I have just finished reading ‘Over the Chidwin to Lochaber’ and found it a very interesting read into the life of this piping legend. I was particular interested in Evan’s time at the Liverpool Scottish. My piping tutor, Joe Massey, gets a mention in book.
Joe was Evan’s Pipe Sgt during his time at PMaj of the Liverpool Scottish and he would often recall stories of him and Evan.
by Pipe Sergeant Instructor Joe Davies, Army School of Bagpipe Music
Joe was quite a talented player himself, learning the Pipes in the Scots Guards as a boy solider under P/M Alex MacDonald, The Sovereign’s Piper. Evan tried to convince Joe to compete for the medals, but he would decline the opportunity due to him thinking he would not have a chance on the prize list as he was from Liverpool.
He finished his player career as a piper with the British Caledonian Airways Pipe Band, and in retirement spent his time teaching the Merseyside Army Cadet Force Pipe Band in Liverpool, this is where I met him.
He was keen composer, were one of his compositions, Lt Col Maitland-Markgill-Crichton, was publish in the ‘Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders Standard Setting of Pipe Music’.
He was a huge inspiration to myself and many other notable layers in Liverpool/Merseyside and was a big reason in me deciding to join the Army. Joe sadly passed away on Christmas Eve 2013.
After reading your Piping Press article on P/M Andy Venters composition, The Lament for Evan Macrae BEM, I was reminded that Joe had also written a tune for Evan, Salute to Pipe Major Evan Macrae.
He did submit the tune to the Piobaireachd Society but for some reason it was not accepted. With more and more modern piobaireachd starting to surface, I wanted to reach out to you and send you a copy of his tune in memory of Evan, which has kindly been shared by Chris Eyre. Here is the tune:
- A review of P/M Macrae’s book will be carried shortly. Read more on the book and a tribute to Evan here.