By Robert Wallace, Piobaireachd Society President
The annual Piobaireachd Society sponsored recital of ceòl mòr which had been scheduled for early August has been postponed until November due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival of which the concert was part.
The event, entitled, ‘Classical Bagpipe Music – Scotland’s Hidden Treasure’, will now take place on Novemebr 29 – the Sunday nearest St Andrew’s Day – in the same venue, St Cecilia’s Hall, Niddry Street, Edinburgh, at 7 for 7.30pm.
The invited pipers this year are Angus MacColl, Iain Speirs, Cameron MacDougall and Sandy Cameron.
Each will play two pieces of piobaireachd, one long, one short, and in continuous fashion with no tuning. This formula has proved popular with audiences in the past.
The concert is scheduled to finish at 9.30pm with a small reception with refreshment held thereafter.
Angus MacColl works as a piping instructor in his native Argyll. He has won all of the major awards in piping that he has competed for, some many times over. His playing is characterised by an innate musicality and deftness of touch, never laboured.
Iain Speirs, another winner of all the top awards, is gifted with an ability to deliver the subtlest of touches in his phrasing. Almost unnoticed he glides through his music deftly marking out the grammar, never losing momentum or melodic line.
Cameron MacDougall is a young player who already has a number of top awards to his credit. Taught by Niall Matheson in Ross-shire, Cameron is acquiring all the skill of his tutor and is able to display it on a consistently sweet instrument.
Another young piper, Sandy Cameron, Lochaber, completes the line up. Sandy is a pupil of that great teacher Iain MacFadyen, has risen rapidly through the junior ranks and, like Cameron, stands now on the cusp of the Gold Medal.
I am sure the concert will be a perfect showcase for all that is good about our music and I hope as many members and readers as possible will be able to attend.
We will not have the benefit of the Fringe publicity machine this year, nor will we have the overseas visitors who flock to Edinburgh in August but I am sure the piping community will turn out to support these fine players. The pandemic will mean that this summer we will be starved of a lot of high quality piping. By re-scheduling this concert we hope to help fill the vacuum.
Tickets cost £12 and £10 (concessions) and are available on the door or in advance here. The price includes a full colour brochure with biographies of the players and details on the music.
The evening will be videoed once more and made available to Society members on the website. Membership of the Socoiety costs £15 per annum or £40 for three years and there is a student membership for £5. Join here.