It Is Time We Addressed the Issue of Pipe Band Sizes

I had this message from Ken Stewart, Northern Ireland, the other day: ‘I just stumbled on an old programme of the European Championships in Stranraer 1989. There were 24 bands playing in Grade 1 and 34 in Grade 2. It is startling just how many of these bands are on longer operational.’ Indeed it is Ken. There is a decline and it is creeping up on us. And don’t use the…

Editor’s Notebook: Worlds Prices/ SPA Meeting/ PS Summer School/ Festival of Junior Piping/ Luss Games

Tickets are now on sale for the Worlds and already there has been a frisson of discontent regarding spectator prices. One reader has written: ‘I have noticed that tickets for the Worlds have just gone on sale on the Tickets (theworlds.co.uk) ‘I am a little shocked at the various add-ons to the face value of the ticket, thus…. A 12% booking fee will be added to all tickets A £1…

Editor’s Notebook: Teaching At the Highest Level is the Only Answer to Decline/ Atlantic Canada Challenge

Michael Grey, the invigorating new President of Ontario’s Piping and Pipe Band Society, lamented on social media the decline of bands and piping in his province. Mike’s bout of mild depression was occasioned by his perusal of an old programme from 1972 of the Canadian National Exhibition Intercontinental Gathering held in Toronto. Ontario then was second only to Scotland in the piping empire. Dozens of bands in every grade. Top…

Balmoral School, USA/ New Piping & Drumming Teaching Posts/ Antrim Contest This Weekend

July 17-21, the Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming returns to its roots, hosting 2022’s summer camp at the university campus in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Students can join fellow pipers and drummers for classes on campus, or register for online classes.  The week will include instruction and performances by leading pipers with opportunities for both individual and group instruction, as well as camp-wide activities suitable for all ages and ability levels….

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Editor’s Notebook: Jubilee Pipers/ Lorient Faux Pas/ Ivory Pipes/ Graingers and Reeds/ Donald’s Tune

I know it was a week ago, but I do not want this column to pass without recognising all those pipers, both military and non, who made their contribution to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Reading reports and watching the ceremonies live, it was clear that we pipers did our bit on what was a uniquely historic occasion. The jewel in our crown was P/M Stuart Liddell whose composition Diu…