Editor’s Notebook: AG Lochnell Championship/ Capt. John Contest/ Clan Maciver Tune/ Lorient Festival

Prizewinners at the 2021 AG Lochnell

The Argyllshire Gathering’s Intermediate Championship 2022 will be held at Lochnell Castle near Oban on October 22.

Eight leading young professional pipers will be invited to compete for what has already become a sought after title. Last year’s winner, Andrew Ferguson, Dollar Academy, is pictured second left above.

Styled after the Glenfiddich Championship for senior pipers, the Lochnell requires a submission of four Piobaireachd and four MSRs the winner in each section being declared the overall Champion Piper.

The selection process for invitees will cover results from Oban and Inverness and other competitions deemed appropriate at this level. The promoters eventually hope they will be able to expand the contest to include overseas players. There may be new trophies for Piob and MSR sections this year.

Eagle Pipers

Douglas Gardiner, President of the Eagle Pipers Society: ‘I am pleased to be able to confirm the Society will be running the Captain John A MacLellan MBE Memorial Dinner & Recital Competition on Friday 26th August 2022.

‘The venue will be the Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh.  Dress code is black tie. Further details on tickets and pipers will be confirmed in due course.

Captain John MacLellan

‘The event is one of Edinburgh’s very few premier solo piping events and honours of one of our founding members. 

‘Notwithstanding the generous support of the William Grant Foundation, the economics of the event are very finely balanced.   We are committed to keeping the same format this year and will review any necessary changes going forward.’

Clan Maciver Letter

Dear Sir, I am the Chairman of the Clan Maciver Society and we intend to have a Clan Gathering on the 18th June 2022 at Strathendry Castle, Fife. This event (the third Gathering of our Clan in modern times) is being held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of  the founding of our Clan Society. We have recently discovered the piobaireachd called Maciver’s March, the Gathering tune of our clan which has not been played at a Clan Maciver event since the 1850s.

An acquaintance, who is an Army piper, is, I think, trying to learn it. However I was wondering if you knew of any pipers in this area who can play piobaireachds, in case he is unable to master the tune it in time. I understand that these Highland airs can sometimes be quite difficult to play. I would be very grateful for your help,  Regards,  Iain A Maciver, Baron of Strathendry, Strathendry Castle, Leslie, Fife strathendry@gmail.com

Can any reader help the Clan Chief? The tune was recently ‘discovered’ by Dr Jack Taylor and Patrick Molard during their joint study of the Campbell Canntaireachd (Vol 1, tune 65). The results of their work are on the Piobaireachd Society website where the tune is played in superbly spirited fashion by Patrick. Here’s a short excerpt:

Lorient Festival

Tom Johnstone, Scottish Organiser for the Lorient Festival in Brittany: ‘One of our two invited bands has had to pull out last week due to covid issues.

‘We now require a band of good standard with playing members of 25-30. Preference will be given to bands applying from Grades 1, 2 and 3 although a high standard Grade 4 band could be considered. The band can also include other instruments and possibly dancers too (numbers permitting).

‘Due to current covid restrictions in France, band members would need to be fully vaccinated. Dates are 5th – 14th August, with actual travel dates of 3rd August returning Monday 15th August. Coach travel, College accommodation and all meals are provided free of charge.

‘The Lorient Festival is the largest Celtic Music and Culture Festival in the world, peaking at around 750,000 visitors.

‘Duties include :

  • Stadium performance on five evenings
  • Grand Parade and various street parades
  • Mini-band etc performances at the Scottish Pavilion
  • One stage performance (45 minutes)
  • Pipe band contest including MSR, Medley and Drum Corps contest

‘Any interested parties should email Tom Johnstone at  scotland@interceltique-lorient.bzh

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