Thirty five years ago Donald Morrison, the Champion PIper and noted composer, compiled a book of tunes. It was never properly marketed and when Donald died in 1988 interest in it lapsed.
Recent correspondence with his daughter Sheona MacDonald and Piping Press editor Robert Wallace led to its being re-compiled in digital format and it is now offered to the public as an e-book.
Sheona said: ‘I am delighted with the new book and cannot thank Piping Press enough for making it possible. My aim is to bring my dad’s music to a new generation of pipers. The book is offered at a nominal, non-profit price. The small charge is merely to cover overheads.
‘My father would be thrilled that his music is once more before the piping public.’
Donald was a native Gaelic speaker born in South Uist. He received early lessons from John McDonald, Inverness. Later he received extensive piobaireachd tuition from RU Brown and RB Nicol. He joined the Aberdeen City Police (now Grampian Police) and quickly became their pipe major.
As a competitor, his solo awards are too numerous to mention, but they did include the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal at Inverness in 1961 (Lament for Alasdair Dearg MacDonnell of Glengarry), the Former Winners’ March Strathspey & Reel, the Bratach Gorm and the Silver Chanter.
‘Highland Bagpipe Music’ by Donald Morrison (digital download)
As a teacher he was in constant demand, and apart from his own weekly piping classes in Aberdeen, he taught abroad in Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and for some years he tutored with considerable distinction.
Many of the tunes in the book refer to characters and indivicuals he met on these trips abroad. Also in the book is his famous jig, Donald, Willie and His Dog. This is the tune with which Donald won the jig competition at thr Northern Meeting. The full story about this tune has already been covered in Piping Press.
Donald’s sense of humour is evident in the titles of companion tunes, Donald, Hugh and His Dog, Donald, Rory and His Dog, All the Other Dogs, And the Puppy.
The book, in Donald’s own hand, runs to more than 60 pages and stories of some of the tunes are included.
The full contents are: