Editor’s Notebook: Florida Academy/ Ukraine Piper/ Helensburgh Band Recruiting/ Tomintoul Losses/ March for Norman/ SPA AGM

The 2022 Florida Pipe & Drum Academy has concluded successfully with noticeable improvements in performance and knowledge.

The school was the first since the ending of lockdown and, in 2019, the last before the pandemic hit. We only lost one year. Organiser Chris McKeown has expansion plans for next year. We finished with a visit to the North Florida games where many of the students competed with success in the lower grades.

One of our students at the Northern Winter School in Germany, Ukrainian Bogdan Kovalov, has issued a defiant pipe-playing message following the Russian invasion of his country: ‘Together we are strong; together we win! Together we are the force!’

We are with you Bogdan; keep those pipes going in defiance; for Scotland the Brave lets read Ukraine the Brave. Send a message of support for Bogdan and his country below.

Colina Helen Campbell: ‘Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band are looking for more experienced pipers and drummers to add to what they already have. They lost several members during the lockdown period when some moved away from the area.

‘We are posting the attached on the band Facebook and also on band members Facebook pages.  However I wondered if it would be possible to put the post on the Piping Press to get more exposure.’ Contact Colina here.

Duncan Watson: I have just learned of the death of Patricia Grant, Tomintoul. She was an organiser of the village games and was the Secretary for 52 years. She also was involved in the work and activities of the Scottish Games Association.

It was Patricia Grant who administered the Grampian Piping League which is sponsored by John Milne Auctioneers, Aberdeen. There was another death connected with the Tomintoul Games recently too, that of Finlay Walker. Finlay and Patricia’s passing is a great loss to our traditional Highland Games.

Another tune for the late Norman Matheson. John Don MacKenzie: ‘I went over this 2/4 with Norman at the time [2004] which he enjoyed. He felt there was a ‘sad feeling’ in the third part which is when he considered the name ‘NM’s farewell to Dornoch Games’, but we settled on what you see.

‘I do have a recording somewhere of me playing it which at the moment I can’t find. Back then we used to exchange cassette tapes by mail and I also had some audio of Norman playing himself – light music only. I’d need to search but will have it somewhere.’

President Logan Tannock: ‘The Scottish Pipers’ Association will hold their AGM online on March 9 at 7pm. All members of the Association are welcome to attend and should have received the link to join. With the gradual easing of restrictions, and the resumption of in-person events, we intend to be able to provide a much needed update to the membership regarding SPA events at this meeting.’ Contact the Association here.

1 thought on “Editor’s Notebook: Florida Academy/ Ukraine Piper/ Helensburgh Band Recruiting/ Tomintoul Losses/ March for Norman/ SPA AGM

  1. Bogdan – I have shared this on my own social media that will reach into the piping community of the USA where you and your people have much support among our citizens and leaders. We will pray for your safety and for an end to this brutal and needless conflict which has been brought upon your and your peaceful people. Strength and prayers to you and all others around you!

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