For twenty years, the Dr. Dan Reid Memorial Challenge Recital (DRM) brought piping, and the best music of the great Highland bagpipe, to Northern California. The brainchild of Dr Dan Reid, P/M Ozzie Reid, and Mr. John Dickson, it started as vision to create a forum in which the instrument and recitalists were optimally presented. Sadly, Dr. Reid never saw the fruition of his dream as he and his wife Barbara were killed in a mountaineering accident on Mt. Kenya in 1991.
By Charlie Martin
Starting in 1992, organizers P/M Ozzie Reid, Mr John Dickson, and the DRM Committee, with the sponsorship of the St. Andrew’s Society of San Francisco Foundation, brought the best exponents of the GHB to San Francisco as both competitors and judges with a competition format designed to challenge the best of the best.
Until the last event in 2011, this competition without a doubt bore the mark of P/M Ozzie Reid (no relation to Dr. Reid).
He presented such challenges as the use of a required restricted tune list; MSRs of two marches, strathspeys, and reels; a jig/hornpipe event; the selection of two-parted strathspeys and reels for MSRs; 20th Century piobaireachd; and a recital format. All were designed to challenge the competitor and entertain the listener. In 1997, the DRM added the Cameron Gillies Championship to similarly test three up-and-coming competitors.
From the beginning, the contest was professionally recorded. This produced a music library on five cassette tapes and fourteen CDs that present the top performances of the day. Containing over 149 tracks with hundreds of tunes, this collection presents an unparalleled library of the best artists, playing the best of our music.
However, access to this collection was limited to those who had a relatively limited number of recordings. Additionally, with cassette tapes obsolete, and CDs becoming so, it became apparent the library would be lost to time and technology.
In 2020, The St. Andrew’s Society of San Francisco Foundation, presenters of the DRM, decided to bring the entire library together in one format and make it available to the greater piping community. To do so, the cassette tapes were digitized, and all the recordings were brought to one platform. Additionally, 25 recordings from the 2010 DRM that were never produced, were remastered. The DRM Music Library can now be made available to the greater piping community.
The St. Andrew’s Society of San Francisco Foundation is a charitable organization created to foster excellence in piping and the promotion of the music of the great Highland bagpipe. The Foundation decided to further this goal through the distribution of the DRM Music Library for non-commercial use to notable institutions known to share the same goals.
To this end the National Piping Center, the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts PEI, the School of Piping, Australia and the Celtic Arts Foundation, WA, received the entire library. The Piobaireachd Society received the collection of 77 piobaireachd and urlars.
By showcasing the best players playing the best music available for offer, the Foundation hopes the library will offer inspiration and instruction to anyone who wishes to produce their own best.
The St. Andrew’s Society of San Francisco Foundation deserves a round of applause for ensuring the legacy of the DRM and the unparalleled Music Library is not lost to time.
The Foundation wants to thank P/M Ozzie Reid for his labour of love in creating the DRM and keeping the original recordings and Mr Jack Lee and Mr Bruce Gandy for their continued advice during the process, plus all the 2010 competitors who assisted in compiling and editing the recordings and reviewing the work. Also, former DRM Committee members Robert Boyd, Andrea Jones and Terry Hunter who provided tapes, CDs and material review during the project.