Lochaber Piping Society/ Scots Guards KO/ Piobaireachd Society Conference

Angus MacColl is in recital at Lochaber Piping Society next month

Lochaber Piping Society held its AGM recently, writes Ken Cameron, Chairman. We retain the talented team of volunteers who have successfully organised our programme over the past few years, including our Junior Piping and Drumming Competition held in late March, and the Lochaber Gathering held in late August.

In addition, we have held popular recitals. Considering that the core at the heart of the Society consists of so few, the phrase that emerged at the AGM, ‘punching above its weight’ really is apt.

Our programme for this year includes an exciting recital on 16th February featuring Angus MacColl Snr. supported by local players. Our Junior Competition will be held on Saturday 23rd March and will feature the now traditional ‘Recital by the Judges’ on the preceding evening.

The Lochaber Gathering will be held on Friday 23rd August (the day after the Argyllshire Gathering). Both of these competitions will follow the formats used previously, with minor tweaks, and details will be published soon.

The Piobaireachd Society has kindly provided vital support for our Junior competition. Four piobaireachd classes will feature: two age-grouped (14 & Under and 15-18yrs); a Ground-only class, and the P/M Donald MacLeod class where competitors play a tune composed by him.

Scots Guards KO

Sandy Cameron prevailed over Christopher McLeish in the latest heat of the Scots Guards Knockout competition, reports Jimmy Banks. Both played very well in front of an audience of 50.

Sandy Cameron

Next heat is on 25th February when Luke Kennedy and Cameron May lock horns. Venue is the Scots Guards Club in Haymarket, Edinburgh, at 4pm. On that date we’ll also do a draw for the semi finals. These will be probably be held on the last Sundays in March and April. Already through are Angus J MacColl, Brodie Watson-Massey and Sandy.

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PS Conference

The Piobaireachd Society has confirmed the papers for its Annual Conference to be held in the Royal George Hotel, Perth, on March 22-24, writes President Robert Wallace. They are as follows:

‘Military Bagpipe Music and the Role of the PS’ – John Forbes
‘Piobaireachd in North America’ – Mike Cusack
‘Composing a Piobaireachd’ – Major Stuart Samson
‘Campbell Canntaireachd Settings of Well Known Pieces’ – Dr Jack Taylor

Mike Cusack, flying in from the US for the PS Conference

The first, presented by General Committee member John Forbes, is based on a book written by the late Diana Henderson which traces the role of piping in the Army and the formation of the Army School. Flying in from Texas is Mike Cusack who will look at the burgeoning of ceòl mòr in North America over several decades. Noted composer Stuart Samson will discuss his latest prizewinning piece and offer insight into the creative process. Finally PS Music Editor Jack Taylor will demonstrate some original settings of popular tunes to be found in the Campbell Canntaireachd. The conference is open to all with day visits £15 (includes lunch). More information here.

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