Piobaireachd Society Log Success With Lockdown Music from Members

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Member Dan Nevans plays for the Society

The Piobaireachd Society’s Facebook page has (since the lockdown in the UK) been hosting videos of Piob Soc members playing or talking about piobaireachd. It seems a very popular activity. There are other pipers out there doing similar things to entertain each other during this time … examples include Covid Ceol Mor and the pipers who have joined in with the Covid Ceilidh.

So far we have had 

  • Robert Wallace – played Too Long in This Condition
  • Peter McCalister – played Patrick Og MacCrimmon’s Lament
  • Callum Wynd – played Lachlan McNeil of Kintarbert’s Fancy
  • John Frater – played a Nameless tune from Angus MacKay’s manuscript, which is clearly linked to Tulloch Ard
By Dr Peter McCalister
  • Leslie Barrett in his wonderful modulated voice spoke about the power of music and asked some questions about the effect of piobaireachd on the listener
  • Yahya Hussein played Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay
  • Douglas Gardiner played The Lament for the Old Sword
  • Dan Nevans played The MacDougall’s Gathering

In the wings are another dozen pipers who have either sent me a video, or said they will do so.



Life isn’t a competition, but the number of ‘engagements’ and ‘likes’ on Facebook have been very impressive, Robert Wallace leading the list – with over 10,000 people reached. See screenshot below:

The power of music to lift people at this time is without question. Once a week the people of the UK go onto their doorstep to applaud carers, and those working for the NHS (Thursdays at 8pm, if you didn’t know). In my own town I can hear pipers from more than one garden amidst the clapping, banging of saucepans, etc…

I played jigs and Scotland the Brave a few times on the street for my neighbours, and this seemed very popular. This surprised me a bit, as my neighbours have heard me practising in an upstairs room for some hours per day, for about 25 years! Just shows you, the Great Pipe has its uses.

Anyway we’ll keep doing this for some weeks yet, and if you want a look then please go to https://www.facebook.com/PiobaireachdSociety/. If you are a Piob Soc member and want to post a video then get in touch with me at peter.mccalister@doctors.org.uk


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3 thoughts on “Piobaireachd Society Log Success With Lockdown Music from Members

  1. I have occasionally looked at that Piping Hour and it is interesting.
    However this Piobaireachd Society organised lockdown initiative is putting a face to the players and there is something charmingly attractive about seeing the pipers in their own environs; Robert Wallace in his nice conservatory, Peter McAlister showing us a glimpse of his Perthshire estate, the chap Yahsa Hussein (spelling?) in NYC, the pathology chap John Frater, Douglas Gardiner and Dan Nevans presumably in their homes, with Dan’s roaring fire giving off heat, working up a sweat, Bobby Durning in the pleasant church nave and Patrick Moulard in his studio type place—-all having a tune, just as it should be.

  2. I like this idea of hearing different pipers at their own choice of tunes and how they are playing. There is nothing really wrong with the BBC Pipeline broadcasts, but there is not much variety in the choice of performances as there are a lot of repeats. I must confess that after making an effort to tune into Pipeline and then hearing repeated programmes, sometimes with only 2, 3 or 4 weeks apart, I have to resist switching the wireless off, even when the performers are significantly successful competitors.
    This idea may have merit in continuing after this lockdown situation ceases. It has a certain engagement with pipers who are not heard outside the competition platform venues.

    1. If you are looking for a varied selection of pibroch and performers, can I suggest you might try searching for KKRN Piping Hour on your computer. KKRN is a US based community radio station and their piping hour programme can be listened to online. They tend to have a mix of well known and not so well known tunes and players, and (unlike the BBC) every programme for the last two years is available to browse through.

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