PP Ed’s Blog: Saturday Round Up/ Piper Request/ Gala Concert Latest/ Bill Writes Foreword

Luss Games on Loch Lomondside and Thornton Games in Fife are the main solo events tomorrow (Sat., July 7). The committee at Luss have asked us to remind everyone that their games Luss has a piobaireachd and MSR contests for seniors and junior contests too.

On Sunday there are games at Harpenden and at Braemar (Juniors). Results as we get them.The early season games seem to have done a bit better than last year in terms of entrants so let us hope this continues. The weather is set fair for another few days at least, so that should help.

If you are attending please send in the results and pic if you can. We find that games secretaries and other officials are too busy on the day to do so, so we rely on pipers and their supporters to do the necessary and keep the piping world informed.

With the bands it’s the All Ireland’s at New Ross in County Wexford with Field Marshal and St Laurence O’Toole going head to head in Grade 1 and with the following bands in G2: Closkelt, Ravara, New Ross, Manorcunningham and Colmcille. Judges for the G1 MSR at New Ross are John Wilson, Tim Farrely (P), Jim Baxter (D) and David Brown (E) and Jim Semple, Colin Moffat (P), Ciaran Mordaunt (D) and Tony Sloane (E) in the Medley. Nearer home there is the Grade 2, 3 and 4 contest at Annan in Dumfriesshire: Here’s the draw:

2.00pm Lochryan Development Band
2.07pm Penicuik & District
2.14pm Irvine & District
2.21pm Kirkcudbright & District
2.28pm Lochryan Pipe Band
2.35pm Houghton le Spring

2.50pm Ramage City of Newcastle
2.57pm Greater Manchester F & R
3.04pm H&I Royal Burgh Annan
3.11pm Lochryan Pipe Band
3.18pm Penicuik & District
3.25pm Kirkcudbright & District
3.32pm Manchester Phoenix
3.39pm Irvine & District

4.00pm H&I Royal Burgh Annan
4.08pm Greater Manchester F & R
4.16pm Manchester Phoenix
4.24pm Ramage City of Newcastle

All arrangements are in place for the gala ‘Hidden Treasure’ concert of ceol mor to be held in Edinburgh’s plush St Cecilia’s Hall on August 12 as part of the Fringe festival. The promoters are the Piobaireachd Society and it is hoped that the performances can be filmed to record the evening for  the Society’s YouTube channel. The pipers are Glenn Brown, Callum Beaumont, Jamie Forrester and Ian K MacDonald from Canada (see main picture, top).

They will play in continuous fashion with no tuning. The first tune is the Flame of Wrath for Squinting Patrick played by Ian K. As he walks from the auditorium, forward will come Glenn Brown with Beloved Scotland; as Glenn returns to the ground the strains of P/M Donald MacLeod’s Caber Feidh Gu Bragh will be heard as Jamie Forrester takes centre stage, the first half concluding with a smooth transition to Captain John MacLellan’s Phantom Piper of Corrieyairick played by Callum Beaumont.

The interval, and the music resumes with Ian K and the Prince’s Salute with more drama to follow from Glenn Brown and that  masterpiece in miniature, MacLeod’s Controversy; as the strains of blood and thunder recede so we will be calmed by the plangent poetry of the Lament for the Children in Callum Beaumont’s consummate care, the evening to conclude on a lighter note with Jamie and the Desperate Battle of the Birds. Entry is £10 and tickets are available via the Fringe box office. They include a free colour programme. A small drinks reception will be held at the conclusion of the performance at around 9.30pm.

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SCAR, the Scottish Children’s abuse charity, are looking for a piper for their Scottish Parliament rally on September 6. Here’s the contact if you can help out.

The publishers of new South West Scotland Collection have announced that the Foreword to the book has been written by Bill Livingstone. They have sent: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to announce that our foreword has been written by the great Bill Livingstone, a descendant of Ayrshire, Pipe Major of  a World Pipe Band Championship winning band, and also a Gold Medallist and Clasp winner.

‘Bill was taught by his father Bill Sr. from Auchinleck, who emigrated to Canada and started a whole piping community where there had been none, in Copper Cliff near Sudbury.  Bill is of course very highly respected in the piping world, being at the pinnacle of both the solo and pipe band worlds. He has won almost every major prize available in competitive solo piping, and for 30 years pipe majored the 78th Fraser Highlanders – the first non-Scottish band to win the Worlds. He has several solo albums, six pipe band recordings, and two collections of music.  ‘Live in Ireland’, a recording of the 78th’s concert is still said to be one of the greatest pipe band recordings ever made.  Bill recently released a book of his memoirs spanning his long career entitled ‘Preposterous: Tales to Follow’.

‘Bill said: ‘When pipers think of the history and origins of the music we play, typically we cast a reverential gaze upon the Highlands and Islands. And I too have been of those. But this wonderful collection forces us to recognize that South West Scotland (Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway) has had a profound influence on our music. Reading this grand five-volume work, has for me, a somewhat mystical sense of closing the circle. I am proud to be included in it, as it presents a very complete picture of the grand legacy of great piping in South West Scotland.’

‘Our author Karen McCrindle Warren commented: ‘I’m honoured to have Bill on board as a composer and a contributor of his late father’s music, and to have him write the foreword for the collection is incredibly exciting. You can tell from his writing in Preposterous: Tales to Follow that Ayrshire has meant a lot to him throughout his life, and for someone as incredibly successful as him to be of Ayrshire descent is incredibly inspirational.  I take this opportunity to thank Bill for his support over the last few years, and for his continued love for our region.’

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