Editor’s Notebook: Bands Get Ready/ RSPS Results/ Tune Search/ NPC Logo/ Norway Query

Massed bands at Gourock

Up at Oban last weekend fellow judge Robert Barnes was telling me his Methil band are struggling to make the first Major at Forres in a month’s time. They’ve lost their drum corps.

This is a story we’ve all heard before – and all over the country. There is a real need for some structured teaching programme for drummers (and pipers) that helps a band like Barney’s.

Maybe it is something the RSPBA could look at. It never seems to be a problem in Northern Ireland where they have a structured teaching programme via their Piping & Drumming School.

Anyway, to happier news on the pipe band front. The weather looks set fair for this weekend’s contests at Gourock and Banchory (May 12), the first of the outdoor season. Good entries at Gourock with five bands in G1, starting with Scottish Power at 16.20 to be followed by Boghall, Police Scotland, Johnstone and Shotts. There’s a good entry in G2 also with 12 bands forward. Full draw here.

MacRaeBanner ’19
Ayrshire Bagpipes Nov 2020
shepherd banner ’22


Results of the annual competitions of the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society, April 19th and May 3rd/4th. Overall winner (and holder of the Pipe Major William Ross Cup) was John Frater, and the runner-up Iain MacDonald. B Piobaireachd: 1 M Turner-Kerr, Glengarry’s Lament 2 K Adam, Munro’s Salute; Senior Members’ March: 1 L Barrett, Capt. Norman Orr-Ewing 2 D Macleod, Australian Ladies 3 W Gray, P/M John Stewart; Slow March: 1 L Barrett, I gave a Kiss to the King’s Hand 2 S Letford, Farewell to Govan 3 R Frater, Mallorca; 6/8 March: 1 A Forbes, P/M Peter Phileman 2 Alan McGhie, Angus McKinnon 3 R Frater, Tug Argan Gap; Confined March: 1 S Letford, Highland Wedding 2 I Bell, Miss Elspeth Campbell 3 I Laurenson, Sir William MacPherson of Cluny

2/4 March: 1 S Letford, P/M Sandy Spence 2 R Frater, Lady Lever Park 3 D Macleod, The Conundrum; S&R: 1 D Macleod, Lady MacKenzie/ Rejected Suitor 2 S Letford, Maggie Cameron/ Sound of Sleat 3 R Frater, Clachnaharry/ Col. Macleod; A Piobaireachd: 1 S Letford, Rout of Glenfruin 2 I MacDonald, MacFarlanes’ Gathering 3 L Barrett, Catherine’s Lament; MSR: 1 R Frater, Lady Lever Park/ Dorrator Bridge/ Champion Piper 2 J Frater, Marching in the Byre/ DP MacGillivray/ Maj. Colin M. Kerr 3 I MacDonald, Donald MacLellan of Rothesay/ Maggie Cameron/ Alick C. MacGregor; Jig: 1 I Bell, P/M Joe Wilson 2 J Frater, Braeriach 3 L Barrett, Donnie MacGregor 4 M Turner-Kerr, The Seagull

Tune Search

Reader Stephen Beattie: ‘Could any of your readers help by supplying a copy of the tune The Royal Australian Regiment?  To my knowledge, the only book that has this tune is the ‘Caledonian Collection of Highland Bagpipe Music 2/4 Competition Marches, Book 1 (The Susan Campbell Memorial Collection)’.

‘If anyone has a copy of the above book and could let me have a copy of the tune, I would be very grateful.’ Contact Stephen here.

Piping Centre

At the Piping Centre yesterday for a chat with Principal Finlay MacDonald. He tells me that they are about to release details of this year’s Piping Live festival so look out for that. Also on the cards next week at CCA Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, are recitals by the Bachelor of Music piping graduates.

Fin also revealed the Centre’s new logo. It’s a more modern look, screen friendly, more suited to digital transmission. It has met with some sniffy responses. I don’t know what you think. I must say I quite liked the old one but maybe it did look a bit dated. Here’s the logo with Finlay (l) and NPC Commercial Director Calum Stamper:

Worlds Qualification

Reader Åge Jonny Jørgensen, Norway: ‘Do the World Champions of 2023, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate, have to go through a qualification test for the Worlds at Glasgow Green in August?

‘In 1995 we formed our very first pipe band, Oslo Caledonian (OCPB). The year after, we got Robert Robertson as the pipe major. He had been teaching the juveniles of Boghall when he lived in Scotland.

‘He was very happy when ‘his’ band in Scotland finally succeeded in 2023! Till then he had travelled from Norway a few times to Scotland to practice with them, but he did not play with them at the Worlds. In Norway he taught the pipes to the present pipe major of OCPB, Nikolai Hagen Huse.’

Thanks for that Åge. There is no qualifier at Worlds; it ended a few years ago. All Grade 1 bands have to play on the Friday and Saturday. The results from both days are combined to give us a winner. Your band can be proud of its association with the Boggies!


1 thought on “Editor’s Notebook: Bands Get Ready/ RSPS Results/ Tune Search/ NPC Logo/ Norway Query

  1. Afraid the problem with drum corps does exist in Northern Ireland piping and drumming school notwithstanding

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