Editor’s Notebook

Despite all the work they do for our pipe bands the RSPBA still gets heaps of stick from certain quarters of the disgruntled doghouse of dodgy debaters. One trollologist recently whined on about how the Association has £1m in the bank and that all the money would go to waste, the bands losing out whilst Messrs Embelton, Hughes et al, all Hawaiian shirts and shorts, headed for the executive lounge at Glesca Airport carousing ‘Oh, we’re going to Barbados’.

Well, take a trip to Washington Street and you’ll see what the money’s being spent on:

And if the external stonework is anything to go by the builders are making a fine job of the Headquarters refurb. It should all be ready for entry later this year and will be money well spent I am sure.

First floor of the refurbished building showing the teaching, practice and lecture areas

From a teaching perspective alone the building will be state of the art with class/ practice rooms and lecture halls. The Association’s new Principals of Piping, Drumming and Pipe Band Musicianship will have ideal facilities for their work and, I’m told, there’s plenty of shelf space for Mr Embelton’s sun screen.

[wds id=”2″]

Following the announcement of the draws for the Argyllshire Gathering, the organisers have asked PP to point out that tune submissions are the sole responsibility of the competitor and must be entered on the website. Tunes should not be altered after 1st August as changes after this date may not be updated.

The piping contests at Oban are run by the Argyll Piping Trust. Readers should be aware of the important work they do in supporting piping teaching in the county’s schools.

Oban High School band on parade at Tobermory Games last year

The blurb on their website: ‘The Argyll Piping Trust (Scottish Charity SC012513) was set up in 1979 by the Argyllshire Gathering in response to a gradual decline in piping across Argyll through the 1970s since then the Trust has led the way in restoring piping across Argyll to the position of great strength it enjoys today.

‘Since 1996 by funding 50% of the total cost, the Trust has acted as the largest independent supporter of Argyll and Bute Council in delivering free piping tuition to its primary schools.  Without this funding, this tuition would at best be severely curtailed and at worst would cease entirely.’

Ian Tobin has written apropos the Boggies circle formation at the Princes Street Gardens contest last month: ‘The reason we played in the circle formation (as far as I was told) was because we took the opportunity at Edinburgh to replicate as best we could our practise and performance regime for the up and coming major at Inverness.

‘It was a new MSR for several new members in the band and as we drew the other one at Paisley it was felt this would be a perfect ‘run through’ and get rid of any nerves last Sunday rather than hope for the best this Saturday.

‘This in no way takes away from your point about playing to the audience but this is just a note to explain the thinking behind the circle.’

I like that phrase ‘playing to the audience’ Ian. Bands need to start doing that if they are to earn the public esteem other music ensembles generate and deserve.

Patricia Grant with the latest from the Grampian League…..



Piobaireachd Placings
1st equal John MacDonald, Gordon McCready 4
2nd equal Angus MacPhee, George Taylor 3
3rd equal Brad Davidson, Allan Russell 2
4th equal Neil Clark, Ben Duncan 1

Light Music Placings
1 Ben Duncan 12
2 Allan Russell 11
3rd equal Colin Gordon, Gordon McCready
4 John MacDonald 7
5 Calum Brown 6
6 equal Gordon Barclay, Angus MacPhee, Jeff Lawson 4
7 George Taylor 3
8 Michael Laing 2
9 Neil Clark 1

Jim Wood, Braemar Secretary, presentes the 2018 Champion Piper Shield to Ben Duncan of the Army School of Piping, Ben currently leads the Grampion League senior light music


Piobaireachd Placings
1 Rory Robson 4
2 Calum Robertson 3
3 Aiden Phimister 2

Light Music Placings
1 Eosaph Caimbuel 10
2 Jake Robertson 9
3rd equal Travis Gordon, Liam Brown 8
4 Rory Robson 6
5 Ciara Anderson 5
6th equal Shannon Thomson, Kenzie Stephen, Eilidh MacGregor, Katelyn Keir, Sarak Keir 3
7th equal Josh Davidson, Keiran Walker 2
8th equal Craig Mitchell, Alistair Rawles

Eosaph Caimbuel…leading the junior light music

Patricia adds: The next participating games is Tomintoul where there are Senior and Junior competitions for both Piobaireachd and Light Music. There are monetary prizes at the end of the season for winners of the Grampian League. These are presented at Braemar and the league is sponsored by John Milne Fine Arts of Aberdeen. Why not come along and support the participating Games? Please note that Braemar are inviting junior pipers to enter their competitions.’  

Tom Johnstone, SPA President: ‘Our next ‘Club Night’ will be tomorrow, Friday, 12th July – usual time and place, NPC Otago Street. Hereafter, our meetings are first Friday of each month at 7.30pm. Committee members will meet on 12th July to discuss format for Adult Amateur and Veterans Contest.

‘We have several events on the horizon: Saturday, 7th September
Juvenile Contest and the third heat of the Knockout featuring Steven Leask and Sarah Muir; Saturday  October 4th: fourth heat of the Knockout featuring Angus McColl Jnr and John Patrick

[wds id=”8″]
Posted in News   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *