Editor’s Notebook

Drumming legend Alex Connell’s funeral is on Tuesday the 7th of May at 9.45am at Daldowie Crematorium, Glasgow.

There is sure to be a large representation from throughout the pipe band community, his ex-Glasgow Police colleagues and his former BB Company the 214 Glasgow.

Click here for a map and directions to Daldowie Crematorium.

Click here to read Ian McLellan’s moving Piping Press tribute to his former leading drummer.


Pleasing that the RSPBA have decided that all band performances on the Friday of the Worlds will, this year anyway, figure in the final reckoning. However one quesation struck me. If, as I have been told, there will only be 14 bands entering, why not just have the whole shooting match on the Saturday?

As it stands the cost of the Friday does seem rather unjustified, though I admit 2019 will provide the most stringent test yet in the history of this great championship, 16 judges all having a say in the final outcome.



In future when entries exceed 18 bands we will, as it stands, be back to the present, unsatisfactory situation of the qualifier on the Friday; 12 bands in a Saturday final and bands who don’t make it through facing a fruitless weekend.

What we need is tougher grading to limit the size of G1. If we are not going to split it into two grades then the aim should be to control the size of the top tier. Winning a Grade 2 Worlds or a Champion of Champions title should not mean automatic promotion. Bands in this fortunate position might like to ask themselves ‘are we really ready to go up?’

The Worlds….tickets are now on sale here

The Music Board might like to employ a more stringent series of tests when upgrading from G2 too. Is this band’s success built on a solid foundation? How good are they really? Overseas bands, are you really mid to top end Grade 1 Scotland?

Finally, should the authorities be more severe with the numbers going down each season?

By keeping Grade 1 to a manageable size the Association ease their worries leaving them with the option of a meaningful Friday or a Saturday cram-in.



Alexander Menu, producer and fundraiser of the proposed ‘Sound of the Somme’ film: ‘We just reached 48% of our goal – a big step forward since last weekend.

‘However, there is still time to join our team to make a unique project we will all be proud of to show to the big public. By contributing towards watching the film, a T-shirt, poster, special for pipe bands and others, we will be able to produce and film the movie. We would love to see your name in the end credits as a thank you because with your support, we can take the project to the next level!

‘It would mean a lot if you could check out our campaign video and maybe support us by contributing and choosing a reward that you like and to get us closer to our goal: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexandermenu/sound-of-the-somme-a-wwi-short-film

‘Also feel free to share this email and our campaign to fellow bagpipers as we would like to reach as many pipers and WWI enthusiasts as possible.’


The first leg of the SPA KO contest for the Piping Times Trophy is this Saturday in the National Piping Centre, Otago Street. Contestants are Stuart Liddell, the holder, and Gordon McCready.   

Entry is £10, 7 for 7.30pm and there is a bar and a raffle with the audience voting for their favourite.

Saturday 8th June: Second heat of the Knockout features Callum Beaumont and Cameron McDougall

Saturday 7th September: Annual Juvenile Contest and third heat of the Knockout featuring Steven Leask and Sarah Muir


Interesting letter from Canada from a descendent of Colin Cameron. Check out our letters page.


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1 thought on “Editor’s Notebook

  1. I thoroughly welcome the new format for the Grade 1 worlds, with both Friday and Saturday results counting towards the end result. i.e. 2 MSR and 2 Medley performances. But the logic of the RSPBA is seriously flawed. By adopting this new format they are admitting that the status quo is unacceptable, yet if more than 17 bands are entered for Grade 1, we will return to the previous unsatisfactory situation. What we need is a root and branch analysis and reform of Grade 1. What is it? is it just for elite bands?, should it be split into 2? How should a large entry be handled? What is the most stringent test for the world championships?

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