Travelling the World as a Pipe Band Adjudicator – Part 2

During my time as an RSPBA adjudicator I judged in the USA on six occasions.  The first two of these were at Costa Mesa in Orange County, close to Los Angeles.  The first time I travelled over with the late and legendary Pipe Major Angus MacDonald MBE, formerly of the Scots Guards.  Angus was a hilarious companion during the trip.  When we arrived we joined up with Pipe Major Harry…

Travelling the World as a Pipe Band Adjudicator

You may have read in my last instalment about my career and journeys as a drummer with the Edinburgh Police/ Lothian & Borders Police band. I was privileged to experience a much greater number of international assignments during my time as an RSPBA adjudicator.  The first competition I judged in Europe was at Swifterbant, near Amsterdam.  I was sent there on at least four occasions by Robert (Bob) Nichol, the…

Worldwide Travel With the City of Edinburgh Police PB and that Worlds Win at Corby

My first international playing experience was a trip to the inaugural Scottish Highland Games in San Diego, California, in 1974 with the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band. The trip also involved the band playing at Disneyland and SeaWorld in San Diego, and in Tijuana in Mexico.  It was interesting to discover at that time that San Diego had a Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band which had existed since 1946 and that…

Worldwide Depth of Interest Will See us Survive Our Annus Horibilis

There is no doubt that the year 2020 was a total disaster for the piping and pipe band community in many respects as a result of COVID-19, but one positive aspect which did emerge was the tremendous interest, fellowship and community spirit which exists in piping and pipe band music worldwide.  This depth of interest may not normally be publicised widely and may not be well understood by members of…

Considering the Work of Two Giants of Pipe Band Drumming

In looking for things to do to break the monotony of the latest lockdown restrictions in Scotland I came across copies of two articles relating to the teaching of pipe band drumming which were given to me a long time ago by Allan Chatto from Sydney in Australia.  The articles, written probably in the 1940s or 50s for the then Piping, Drumming and Highland Dancing Journal, were by two of…