Editor’s Notebook: Silver Chanter/ 2022 Majors/ National Mod/ Lochaber/ Norrie Gillies

Congratulations to Angus MacColl on winning this year’s Silver Chanter. Talent will out. James from Minneapolis has written. He’s surprised so few people tuned into the livestream. I think there will be many more catch Angus and the others on catch-up James.

But you have a point. The Silver Chanter has lost some stardust since it was moved from Dunvegan Castle. The NPC did well rescuing it. Now they need to think about returning it to its spiritual home.

Anywhere on Skye will do if the Castle play hardball. William Grant Foundation? Taking the arts to the airts is what you are all about. Or so your website used to say.

There’s enough class piping in this city and the rest of the Central Belt. See Piping Live! this week.

The NPC do a great job of running the Chanter. There is no reason the same team can’t operate successfully at distance. Seumas and the College did so successfully for years.

Get it back to Skye Gathering Week. Encourage pipers to enter for Portree. Let the locals hear the top pipers. Audio record for later transmission. No?



With every confidence the RSPBA have announced the major champipnships for next year:

  • British Championships – 21st May (tbc)
  • United Kingdom Championships – 11th June at Lurgan
  • European Championships – 25th June at Inverness
  • Scottish Championships – 30th July at Dumbarton
  • World Championships – 12th/13th August at Glasgow

Many, many months away but we live in hope. For Inverness, Jen Symington writes: ‘Organisers are excited to announce that Piping Inverness, which incorporates the European Pipe Band Championships, will return in 2022.

Bands at Inverness 2019

‘Event organiser LCC Live originally won the contract to host the Europeans in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The company has negotiated an extension for a further two years, which will see it deliver Piping Inverness and the European Championships in 2022 and 2023.

‘Tickets are due to go on sale in the coming weeks. The inaugural Piping Inverness, in 2019, attracted over 17,500 visitors and over 100 pipe bands from around the world, including Australia and America.’


Disappointing news from the National Mod. There will be no senior piping this year, live or online, and the juniors will be restricted to video submissions. James Graham: ‘A charaid chòir,

‘The Royal National Mòd takes place online and in Inverness this year from 8-16 October 2021 Junior piping participants are invited to submit videos of their performances for respective categories by Friday 27th August 2021.  

‘Junior Piping performances will be showcased online this year through our social media channels on Saturday 9th October. Please see the information below for further details on categories and how to submit an entry.

‘For any further information please visit www.ancomunn.co.uk or visit our Facebook page facebook.com/royalnationalmod. Leis gach deagh dhùrachd, James.’


News from Lochaber Gathering (August 27). Ken Cameron: ‘We have seven P/A Piob players, eight P/A MSR, 19 B/C Piob and 22 B/C MSR so far. That would mean a likely 30 playing in the H&J + 6/8 March.

‘Start time for the two indoor platforms will be 8.30am and finishing time 6.30pm. Both grades to play single MSRs, but the judges to pick from two of each tune for the P/A players, while the B/Cs play own-choice.

‘P/A players submit four piobaireachds, B/Cs two tunes. Own choice H&J + 6/8 March. Probably start the outside platform at 10am.’


Northern correspondent Duncan Watson: ‘There was an article in the Press & Journal newspaper regarding Pipe Major Peter Grant who hails from Braemar and who played at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. 

‘This story is a first for the Army apparently as Peter’s brother Ruaridh has been appointed Drum Major of the band, 4 Scots (The Highlanders), thus there are ‘two majors’ in the band, both Grants!

D/M Ruaridh Grant and P/M Peter Grant of The Highlanders

‘There are photographs and one on the front page of the Drum Major and in the background is a piper and you would swear it was Alasdair Gillies (see pictures top and pic below). 

‘I am positive that it is young Norrie who I know is in the Army band. You would think it was an old photograph of his father used as a background.’

Yes a very close likeness Duncan, and Alasdair would be very proud of Norrie’s achievements.

The newspaper report goes on: ‘The next 12 months will see Catterick-based 4 Scots Pipes and Drums perform in a major movie shoot, deploy to Gibraltar on Exercise Tarik Patrol, perform at Armistice remembrance events and prepare for the 2022 competition season.

‘In recent years 4 Scots Pipes and Drums have toured around the world as far as Australia, New Zealand and the USA.’


2 thoughts on “Editor’s Notebook: Silver Chanter/ 2022 Majors/ National Mod/ Lochaber/ Norrie Gillies

  1. The first “big competition” I attended was in Portree. I really enjoyed the two days of top-notch piping topped off by the Dunvegan Medal. I was dismayed on how few people attended. I was one of only a half dozen that attended the whole thing. There was also a lack of youth attending. Maybe because the games were being held too but it is easy enough to walk between the events. I finished my trip going to Dunvegan Castle even though the Silver Chanter had been cancelled that year. I also went to the Cairn. Both should be part of any piping pilgrimage and definitely worth the effort. I would have loved hearing the Silver Chanter that year!

  2. For me also, the Silver Chanter was always about driving to Skye, sitting in the drawing room of the castle with the Windows open listening to the great music in amazing surroundings, nowhere else will ever feel the same.

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