Firstly today, can anyone name the Pipe Mjor pictured above? He was P/M of a police band, a well known solo piper and winner of many top awards. He also produced a book of tunes and composed a few good ones himself. The man in question had roots in South Uist. Read on for the answer…..
Thanks to the reader who reminded me of one crucial aspect of the new lockdown I forgot to mention in my last piece – band practice. This simply cannot take place now or in the coming months. Certainly, pipers cannot get together as the regulations currently stand in the UK.
It looks like it will be Zoom etc at least until Christmas. But what if it goes beyond that, right up to the predicted lockdown review date of the end of March 31, 2021? This would leave bands about six weeks to get it together before the start of any new season.
Is this enough time? Of course it is. If the practice chanter work has been completed and new tunes thoroughly learned, I am sure all bands from Grade 3 upwards will be able to cope. Just double up on the evenings.
The problems arise in teaching and juvenile bands. They might have to take to the field sounding a little less well than they had hoped. But if that is the case then so be it. Better they put on some sort of show than none at all. Listeners will be sympathetic, and a few weeks in, by mid-July say, these bands will begin to blossom once more.
More on the job advertised last night for a ‘Pipe Major Instructor’ for the Edinburgh Academy. The spec reads: ‘The Edinburgh Academy seeks a Pipe Major Instructor to hold responsibility for the co-ordination and oversight of all musical instruction relating to the Pipe Band and the teaching of bagpipes and drumming within the School.
‘This is a permanent role with a provisional start date of 01 December 2020, and a salary of £35000 to £37000 ( depending on experience). A full job description and application form can be found on the school’s website.
‘Applications must be submitted to this address by Friday 02 October 2020 at 12:00.’
We can add this new job to the SQA’s search for a piping examiner announced on PP yesterday. It is good to read of these investments in the future of piping. Not all gloom and doom. We will get over this.
Following our recent mentions of the Intercontinental Champiopnships held in Toronto, Trevor Clydesdale has kindly sent the following: ‘Following on from the article featuring the 1972 Canadian National Exhibition, here are the results of the International Championships:
Trevor also writes: ‘Referring to John Barbour’s excellent history of the Red Hackle, the first part of which was published today, John mentioned that the band always played in Grade 1. I would point out that in their first season in 1948 Govan Red Hackle played in Grade 2, finishing 3rd at the Worlds and 2nd at Cowal.’
Thanks for the input Trevor and to everyone who forwards such info. It is going to be a long winter but with assistance from our readership we will do our best to keep everyone entertained and informed over the coming months.
Some results from the Eagle Pipers Professional contest held in the Royal Arch Halls, Queen Street, Edinburgh, in November 1974. Hon. President of the Eagles at that time was P/M George Stoddart BEM (father of Gavin), President James Anderson (known amiably as ‘the Godfather’), Chairman and Pipe Major Ronnie Ackroyd (Edinburgh Police) and Treasurer Calum McPhee, a man who I believe had a hand in teaching pipers Donald McBride and Les Hutt, both Monktonhall Colliery PB.
The piper pictured up top is Donald Morrison who was placed third in the piobaireachd that day. We would be interested to have more on P/M Morrison and his career.
1 Donald MacPherson 2 John MacDougall 3 Donald Morrison 4 John Burgess. Others competing in this competition were Jimmy McIntosh, Iain MacFadyen, Kenny MacDonald, Andrew Wright, Jimmy MacGregor, P/M Angus MacDonald, and Gordon Clark.
Fifty-nine pipers entered for the Open light music. Names such as Norrie Gillies, Evan MacRae, Malcolm McRae, Neil Smith, Ian Clowe, Tom Speirs, Ally Reese, Douglas Young, Dr Angus MacDonald, Nicky Gordon, Anne Stewart (Spalding), Archie Martin, Brian Donaldson, Bobby Pinkman, Colin Drummond, John Graham, Jimmy Banks, John Stewart and Martin Wilson are listed. Results:
March: 1 P/M Angus MacDonald SG 2 John Burgess 3 Arthur Gillies 4 John MacDougall
S&R: 1 John Burgess 2 P/M Angus MacDonald 3 Donald MacPherson 4 John MacDougall
H&J: 1 Arthur Gillies 2 Hugh MacInnes 3 Donald MacPherson 4 John MacDougall