PP Ed’s Blog: Skye Gathering/ Donald MacLeod/ Coatbridge Bands/ Lisna Concert/ SLoT/ SG KO

Skye Gathering may have suffered from the depressing loss of the Silver Chanter contest last year but the organisers are hitting back in the best way possible. They are pushing the kids. This year will see a new emphasis on Under 18 Piobaireachd and MSR competitions at Portree.

These will take place on the Tuesday of the gathering and will be an important feature of a day which sees top professionals vying for the Dunvegan Medal and Clasp and prestigious light music awards.

Innes Smith, winner of the prestigious Dunvegan Medal in 2011

Piping Convenor Cameron MacFadyen said: ‘We are keen to highlight the under 18 contests and would emphasise that these are open competitions which will sit well with our already well established senior competitions.

‘I am sure Skye Gathering 2019 will be enriched by many top young players converging on Portree in August.’

Get the updated entry form, which includes the under 18 events, here. Any queries contact Piping Convenor Cameron MacFadyen here.

I have heard suggestions that the National Piping Centre, the current organisers of the Silver Chanter, are keen to take it back to where it belongs – on the isle of Skye.

If they can do so then all credit to them. For many years the College of Piping ran the Chanter from Glasgow without any difficulty and with modern communications this should be even easier to accomplish today. If Dunvegan Castle play hard ball over cash then there’s the Aros Centre in Portree, tourists by the thousand.

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Still in the islands, the Livestream for Friday’s Donald MacLeod Memorial can be accessed here.

The competition has a smart new logo and website, so again we are witnessing a confidence in solo piping in its heartland – all very encouraging.

On their website the Lewis & Harris Piping Society, the promoters, write: ‘Welcome to the 26th Annual Pipe Major Donald Macleod MBE Memorial Competition.

‘This event will take place in the Caladh Inn, Stornoway, on April 5th 2019 and is organised by the Lewis and Harris Piping Society. 

‘There will be a free Live Stream to the event available from this page for anyone who is unable to attend on the day, please do join us wherever you may be!’

Pipers at the Donald MacLeod in 2017

Congratulations to North Lanarkshire Schools for their success last Saturday at the poorly attended Glasgow & West of Scotland indoor band contest held in Coatbridge.

Grade 4A and Nov Juv A: 1 N Lanarkshire Schools 2 Strathendrick 3 Frserburgh RBL
Grade 4B and Nov Juv B: 1 N Lanarkshire Schools 2 Strathendrick 3 Renfrew Schools

Last Wednesday saw North Lanarkshire in concert and I hear Scottish education minister John Swinney was planning to attend. Does this augur well for piping/drumming tuition in our schools?

Over in Northern Ireland, Lisnamulligan Pipe Band have a concert this Friday celebrating their 70th Anniversary. Here’s the poster:

Tickets for the St Laurence O’Toole concert in Armagh City at the end of the month are going fast. You can support the band and get your tickets here.

Scots Guards KO: Jimmy Banks reports, ‘Cameron Macdougall, won our first semi final on Sunday against Ross Miller.

‘Our next semi final is Sunday 28 April Callum Brown v Callum Watson usual time, SC Club, Haymarket, Edinburgh, 4pm.’

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