Brilliant Playing in the Hornpipe & Jig at Inverness 1995

Volume three of our footage from the 1995 Northern Meeting highlights the brilliant playing in that year’s Hornpipe & Jig contest, writes the Editor.

The contest was in two parts, a qualifier and a final, the first in one of the small rooms at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, and the final in the main auditorium.

The contest was won by Angus MacColl with Alan Bevan, P/M of BC’s Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, in second and P/M Gordon Walker in third.

P/M Walker, sorely missed on the competition boards these last two years, also won the Turnout and Bearing prize and it is easy to see why. Gordon is pictured on stage above.

The video begins with excellent piping from Allan Russell. (1995 was a good year for Allan; our records show he finished runner-up to Brittany’s Hervé leFloc’h in the Silver Medal.)

Following we have JohnDon MacKenzie from Kintail (fourth placed in the Gold Medal that year) and Iain Hurst of Oban. Both play very well too.

Then on to the titans of the genre, Angus MacColl, Gordon Walker, Stuart Liddell, Gordon Duncan and Alan Bevan.

Thereafter it is straight into the final with the winning performances of the first three prizewinners.

Firstly, scintillating playing from Gordon Walker. The crispness of the execution, the control, the resonant pipe are there to be marvelled at.

Gordon is followed by a marathon set from Alan Bevan with multiple parts of the Mason’s Apron (I always consider this a reel rather than a hornpipe) – but fingering brilliance from Alan on a super pipe.

Angus MacColl on his way to winning the 1995 Northern Meeting H&J

Finally we end with the winner Angus MacColl who coasts through his set beginning with P/M Donald MacLeod’s Crossing the Minch.

Judges in the final were Donald MacPherson, Ronald Morrison and Jimmy Young. I think Angus is nearly into double figures on the number of times he has won this contest. 1995 may have been his first, but if not certainly one of his early triumphs.

In all a wonderful, 30 minute snapshot of masterful piping captured for posterity by Owen Nash. As the closing caption says ‘Thank you Owen!’

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