PP Ed’s Blog: Florida Academy/ Pipes Sale/ Hector MacFadyen/ McCallum’s Party/ Dress Code/ Queensland Contest

The 2019 Florida Pipe and Drum Academy has relocated to Jacksonville in the north-east of the state. Here are the details: Florida Pipe & Drum Academy 2019; Dates: Feb 13 -17 inclusive.

Venue: The Fire Academy of The South / Florida State College Jacksonville @ 2700 Firefighter Memorial Dr., Jacksonville, Fl 32246. Tuition: $500; deposit $250; fee includes lunch. Further info and registration at www.pipeanddrumacademy.com

The teaching team is as before: myself, Barry Donaldson, Matt Pantaleoni, Jack Williamson (piping), Tommy Johnston (snare) and Andrew Elliott (bass and tenor). World class tuition awaits. As the ad says, ‘Get the Max in Jax’. We had hoped to have ace piper Donald MacBride on the roster but he has been pre-booked to judge the Metro Cup in New Jersey.

A big thank you to all the guys in South Florida for their hard work over the past four years in Boca and Fort Lauderdale and I hope Noah and the gang will manage north in Feb for a catch up.


Iain Ruiridh Finlayson has been in touch to say that his pipes advertised on the PP Online Ads page have been sold to a buyer in Australia. Click here if you’ve something to sell. Remember it is only through the support of our advertisers and your support for the Piping Press Shop and that  that we can afford to keep PP subscription free.



Thanks to Patrick Molard for forwarding a short excerpt of a recital from Hector MacFadyen (pictured top). Probably dates from the 1960s. Patrick writes: ‘Just came across the attached recording of Hector MacFadyen playing on one of the BBC Scotland’s piping programmes. I thought you might be interested in putting this recording on your website in order to make the new generations of pipers discover this beautiful sound and style of playing. Seamus MacNeill used to call it ‘the Pennygael Sound’!’

The tunes are the Gaelic air Return My Love, Donald MacLeod’s rarely heard but superb 6/8 The Ross Battery, the traditional hornpipe, the Boys of Blue Hill and the Thief of Lochaber, a moniker which has been applied over the years to various piping rascals that we all know and love. Listen to the recording on the PP Audio Archive.


I was disappointed not to be able to manage to the 20th Anniversary celebration of McCallum Bagpipes last Saturday. By all accounts it was a great night with some outstanding piping in the Park Hotel, Kilmarnock. I’ve asked for some printable pictures and will publish in due course. All congratulations to Kenny and Stuart for their success and I am sure readers will want to join with me in offering sincere thanks to them for the tremendous support they give piping with their quality instruments, their advertising and their very generous sponsorship and donations of instruments and other competition prizes.


Reader Vincent Canault, who plays in the Lorient Pipe Band in Brittany, has a letter today about dress code – a hot topic currently. Vincent needs some answers which I cannot supply. For example, ‘The first question I have for you is about the colour of the flashes, should it be the same colour as the kilt? Second question. I’m Breton and so I would like to wear the Royal Stewart kilt (as I know that historically Bretons are allowed to wear it). Are the clear blue colors on the kilt reserved only for the military?’

Read the full letter here and help him out if you can.



Queensland Highland Pipers’ Society, Australia, have a full evening of quality piping on Saturday (Oct 27) at the Julie Appleton-Seymour Memorial invitational contest. Pipers are Abbas Manchadi, Rebecca Capon, Mark MacKenzie, Chris McLeish, James Wasnik (Manawatu), Darin Cook, Robert Gibb, Kyle Warren, Jim Allan and Alasdair MacKenzie (Inveraray). Judges are Murray Blair and Shotts new P/M, Emmet Conway. Venue is Emmanuel College University of Queensland.


Posted in News   

1 thought on “PP Ed’s Blog: Florida Academy/ Pipes Sale/ Hector MacFadyen/ McCallum’s Party/ Dress Code/ Queensland Contest

  1. Excellent! That way I will be ready to compete at the North East Florida Highland games on February 23.
    I enjoyed last years Academy in Boca Raton as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.