Category Archives: Piobaireachd

My Tune for P/M Richard Parkes of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band

A couple of weeks ago the editor mentioned on his blog a new piobaireachd that had been composed by piper, adjudicator and professional reedmaker Donald MacPhee. The tune commemorates the remarkable achievements of P/M Richard Parkes of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band and here Donald gives us the background to his composition…..
By Donald MacPhee

Many thanks for your kind thoughts on the tune. The story behind it: I was a piper in Field Marshal Montgomery during the 2011 season when FM won the Grand Slam.

At the end of that season the band had a celebration at a Christmas/end of year band get together in Northern Ireland. Richard had become the first Pipe Major to lead a band to two Grand Slams (1993 & 2011), an achievement that I was privileged to be a part of.

Whilst at the workbench in March 2012 this melody came to me and I quickly picked up the practice chanter and let the fingers go. I thought it sounded a nice tune so got my personal voice recorder out and played about 90% of the ground and had it at least to where I could develop it further and, more importantly, put pencil to stave.

Donald on FMM duty at the Worlds 

I finished off the tune that night and after some work confirmed that I hadn’t plagiarized another tune. The naming of it was quite simple. There is a recording on Facebook name Kitty Coenen a video recorded it at a school I did in Germany a couple of years ago that has over 16.5k views. It is a nice recording of the tune.

When you hear the tune it’s definitely a salute. Putting two and two together, I called it Salute to P/M Richard Parkes MBE commemorating the only P/M to win two Grand Slams. This was quickly overtaken: in 2013 Richard became the only P/M to win three Grand Slams. I was a member of that band also.



I retired from competing in pipe bands at the end of 2014 and moved into full-time pipe band adjudication. As a side note, when requests came in for manuscripts of the tune mid-2015, I made a note at the bottom of the manuscript that Richard, through the 2014 season and as of April 2015, had achieved 10 World titles, 13 Champion of Champion titles, 58 major championships and three Grand Slams.


Donald plays his tune:

He has since added to that and from the fmmpb.com website has to date 11 World titles, 14 Champion of Champions titles and 63 major Championships. I had nine great seasons with FM winning six World titles, eight Champion of Champions, 33 major championships and two Grand Slams.

My endeavour now is the RSPBA Adjudicators panel of which I am the piping representative on the Adjudicators Panel Management Board. Integrity and impartiality are what I would like the pipe band community and competitors within the RSPBA and throughout the world to remember me by for the duration of my adjudication years.Download a PDF hereSalute to P:M Richard Parkes

More about Donald: Donald MacPhee is an American who moved to Scotland in 1997 from Florida. A reed maker for over 20 years. Donald  has achieved the pinnacle of success at both the solo and pipe band scene. He was Gold Medallist at the Northern Meeting in 2005.

Donald holds Graduate and Senior Teacher’s Certificates with the Institute of Piping. He has his Advanced and Teacher’s Certificate with the RSPBA. A fully qualified RSPBA Adjudicator and a solo adjudicator on the CPA list of Active Competitive Adjudicators, Donald is also a PDQB Assessor for the RSPBA and now a member of their Adjudicator Panel.

He lives in Alexandria west of Glasgow with his wife Christine a former World Champion Highland dancer and now a much sought after teacher and adjudicator in her own field. Donald’s website reads: ‘Donald has been piping for dancing for nearly 35 years. Taught piping by his father Alexander ‘Sandy’ MacPhee. From a very early age Donald’s dad encouraged him to pipe for his sisters (Diane MacPhee Krugh and Donna Cusack [wife of the famous piper Mike Cusack, Texas] in their dance classes. Before long Donald was piping all over the world at dancing competitions and championships. In 1995 Donald brought out his first piping for dancing CD called  ‘The Competitive Highland Dancer’s Champion’s Choice’ a favourite of many dancers and teachers the world over. It was in this idiom where he met and married Miss Christine Lacey a former six-time World Champion.’


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