Archie Kenneth Quaich Today ‘Live’ Online/ Dan’s New Book/ Eilidh’s Legacy Helps Young Musicians

The competition for the prestigious Archie Kenneth Quaich takes place today (Sat., May 22) online. The contest is being run under the auspices of the Piobaireachd Society’s Music Committee. It features 23 amateur pipers several of whom are previous winners of the coveted Quaich. They are, in playing order:

Martin Lee Wey Vern , Leslie Barrett, Dugald MacLeod, Alasdair Beaton, Gill Cairns, James Carnegie , Billy Wardrope
Tom Peterkin , Stuart Letford, Lachlan MacDonald, Andrew Park, Dagmar Pesta, Neil Scotland, Stewart Allan, Andrea Jones, Stephen Anderson, Jim Waugh, Giovanni Giulianini, Joe Moore, John Hunt, Colin MacKenzie, Iain Kirkwood, Stuart Marshall.

To listen/watch to the contest you need to be a member of the Piobaireachd Society. Members have been sent the required link. You can join here. The contest will run throughout the day with the pipers playing ‘live’ from their chosen venue.

Each piper has submitted two tunes one of which they will be asked to play. Judges are one of the world’s top pipers Iain Speirs, and Edinburgh based Euan Anderson.

The prizewinners will be announced at a special PS online event on June 2.

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The publishers of a forthcoming book by Lanarkshire piper Dan Nevans, a Worlds winner with Shotts & Dykehead, have sent this: ‘Piobaireachd is for Everyone’ is a new book about the social, cultural, and musical development history of ceòl mòr.

Demystifying the big music in a friendly, less academic manner, ‘Piobaireachd is for Everyone’ presents the reader with a fun, personable introduction to the world of ceòl mòr.

The book will be available in August 2021 from all good piping shops and at

Here is a short excerpt from Chapter 13, ’20th Century Boys’: ‘In the play Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare says, ‘Some men are born great, some men achieve greatness, and some men have greatness thrust upon them‘. Any of these three statements can be used to describe both Donald MacLeod and John MacLellan.

‘Both pipers not only maintained the line of ceòl mòr tuition and performance as it was taught to them but also used the contemporary technologies of the time to extend their teaching reach. Donald MacLeod and John MacLellan were highly decorated pipers, composers, and teachers……’ 

Dan Nevans – The Author: A native of Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, Dan was brought up in a piping family, first introduced to piping by his father John. Dan was one of the inaugural members of The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and holds an honours degree in Applied Music from The University of Strathclyde. Since September of 2017 Dan has held a Level 8 certification from the PDQB.

In 2005 Dan joined the then Robert Wiseman Dairies’ Vale of Atholl pipe band and began his Grade One pipe band career. From 2010 to 2018, Dan was a member of Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia pipe band, winning the world pipe band championships in 2015. This was the first Grade One world championship victory for a Scottish pipe band in 10 years. In October of 2018 Dan joined the Glasgow Police pipe band and became an interim Pipe Sergeant. From September of 2019 Dan has been on a hiatus from pipe bands to write this book. 

Since graduating from University in 2010, Dan has become much sought after as an instructor having taught for Lathallan School in Angus and privately for many years. Since August of 2016, Dan has been a member of the teaching staff at The National Piping Centre, Glasgow. Through the Centre, Dan has taught all over Europe and performed in recital and competition across the globe. 

A well known figure around the pipe band and solo piping scene, Dan has enjoyed much success in competitive piobaireachd as well as Light Music. Returning to competitive solo piping in 2013, Dan worked his way up from the bottom of the CPA C Grade to picking up prizes in Open Highland Games competitions and the highly competitive CPA B Grade. 

Dan has been featured on BBC Radio Scotland’s Pipeline, lectured to The Piobaireachd Society Conference (2017), written for the periodicals and websites as well as co-hosting a podcast series with Dr Andrew Bova. ‘Piobaireachd Is for Everyone’ is Dan’s first book. 

The Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust has launched a new funding scheme to support youth music groups across Scotland.

The funding was launched just ahead of the fourth anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack which took 14-year-old Eilidh’s life along with 21 others. Financial support in the form of small grants will help music groups prepare for the eventual move back to in-person teaching, group lessons, public performances and competitive events.

Music groups and organisations are being encouraged to submit funding requests to be considered by the trust by 30 June 2021.

Eilidh’s Trust was established in 2018 in memory of Eilidh MacLeod from the isle of Barra who died in the Manchester attack on 22 May 2017. The trust supports music education for young people reflecting Eilidh’s own love of music and her musical ability and enjoyment as a piper with the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band. The trust will also manage and maintain a permanent memorial to Eilidh and a garden of remembrance and reflection on Barra.  

Suzanne White, founder of Eilidh’s Trust, announced the support saying: ‘We know that many music groups have had a tough time during lockdown and last year we supported several groups to ensure they could continue virtual teaching. As we are now starting to move out of lockdown and towards a greater degree of normality including face to face lessons and public performances, Eilidh’s Trust is keen to ensure youth music groups are supported through this transition.

‘We are keen to hear from groups of any musical genre from across Scotland that feel small grant support would help their students grow and flourish over the coming months.”

Youth music groups that are keen to be considered for small grant funding should contact Eilidh’s Trust outlining the following details:

·      The group’s background and history

·      The nature of the group’s need and how Eilidh’s Trust funding would benefit their young musicians

·      The group’s compliance with all regulations for safeguarding and protection of children

Interested groups should contact: Deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.

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