Category Archives: News

PP Ed’s Blog: Inveraray PB/ BB Exhibition/ Pipers’ Persuasion/ Judges Poll/ Jubilee March

I hear Inveraray Pipe Band are to pipe in the New Year on BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay television show. It caps off a great year for the band after they were crowned World Champions on Glasgow Green last August.

Add to that the fact that P/Sgt Alasdair Henderson won the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting and Leading Drummer Steven McWhirter the World Solos and you can see that the band has something to celebrate come the bells welcoming in 2018. Hearty congratulations to them. Here’s Steven winning the drumming with a little help from Callum Beaumont, another Inveraray champion piper:


Still in Argyll, Allan Hamilton tells me that he has completed video interviews with I’ray P/M Stuart Liddell and Angus MacColl, the latest in the Pipers Persuasion series. The videos will go live possibly at the end of the month; watch PP for notification. This series has become increasingly important as time takes its toll. Thanks to Allan we have interviews with recently deceased luminaries such as Lt Col David Murray.

I met Allan at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow yesterday to do a voiceover and film for him on the exhibition celebrating the founding of the Boys Brigade in Glasgow in 1883 by Sir William Smith. In a remarkable coincidence a woman, Mrs Irene McClue, was there from Melbourne, Australia. She  overheard me talking about the 214 BB company, Gordon Park Church and our minister the Rev. Harry Thompson. Mrs McClue rightly interrupted to tell us that that was the company her husband, David McClue, formerly of 1237, Dumbarton Road, Whiteinch, Glasgow, and now living near to Melbourne Australia, formerly a BB bugler, had belonged to as a youngster in the 1950s.

Allan kept on filming as she talked of his friendship with Joe Noble the well known drumming judge, and other bits from her time in Glasgow pre-emigration and how the BB was thriving in Australia. I was able to tell her of the 214 ex-members association and asked her to ask her husband to make a short video message for our annual dinner next March. Allan has it all on film and will be making it available once the editing is complete. Serendipitous or what.



Considerable response to my article on judges and when they should retire – and to the accompanying poll. Please let us have your thoughts:


Iain Duncan (pictured), former archivist for the RSPBA, has kindly forwarded this: Taking the opportunity of going through more storage boxes of which I’d forgotten their contents, I came across this curio (attached). It’s an original cutting from the Daily Record and Mail (presumably the forerunner of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail) of Monday, 6th May 1935.  It looks like there was more newspaper interest in piping back in those days, certainly enough to promote a tune composing competition.  Some interesting gracing and inconsistencies in the notation and it’s surprising that whoever adjudicated the entries did not even sort things out for the composer. I’ve checked my big tune index and there is no sign of it ever having been followed up. Anyway, hope you find it of some interest.

Very interesting Iain and I see what you mean about the gracing – look at the way the grips and taorluaths were presented as recently as the 1930s (if that is recent). It was these inconsistencies that P/M Willie Ross standardised in his famous collection and all pipe music written today now follows the P/M Ross pattern.

Would that the Daily Record still showed some interest in piping other than children at the Worlds wearing glengarries and licking ice cream and visiting footballers trying to blow sets of plastic pipes. Along with tripods, lenses etc., these used to be standard photographic equipment for the tabloids and probably still are.


New South Wales Solo Piping & Drumming Championships

The 2017 New South Wales Solo Piping and Drumming Championships were held at the wonderful location of Scots College, Sydney on Sunday 19th November 2017. On the day, the NSWPBA also presented the first annual trophies for the newly initiated yearly aggregate championships.

These results are taken from the aggregate results of four contests held throughout the year and will hopefully encourage competitors to support multiple events and improve their playing by keeping up their standard across the entire season.

NSW STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS
A Grade Piobaireachd
1st JASON CRAIG   (pictured)
2nd AINSLEY HART
3rd DENNIS BROWNING

A Grade March, Strathspey & Reel
1st JASON CRAIG
2nd DENNIS BROWNING
3rd AINSLEY HART

A Grade Hornpipe & Jig
1st AINSLEY HART
2nd ADAM HARVEY
3rd JASON CRAIG

A Grade March 6/8
1st ADAM HARVEY
2nd JASON CRAIG
3rd DENNIS BROWNING

B Grade Piobaireachd
1st BEDE PATTERSON
2nd SAM CREED
3rd STEPHEN ROSS



B Grade 2/4 March
1st SAM CREED
2nd BEDE PATTERSON
3rd SCOTT NELSON

B Grade Strathspey & Reel
1st SAM CREED
2nd BEDE PATTERSON
3rd ADAM EARL

B Grade Hornpipe & Jig
1st JIM STUART
2nd ALASDAIR CAVENEY
3rd BEDE PATTERSON

C Grade Piobaireachd
1st BEDE PATTERSON
2nd KIM TICEHURST
3rd JAMES TAN

C Grade 2/4 March
1st AIDAN BESTWICK
2nd JACK IRVING
3rd CAMPBELL DUFF

C Grade Strathspey & Reel
1st BEDE PATTERSON
2nd AIDAN BESTWICK
3rd MATT LIM

D Grade Piobaireachd
1st JAKE EVANS
2nd SEBASTIAN TURNER
3rd LIAM NICHOLSON

D Grade Air
1st HAMISH BELL
2nd JACOB CAESAR
3rd JAMES  TAN

D Grade 2/4 March
1st JACOB CAESAR
2nd RICHARD LOWRY
3rd MAGNUS LAHRA

AGGREGATE STATE CUP 2017 –  CHAMPIONS

Piping
A- DENNIS BROWNING
B- SAM CREED
C- BEDE PATTERSON
D- JAMES TAN

Snare
A- CHRIS JOHNSTONE
B- HARRY JONES
C- WILL CARRIGAN
D- VIRUNA TENNAKOON

Tenor
D – BEN CRAWFORD
C- ISABELLE PLUNKET
A – ALEX HUNT

Bass
D – JACKSON THURKETTLE
C- CLAIR ADAMSON
A – MICHAEL SMITH


Alistair Bevan, British Columbia, Wins Top Canadian Amateur Contest

Bob Worrall reports: The 22nd George Sherriff Memorial Invitational wrapped up on Saturday night (Nov 18).  A great day all round with terrific performances from the 10 competitors. 

Further details are on the contest website:  www.georgesherriffinvitational.com . The Overall Champion was Alistair Bevan. Alistair [main picture above] is the son of SFU P/M Alan Bevan, the noted double Gold Medallist. There were three different winners in the individual events so prizes were spread around quite nicely.

Champions both….Alan Bevan with son Alistair

The players at this year’s contest were:
ALISTAIR BEVAN – British Columbia
TORI KILLORAN – British Columbia
ALASDAIR MARTIN – Arizona
MARK MCCLENNAN – Ontario
BEN MONTROSS – Vermont


CHARLES MORRIS – California
GAVIN MACKAY – Ontario
CHRISTIAN RHOADS – Missouri
CALEB THIBODEAU – Ontario
LAUREANO THOMAS-SANCHEZ – Ohio

The adjudicators were: Ian K. MacDonald (Ontario), Ann Gray (Alberta), and Brian Switalla (New Zealand).



The 2017 Master of Ceremonies was Peter Aumonier.

RESULTS
6/8 MARCHES:
1ST – Laureano Thomas-Sanchez
2ND – Alistair Bevan
3RD – Tori Killoran
4TH – Christian Rhoads
5TH – Caleb Thibodeau

PIOBAIREACHD:
1ST – Ben Montross
2ND – Caleb Thibodeau
3RD – Alistair Bevan
4TH – Gavin Mackay
5TH – Alasdair Martin


Check out the PP picture gallery. Pictures courtesy Bob Worrall:

Top five pipers at the GS
Piobaireachd winners
Ceol mor champion
Ben Montross
GS MSR winners
Competitors and judges
6/8 winners
6/8 winner Loreano
MSR champion Tori Killoran


MARCH, STRATHSPEY & REEL:
1ST – Tori Killoran
2ND – Laureano Thomas-Sanchez
3RD – Alistair Bevan
4TH – Caleb Thibodeau
5TH – Christian Rhoads

OVERALL RESULTS:
1ST – Alistair Bevan
2ND – Laureano Thomas-Sanchez
3RD – Tori Killoran
4TH – Caleb Thibodeau
5TH – Ben Montross


Americans Claim US Junior Solo Piping and Drumming Titles 

George Balderose reportsThe Eleventh Annual Balmoral Classic US Junior Solo Junior Bagpiping and Solo Snare Drumming Championships were won by piper Joseph Horwath of Saginaw, Michigan, and drummer Matthew Darmadi of Houston, Texas. Fifteen pipers from six states plus Ontario and Scotland, and three drummers from Massachusetts, Ohio, and Texas competed in the double event contest.

The above picture shows, left to right: Liam MacDonald, Piobaireachd winner, Joseph Horvath, Overall Winner, and Callum Younger, MSR Winner.

The competition is produced by the Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming and was held in the McGonigle Theatre, Central Catholic High School, in the university district of Pittsburgh. Arthur McAra was the emcee. Piping judges were Jack Taylor (Scotland), Amy Garson (Canada), John Bottomley (USA). Drumming judges were Gordon Bell and Jon Quigg of the USA.

Liam Macdonald of Wellesley, Ontario won the Piobaireachd contest and a set of DN2E bagpipes donated by David Naill bagpipes.  Callum Younger of Latham, New York won the MSR contest and a set of Duncan MacRae bagpipes donated by McCallum Bagpipes. The Overall winner Joseph Horwath placed second in the Piobaireachd contest, and fourth in the MSR, was the sole piper to place in both contests, and had the highest overall points to win the Overall Winner Trophy.

Joseph Horwath won the Ralph and Patricia Murray Memorial Trophy for the Overall Winner. Liam Macdonald captured the Balmoral Trophy for his Piobaireachd first. Callum Younger took home the E.W. Littlefield Jr trophy for his MSR win.

PIPING RESULTS: Piobaireachd
1. Liam Macdonald Hector MacLean’s Warning
2. Joseph Horwath Corrienessan’s Salute
3. Colin Johnstone MacFarlanes Gathering
4. Tyler Destremps  Melbank’s Salute
5. Colin Tait Hiharin Dro O Dro



PIPING RESULTS: March, Strathspey, Reel
1. Callum Younger David Ross of  Rosehall, The Caledonian Society of London, Willie Murray’s Reel
2. Drew Mackay Donald MacLellan of Rothesay, Mrs. Donald Macpherson, John MacInnes
3. Robert Dunn Parker’s Welcome to Perthshire, Stac Polly, Captain Lachlan MacPhail of Tiree
4. Joseph Horwath Leaving Lunga, Cabar Feidh, Tom Kettles
5. Gemma Briggs Alan Dodd’s Farewell to Scotland, The Doune of Invernochty, The Blackberry Bush

PIPING RESULTS: Overall
1. Joseph Horwath
2. Liam Macdonald
3. Callum Younger
4. Drew Mackay
5. Colin Johnstone

Prizes for 2nd to 5th place pipers included a blackwood chanter donated by MacLellan Bagpipes, a set of kitchen pipes donated by Scotts Highland Services, a Fox Fur Sporran donated by Celtic Croft, and additional prizes donated by Duncan’s Highland Supply, Jim McGillivray, St. Kilda USA,  and the Balmoral School.

Matthew Darmadi of Houston, Texas, was the Overall Winner in the Drumming contest, scoring first in the MSR, and second in the Hornpipe/Jig contests. He took home a Premier HTS800 Premier Snare Drum donated by Henderson Imports of Traverse City, Michigan, as well as the David Peet Memorial Trophy, and the St. Andrews Society of Pittsburgh Trophy.  Isabella Jackson of Parma, Ohio, won the Hornpipe/Jig contest and the Pittsburgh Firefighters Memorial Trophy, and a fox fur sporran donated by The Celtic Croft.

Drumming winner Matthew Darmadi

DRUMMING RESULTS: March, Strathspey, and Reel
1. Matthew Darmadi Duncan MacInnes, Maggie Cameron, Lt. Col. D.J.S. Murray
2. Ian Bielski PM Thomas McAllister, Maggie Cameron, Loch Carron
3. Isabella Jackson Donald Cameron, Bogan Lochan, Pretty Marion

DRUMMING RESULTS: Hornpipe and Jig
1. Isabella Jackson Uphold the Right, The Curlew
2. Matthew Darmadi Salute to the MacLawsontyres, Bronni’s Blue Brozzi
3. Ian Bielski Crossing the Minch, Alan MacPherson of Mosspark

DRUMMING RESULTS: Overall
1. Matthew Darmadi
2. Isabella Jackson
3. Ian Bielski

Additionally, Henderson donated a pair of Andante snare drum sticks to each drumming competitor.

PIPING CONTESTANTS:  Gemma Briggs, Clearwater, Florida, Alex Burlew, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Evan Burlew, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Kevin Darmadi, Houston, Texas, Tyler Destremps, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Robert Dunn, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ana Fairbanks-Mahnke, Lakewood, Colorado, Joseph Horwath, Saginaw, Michigan, Colin Johnstone, Aurora, Ontario, Liam Macdonald, Wellesley, Ontario, Steven MacDonald, Dundee, Scotland, Drew Mackay, Kitchener, Ontario, Calum MacNeil, Dearborn, Michigan, Colin Tait, Milford, Michigan, Callum Younger, Latham, New York.

DRUMMING CONTESTANTS: Ian Bielski, Middleboro, Massachusetts, Matthew Darmadi, Houston, Texas, Isabella Jackson, Parma, Ohio

PIPERS FOR THE DRUMMERS: Meaghan Bielski for Ian Bielski, Michael Crawley for Isabella Jackson , Kevin Darmadi for Matthew Darmadi

Steven MacDonald was the winner of the Balmoral Classic Inaugural Novice Snare Drum Contest, from a field of seven drummers. The top four contestants received medals.   Henderson Imports of Traverse City, Michigan donated an Innovative Red Gum Rubber Practice pad with Black Rim and a pair of Andante snare drum sticks for the winner of the Novice Snare Drum Contest.

NOVICE SNARE DRUM RESULTS:
1. Steven MacDonald
2. Matthew Fuhrman
3. Coby Rangel
4. Becky Jesurum
5. Liam Conway
6. Jett Vaultz
7. Elyce Milligan

The weekend began on Friday evening with a Gathering / Reception for the out-of-town contestants, supporters of the Balmoral Classic, and the public, which featured music by Melinda Crawford (Scottish Fiddle) and Richard Hughes (Irish flute & vocals w/guitar), and performances by the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dancers. Piping judges John Bottomley, Amy Garson, and Jack Taylor also entertained with solo musical selections.

The event was made possible by grants from the Sage Foundation, the Laurel Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, an Anonymous Foundation, The Pittsburgh Firefighters Memorial Pipe Band, The Pittsburgh Police Emeralds Society Pipe Band, the St. Andrews Society of Pittsburgh, and individual donations.  The Saturday events featured separate silent auctions and a 50/50 raffle.

Silent Auction donors included: Birdsfoot Golf Club, Caliban Bookstore, Calliope: the Pittsburgh Folk Arts Society, The Irish Design Center, Scottish Gourmet USA, Kathleen Cleaver, Joan Green, Max’s Allegheny Tavern, Pittsburgh Concert Chorale, Mullaney’s Harp and Fiddle, the Priory Inn, The Scottish Banner, The Piping Times, Temple Records,  Pittsburgh Opera, Jill Pifferetti, and Larry VanDyke. The piping contestants’ welcome bags included issues of Piping Today, the Scottish Banner, The Balmoral Collection of Hymns Arranged for the Highland Bagpipe, and brochures from Celtic Croft and Scottish Gourmet. The drumming contestants’ welcome bags included Andante snare drum sticks, and New York’s Bravest CD donated by Sandy St. James Bagpipe & Kilt Distributor.

After the Saturday contest, there was an evening  award ceremony followed by a fabulous concert with Alasdair Fraser (Scottish fiddle) and Natalie Haas (cello) to an audience of approximately 350 that also featured dancers from the Pittsburgh Celtic Spirit School of Highland Dance and Burke-Conroy School of Irish Dance.