Editor’s Notebook: The Real Thing Online/ Posture Concerns/ PP Library/ Round the Games

Anyone who is any doubt about the worth of dressing properly for online piping events should take a look at the judges recital broadcast by the promoters of the USA’s Nicol-Brown Amateur contest.

Right from the off we have the MC Donald Lindsay properly attired, complete with bonnet and Piobaireachd Society tie. Immediately we know that this is a serious cultural event celebrating our shared Scottish heritage and tradition.

There is respect for the endeavour and artistic integrity of the performers. You feel immersed in a piping event of some import. It is the nearest we can get online to the real thing. Check out the recital here (thanks to Catherine Thomas in Brittany for forwarding):

So the formula is simple. As best we can, when we go online we do absolutely everything we would do at a face to face event. Thus, by making sure the only difference is the lack of space sharing, promoters produce a contest as close to the real thing as is possible. And the playing here, by Sarah Muir, Jack Taylor, Patrick Molard and Matt MacIsaac (who should definitely compete more), isn’t bad either.



Reader Dr René Dammer writes from Germany: ‘Only recently I was lucky in getting the reprint of Ross’s Collection of Pipe Music, the 1885 edition.

‘How correct Mr William Ross is in his instructions. He writes, ‘In blowing the pipes the cheeks must be kept firmly contracted, with a smile on the countenance. An easy posture should be maintained without twisting the body, or disfiguring the face.’

‘I feel a lot of teachers are not paying attention to this and many adult pipers are not setting the right example. Living outside of Scotland I follow things reading your articles, watching/listening to live streaming or YouTube videos and I see the risk of health problems.’

Agreed René. I have a chapter on this in my Tutor Book 2 and point to the impeccable posture and dress of the late John D Burgess as seen here:

The man by whom all standards of posture and dress could be set, the late John D Burgess

Major 2021 UK summer events, the Chelsea Flower Show and Edinburgh Tattoo have all announced they will definitely be going ahead but with reduced audiences/ attendances.

This is the sort of early warning we need regarding our major pipe band championships. Tick, tock, tick tock……


We are heading into a long winter with pandemic restrictions varying across the country. Please remember there is lots of stuff on Piping Press to keep your piping interest alive during the dark evenings.

Surf our history pages for example. Whether it is bands or solo piping you are into, there is enough there to keep the most avid reader occupied for many an hour.

There is also an extensive sound archive you can access. What about this lecture by Seumas MacNeill on the life and times of the great Willie Lawrie:

Everything is, of course, free, so please consider supporting the Piping Press Shop if you can.


Round the Games in 1975…
Glenfinnan
Piob
1 Jimmy MacGregor, Glenalmond
2 Jimmy McIntosh, Dundee
3 Garth Neel, Manitoba
March
1 Jimmy MacGregor
2 P/M Angus MacDonald, Scots Guards
3 Angus MacDonald, Glenuig
S&R
1 P/M Angus MacDonald
2 Angus MacDonald
3 Malcolm McRae

Mallaig
Piob
1 Jimmy MacGregor
2 John MacDougall
3 Angus MacDonald
March
1 Jimmy MacGregor
2 Angus MacDonald
3 John MacDougall

A great summer for Jimmy MacGregor. He’s pictured here second from the left, back row, at a Summer School run by the College of Piping in Dingwall in, I think, 1974 (please correct me if wrong). Those in the picture are, back row standing: John MacDougall, Jimmy, Duncan Johnstone, and John Burgess; Front: Donald MacPherson, P/M Ronnie MacCallum, Jimmy McIntosh, P/M John MacKenzie and Fred Morrison

S&R
1 John MacDougall
2 Angus MacDonald
3 Andy Venters
Jig
1 Jimmy MacGregor
2 John MacDougall
3 Angus MacDonald

Skye Gathering
Dunvegan Medal
1 Jimmy MacGregor
2 John MacDougall
3 Angus MacDonald
Clasp to the Medal
1 Iain MacFadyen
2 Jimmy McIntosh
3 Jimmy MacGregor
March
1 William Livingstone
2 Evan MacRae
3 Iain MacFadyen
S&R
1 Angus MacDonald
2 John MacDougall
3 John Burgess
H&J
1 Angus MacDonald
2 John Burgess
3 Malcolm McRae


3 thoughts on “Editor’s Notebook: The Real Thing Online/ Posture Concerns/ PP Library/ Round the Games

  1. It’s an interesting photograph of these greats at the Dingwall summer school .
    My recollection is that the summer school was a result of piping being accepted as an instrument for music O grades, and possibly Seumas McNeill lobbied for funding to cover the costs of the school . I went there with Dougie McBride, all the way from Prestonpans in 1975. I think this was the first year of 3(?) and was very privileged to have tuition for a week by Donald McPherson, which has stuck with me ever since. We were given recitals in the evening by the tutors …
    I don’t recall John D, Duncan Johnson or Jimmy McIntosh being the tutors in 1975 so can’t confirm the year, but made many longstanding friends amongst my fellow students.

  2. Not a bad lineup of tutors at that 1974 Summer School! Can I jump in a time machine and go back and attend that one?

  3. I liked your article, but it made no difference to my placings for the online competition London and south of England. Not one of the placings was in a kilt, and also the competition organiser was placed 2nd even though clearly terrible sound and playing was evident.

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