Editor’s Notebook: Lochnell Championship/ World Drumming/ Fife Police/ Northern Meeting 1983/ Kid’s Pipes

To Argyll today for the Intermediate Piping Championship at romantic Lochnell Castle. The contest brings together some of our finest young talent all aged under 22.

It gladdens the heart when you hear them play. You know the tradition is in good hands. We read so much about youngsters only being interested in the kitchen piping, folk groups and bands.

But these fellows are made of sterner stuff, its heavy MSRs and 15 minute piobaireachd for them. Whoever wins, we can salute these young contestants: Ruairidh Brown, Andrew Ferguson, Luke Kennedy, Cameron May, Gregor MacDonald, Bobby Allen, Brodie Watson-Massey and, from Australia, Liam Nicholson.

The west has missed the worst of the current storm battering the country so travel should not be too worrisome if you plan to attend. Head for Benderloch over the Connel Bridge then hope for the best. Don’t trust the sat nav.

MacRaeBanner ’19
Ayrshire Bagpipes Nov 2020
shepherd banner ’22
silver chanter banner 2024

World Solo Drumming

Also on tomorrow is the World Solo Drumming at Glasgow Caledonian University. Here’s the line up for the two semi finals with the opening rolls of the final at around 4.30pm:

Greig’s New Post

Fife Police have appointed former Inveraray piper Greig Canning as their new P/Sgt. Greig will bring a fresh impetus to this band who successfully maintained their mid-table status during 2023.

Greig Canning winning in London a few years back

The top bands need to have good solo players in their ranks. Such is the intensity of the judging that weak finger work can no longer be hidden. Greig is a successful solo piper so he knows all about technique (and the other stuff) – as does Fife’s P/M, David Wilton. Good luck to the new team.

Inverness 1983

Let’s have a look at some results from the Northern Meeting of 40 years ago:

Gold Medal
1 Gavin Stoddart 2 Robert Wallace 3 James MacGillivray 4 Mike Cusack
Silver Medal
1 Roderick McCourt 2 Ann MacKay 3 William Gass 4 James Hood 5 Edward Clark
‘A’ March
1 Alasdair Gillies 2 Brian Donaldson 3 Murray Henderson 4 William McCallum

P/M Iain McLeod and a very young Gavin Stoddart, winner of the 1983 NM Gold

‘A’ S&R
1 Brian Donaldson 2 Robert Wallace 3 Donald McBride 4 Mike Cusack
Former Winners’ MSR
1 John MacDougall 2 Gavin Stoddart 3 Murray Henderson
1 Tom Speirs 2 Iain Morrison 3 Iain MacFadyen 4 William Livingstone
1 Brian Donaldson 2 Allan MacDonald 3 John Wilson 4 Alasdair Gillies

Pipes Boost

Ten pupils from Aberdeenshire’s Alford Academy and associated primary schools have been loaned new pipes by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust.  Pictured are some of the pupils with their new pipes.

Dougie Trueman, Faculty Head of Performing Arts at Alford Academy said: ‘The SSPDT loan scheme is an absolute game changer for us. It has enabled us to provide our younger chanter players with new sets of pipes which in turn has motivated them to integrate fully with our pipe band at a much earlier stage.’

Alexandra Duncan, director of SSPDT says: ‘The idea of the instrument loan is to give young players time to get to grips with the pipes and time to raise funds to buy their own set which cost upwards of £700.  We also run a Music Enterprise Award scheme which helps young pipers to raise these funds in enterprising ways; by playing at weddings and other events, as well as busking and other enterprising activities, young pipers can soon raise the cash they need.’

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