAM has been in touch: ‘Just before the 2018 Australian Pipe Band Championships, the Pipe Bands Australia awarded a number of members of the Australian pipe band community, with various awards for service to the pipe band movement. I received three awards including Induction to the PBA ‘Hall of Fame’. Unfortunately in my case the bio (prepared by others) had several date and other errors in it. I have not advised PBA of this as yet as all the miss information has unfortunately since been circulated worldwide, through the Internet. The revised details is for your information and records:

‘Allan Chatto OAM Initially joined St George District Pipe Band in 1948 as a piper. Allan found greater interest in drumming and for more than seventy years has taken his skills to the highest levels and shared them around the world as a player, teacher, tutor, adjudicator, and educator. Allan is the first drummer outwith the UK to be appointed to the RSPBA Adjudication Panel. Allan has adjudicated at many contests

Allan with his RSPBA Honorary Life Membership

in the UK including the Worlds Championship. He was the AFPBA Principal of Drumming for eighteen years, having achieved his qualifications both here and in Scotland.

‘He has written a number of  books on pipe band drumming that have received international recognition and was active in reviewing, refining and updating the AFPBA Drumming Training Syllabus, the preparation of instruction manuals and the writing of new Massed Band drum scores. He was active for many years in presenting workshops and lectures in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Spain. During his playing career Allan performed with Grade 1 Australian Pipe Bands as the L/D of the Sydney Thistle Highland Pipe Band from 1959 until 1969, L/D of  NSW Police Pipe Band, from 1975 until 1989 and was L/D of  City of Invercargill P B, NZ from 1952 to 1955, and  competed with bands in Scotland from 1956 to 1959.

‘Allan studied the development of pipe band drumming and its personalities with many of his definitive  technical and historical articles being published in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Canada, USA , Spain and Switzerland. Allan was Honoured in 2008 with the award of Honorary Life Membership of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, Glasgow, Scotland.’

Happy to put the cord straight Allan.