Memorial Gatherings Pay Tribute to the Late Jimmy McIntosh MBE

Two memorial services commemorate and celebrate the contribution to piping of Jimmy McIntosh MBE, who left us earlier this year.  

The first was held on November 13th in Anderson, South Carolina, where we lived latterly. Piping friends from five nearby states and local friends and acquaintances gathered for a service and a ceilidh. Music continued late into the evening at the McIntosh residence. 

By Joyce McIntosh

The second memorial service will be on November 27th outside Pittsburgh, PA, where Jimmy taught at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and spent so many productive years teaching piping to people from near and far, as well as developing a successful youth pipe band. 

At the last count, there will be attendees from at least nine states and two Canadian provinces at this service.

The service will be held in the same church where Jimmy and I were married in 1984 and on a very similar date.  The current minister, being very interested in the Scottish roots of the Presbyterian Church, as well as Jimmy’s roots, has organised tartan banners to be hung in the sanctuary, as well as the Saltire and Lion Rampant flags. Caledonia tartan will drape the altar.  

During the service four piobaireachd grounds will be played by four of Jimmy’s top students each playing a tune he had requested:  Beloved Scotland – Amy Garson, Park Piob. #2 – Mike Cusack, Lament for Patrick Og – Nick Hudson, and Lament for the Children – Andrew Carlisle.

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Heralding the arrival of the closer family will be three of Jimmy’s first CMU students playing Bonnie Glenshee, a tune written by Jimmy.  As the family leaves, they will be accompanied by two of Jimmy’s youngest students in the Balmoral Highlanders band (now adults who have gone on to play in Grade 1 bands), playing the tune, Andrew Carnegie, also written by Jimmy.

Invited guests will then move on to a different venue for the reception, a meal and a ceilidh.  It is expected that many of the pipers present will be happy to give a tune.  There will also be dancers, fiddlers, and some further tributes given. It promises to be a very appropriate celebration of Jimmy’s long, productive life.

Due to covid restrictions at the church and reception facilities, attendance can be by invitation only and is near capacity. 

Cameron McIntosh with his mother Joyce at the South Carolina gathering

Jimmy devoted his life to teaching piobaireachd, and he conveyed the music as he was taught it by Bob Brown and Bob Nicol, the ‘Bobs of Balmoral’, in a tradition going back to the MacCrimmons on the isle of Skye.

Many of Jimmy’s students have achieved great success, winning the top prizes in Scotland and North America. It was Jimmy’s wish to create a scholarship enabling promising pipers to learn from those he taught in the Balmoral Tradition so they might continue to carry the torch that was handed to him by Brown and Nicol.

To this end, a scholarship has been inaugurated in Jimmy’s name and applications are being accepted now. Contact for more details.

If you would like to support the scholarship fund, donations can be made to Pittsburgh
Piping Society. Please write: ‘Jimmy McIntosh MBE Piobaireachd Scholarship Fund’ or simply ‘scholarship fund’ on the memo line. Mail cheques to: Palmer Shonk, 739 Taylor Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15202, USA.

You can also donate via PayPal at this link:

The Pittsburgh Piping Society is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible.

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