A mostly dry but blustery day in the shadow of Ben Lomond with a very strong entry in the Open competition. Pictured on the boards today is Edward Gaul, the winner of the ceòl mòr.
The organisers announced a crowd of 3,800 in attendance with a feast of piping both professional and amateur.
Open Piobaireachd, four tunes asked for, 18 played, three prizes, six places.
1 Edward Gaul, The Groat
2 Brian Lamond, Lament for the Only Son
3 Ben Mulhearn, Fair Honey
4 Bobby Allan, End of the Great Bridge
5 Hector Munro, Lament for MacSwan of Roaig
6 Angus MacPhee, MacLeod’s Salute
Open March, three tunes asked for, 18 played
1 Callum Wynd
2 Bobby Allan
3 Angus MacPhee
Open S&R, three tunes of each asked for, 18 played
1 Bobby Allan
2 Callum Wynd
3 Brian Lamond
As regards the playing in the piobaireachd events the Editor writes:
My pal Jimmy and I sat down around 10.30 for six hours of classical pipe music. There are certainly worse ways of spending a Saturday morning and afternoon. Lovely Loch Lomond behind, Beinn Dubh before, fresh blustery air and a grand bunch of pipers seizing the spirit of a real Highland Games and enjoying the participation thereof.
Our first duty was to listen to the amateurs. My, how we were taken with the Grade 1 winner Colin Innes. His Too Long would not have been out of place in the Open contest. Close behind came Northern Ireland’s young Marc Warnock with a slightly over-careful Melbank’s Salute on a balanced, solid pipe. Third went to Craig Turnbull who was just a tad snappy with the percussive low Gs in Flame of Wrath.
There was a pleasant Donald of Laggan from Rob Rogers in Grade 2 and he told us that he had travelled all the way from Atlanta, Georgia. He had a blazing emblem emblazoned on his bag.
We asked for four tunes in the Open. Grade 1 amateur was three. It seemed right that those playing for cash should have the ante upped. First on was young Bobby Allan with End of the High Bridge. This was competant playing if rather too bookish. Bobby is young and will learn. He certainly has the pipe and finger. Hector Munro impressed with MacSwan but he completely mistimed the taorluath doubling. A good fifth though. Rather bookish was the description that could also be applied to Angus MacPhee‘s MacLeod’s Salute. Scant rowing rhythm. Loch Dunvegan would have taken a gey long time to cross Angus, with maybe a few crabs caught on the way. Sixth.
Sweet as a nut were the pipes of third placed Ben Mulhearn and they allowed him to bring the best out of Fair Honey – though he rushed the Thumb and could have phrased more in the subsequent variations. Last on and second placed was Brian Lamond, who like Jimmy had made the substantial drive from the Kingdom. Brian’s Only Son began majestically, the pipe perfectly balanced. More subtlety was needed in the doubling of the first variation and the fingers were not quite rippling at the start of the crunluath.
The winner was Edward Gaul. He gave us the complete package: good technique, a lovely pipe and expressive playing, the variations linked nicely together and progressing to a controlled climax. Edward’s tune was The Groat and he well deserved the financial reward awaiting him in the Secretary’s hut.
Mentions in dispatches: Keith Bowes was heading straight for the prize list until he hit the crunluath in I Gave a Kiss to the King’s Hand. He seems to be playing the movement with an overlong E gracenote to low A causing a distinct lack of rhythm. The a mach was similarly affected. Keith had probably the best pipe of the day which made his technical flaws all the more annoying. Kyle Cameron was steady but hampered by a very flat high G in the Laird of Islay; Queensland’s David Stulpner had good pipes and fingers but was very square with Black Donald; Callum Wynd had the stresses all wrong in the ground of Sir Ewan Cameron; Anna Smart‘s top hand was too keen; Daniel Johnstone has promise but he needs better timing in the Massacre, and a tenor drone that doesn’t double tone; Fraser Allison started well with the Nameless from p380 but the crunluath Gods were not happy and lo his bass drone doth stop mid variation. Cameron MacLeod broke down after a good ground of the Wee Spree. It was good to see the late Tommy Graham‘s son Andrew come all the way from Liverpool for a tune. Catherine’s Lament was shaped well enough but the pipes were off. Brian Mulhearn rushed the second phrase of Tulloch Ard.
Thanks to everyone who took part and to steward Arthur Ross.
CLASP (Amateur Solo Piping)
Grade 1 Piob: 1 Colin Innes, Too Long in this Condition 2 Marc Warnock, Melbank’s Salute 3 Craig Turnbull, Flame of Wrath
Grade 1 March: 1 Colin Innes 2 Marc Warnock 3 Jamie Gallagher
Grade 1 S&R: 1 Colin Innes 2 Marc Warnock 3 Jamie Gallagher
Grade 2 Piob: 1 Rob Rogers, Lament for Donald of Laggan 2 Donald Morrison, Massacre of Glencoe
Grade 2 March: 1 Donald Morrison 2 Rob Rogers
Grade 2 S&R: 1 Donald Morrison 2 Rob Rogers
Grade 3 Piob: 1 Adam Aitchison, Lament for the Old Sword
Grade 3 March: 1 Colin Bathgate 2 Adam Aitchison
Grade 3 S&R: 1 Colin Bathgate 2 Adam Aitchison
Judges for all events: J Banks, R MacShannon, W Morrison, R Wallace.