PP Ed’s Blog: Europeans 2019/ CoP-NPC/ Queen’s Honours/ PS recital/ Bill Boyle

A couple of readers have asked about the venue for nest year’s (2019) European Pipe Band Championships. RSPBA Chairman John Hughes  has told us that an announcement will be made this week once final arrangements between the Association and the new promoters have been completed.

This year’s Europeans are at Grant Park, Forres, Morayshire, on June 30th. Massed bands from last year’s contest above. This will be Forres’ sixth and final year of staging the championships. Lest we be accused of getting ahead of ourselves, don’t forget Saturday’s UK Championships at Stormont in Northern Ireland where all eyes will be on local band Field Marshal Montgomery to see if they can lift the title again – especially given their commanding performance at the British Championships at Paisley. This only netted them a third placing much to the surprise of myself and many other listeners.

MacStig will have a preview of Stormont Grade 2 later in the week so stay tuned to PP.


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Interesting comment on LinkedIn by US piper and former Metro Branch boss Eric Stein on my most recent piece on the National Piping Centre’s takeover of the College of Piping. Eric writes: ‘Both institutions have provided great value to pipers around the globe but power, money, and politics often win the war. As a devoted subscriber and collector of the Piping Times it will be a very sad day when it is absorbed or discontinued.’

True enough Eric but commercial expediency is all and I can’t see one institution continuing with two magazines. By way of updating you, I have heard a rumour – a rumour mind – that the banner ‘Piping Times’ will be retained with a tag line ‘incorporating Piping Today’. However to all intents and purposes the ‘new’ magazine will look and feel like Piping Today with perhaps a few of the content changes as intimated earlier.

The demise of the Piping Times was inevitable once the College of Piping ceased to exist. There are many who should now look to their own attitude towards the College over the last 20 years. I could compile a long list of individuals and institutions who went out of their way to pour money and other forms of support into the Centre at the College’s expense. Even handed they were not.

Well, they have their wish. The PT as we know it will soon be gone along with the ethos of free or affordable lessons enshrined in the College’s DNA. Whether or not you think a monopoly is a good thing, the Centre has prevailed and who can blame them for applying their winning formula to their new acquisition?



Congratulations to the following on their recognition in HM The Queen’s Birthday honours:
Sir Brian Ivory, Chairman of the Piping Centre – Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for service to the Royal Family
Lowry Ferguson, Vice-President of the RSPBANI – BEM for services to the community in County Tyrone
Jim Henderson, President of Fermanagh Section of the RSPBANI – BEM for services to the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and to the community in Ballinamallard and Trillick.
Donald Blair, Panmure, Victoria – Order of Australia Medal for service to his community and to pipe bands.


Here is the entry for the Piobaireachd Society’s August Recital as it appears in the Fringe Festival programme:Click on the pic to get your tickets.


Reader Nicholas Taitz has drawn our attention to the brilliant playing of New Zealand’s Bill Boyle on YouTube. I met Bill once at Pitlochry Games. Must have been back in the late 70s. He was competing with a plastic chanter. We all commented on how well it sounded. He was indeed a brilliant piper as this track demonstrates:


1 thought on “PP Ed’s Blog: Europeans 2019/ CoP-NPC/ Queen’s Honours/ PS recital/ Bill Boyle

  1. Hopefully RSPBA will choose a suitable venue for the European championships so that it can truly become a European championships not just in name. Time to give the many fine bands on the continent a chance.

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