The committee of the Nicol-Brown amateur competition in the US deserve credit for instituting and maintaining a dress and deportment prize in their annual event. Looking at the photographs of the youngsters competing (above) is so much more pleasurable than had they been parading in shorts and t-shirts. The D/D winner, Kevin Darmadi, is top centre.
The pipers are learning early on that the instrument and its music is deserving of respect. I will say once again: piping is ridiculed far too often for us to allow it to become a ‘dressing-down’ occasion. Look at the old photographs of past champions we all enjoy perusing. Don’t tell me these men did not have the highest regard for their music tradition, that the visual does not matter and that it is the music that counts.
I quote from a well-known mainstream music website: ‘The clothes you wear during a performance tell other people about who you are, how important the performance is to you, and how you feel about your talent.
‘Sloppiness conveys the impression that you couldn’t care less about making a good impression, that you either don’t care about what other people think, or that you think you’re too important to take your time dressing for a performance. Both will insult the very people who you want to make a favourable impression on.
- Follow Dress Code Guidelines …. you should make every effort to conform to the rules because it shows that you respect the association and the people in charge.
- Neatness Pays …. shirts tucked in, all of your clothes clean and wrinkle-free and stain-free, and properly groomed hair all indicate that you are taking the performance seriously.
- Dress Up Rather than Down …. you will always make a better impression by choosing performance attire that looks the part. By choosing dressier items, you tell others that your appearance is important. This type of attitude has been proven to help you be successful.‘
Dressing appropriately more than just affects the impressions other people have about you; it actually plays a key role in your own confidence, be the performance online or in front of a live audience.
Correspondent Alistair Aitken writes: ‘I noticed that when you posted the article about the 1979 Worlds at Nottingham two people commented that Fintan Lalor was the first overseas band to win the Worlds drumming.
‘I suppose that is technically correct as Fintan Lalor from the Republic of Ireland won the drumming under Paddy Donovan in 1939 when the World Championships were held at Cowal Games. I should have made it clear that Triumph Street was the first overseas band to win the drumming at an RSPBA World Championships (i.e. after 1947).’
The Grade 1 results at the Nottingham Worlds were:
1st Strathclyde Police
2nd Dysart & Dundonald
3rd Lothian & Borders Police
4th Shotts & Dykehead
5th Triumph Street (Canada)
6th City of Victoria (Canada).
Reader Jim Thomson writes: ‘Do you know where I would find a copy of the music for Colin Campbell’s, The Boys from Cumbrae, written some time in 2000s. Do not know exactly when. With thanks’. Can anyone help Jim?
I am pleased to report that Iain Murdo Morrison is back home on Lewis after a bout of illness which necessitated a stay at hospital in Glasgow. Iain is resting and responding well to his medication. I am sure everyone will want to pass on their regards to this great piper. Iain’s brainchild, the Donald MacLeod Memorial, competition takes place at the Piping Centre on November 27 and will be available via livestream.
Still with wee Donald, Robert Currie of the Clan Currie, writes: ‘Dear Mr. Wallace, I was delighted to discover Donald MacLeod’s MacMhuirich’s Salute, first published in 1977 in ‘With Sword and Harp.’ The WWII officer referenced in the notes is Co. William McMurdo Currie. Though not a true Highland Chief in the eyes of the Lord Lyon, he was lovingly viewed as the Head of the Clan by many Curries across the Western Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
‘Before he passed in 1992, he gave me the honorary title of Commander of the Clan Currie. Fast forward to 2017 and after great encouragement by the Rt. Hon. Dr. Joseph Morrow, the Curries held a convention in Glasgow to officially nominate and present to Lyon their choice as Commander of the Name and Arms of Currie.
‘The Clan Currie Society is a not-for-profit arts charity which is very active in Scottish history and heritage.’
Argyllshire Gathering Results of the Gold & Silver Medals 1982
1 Evan MacRae, Fort William, Flame of Wrath for Squinting Patrick
2 Ronald MacShannon, Glasgow, Battle of the Pass of Crieff
3 Chris Terry, South Africa, Lord Lovat’s Lament
4 Wilson Brown, Inverness, Lament for John Garve MacLeod of Raasay
Judges: J Burgess, Dr R Frater, P/M R MacCallum; 18 entered; eight tunes asked for.
1 James Stack, New Jersey
2 Mike Cusack, Houston, Texas
3 Sgt. Iain Macey, Royal Tank Regiment
4 Leslie Watson, Annan
5 Eddie Clark, Pitlochry
Judges: A Pitkeathly, S MacNeill; 37 entered.
I remember hearing Evan’s tune in the Corran Halls. He was last on and this was to be his final year of competing. Half way through we, his fellow competitors, all started rooting for him. He was such a nice man and had done so much for piping in the Army and latterly in establishing an excellent teaching programme in the schools in Fort William and the rest of Lochaber. This would be the crowning glory of his career. He mustn’t falter now when the biggest prize of all was within his grasp. Nor did he.