Editor’s Notebook: Alasdair Takes a Break/ School’s Piping Lessons/ Donald Main/ 1976 Results

The late, great Alasdair Gillies takes a seat on the competition platform while warming up at a games in the US. I was always impressed with his finger positioning. Perfect. Look at the bottom hand. Thumb exactly where it should be, between fore and middle fingers. Top hand digits beautifully aligned. And no, the pinkie is not touching the chanter, though the camera angle makes it seem so. Posture relaxed,…

History: The Glenfiddich Championship of 1981 and a Victory for Iain MacFadyen

The annual Glenfiddich Championship will take place again this October, hopefully before a live audience. This failing, it will be run as last year, livestreamed before live judges but crowd less. The following is taken from a report by well-known journalist Rennie McOwan who attended the famous event, then known as the Grant’s Championship, 40 years ago…….. The journalist from the French travel magazine was puzzled. All these individual tartan-clad…

Callum Beaumont wins 2021 Donald MacDonald Cuach for Piobaireachd

Callum Beaumont won the 2021 Donald MacDonald Cuach for Piobaireachd at the competition held online on Friday 11 June. Convenor Dr Angus MacDonald hosted the competition live from the museum at Armadale Castle, with the five pipers playing from their respective homes. Callum lives in Dollar, Clackmannanshire, and is a piping instructor at Dollar Academy. This is the second time he has won the prestigious piobaireachd prize, having also won…

Big Niall Wins Composing Contest to Mark Centenary of British Legion Scotland

Highland schools piping instructor Niall Matheson has won the composing competition for a tune to mark the 100th Anniversary of the founding of services charity, the British Legion Scotland. Double Gold Medallist Niall’s tune, a two-part 4/4 march, will be premiered at a special ‘Beating of Retreat’ in Dundee city centre on September 3. It will be played by massed pipes and drums. Afterwards Niall will receive his award and…

Editor’s Notebook: George Stoddart and the Edinburgh Tattoo/ Piping Live/ Chanter Mate/ Solo Contests

Another great disappointment of this summer, particularly for tourists, is the cancellation of the Edinburgh Tattoo, largely because of the lack of insurance cover. It set me on a rake through the PP archive and I discovered an interesting cutting from the Scotsman newspaper from August 1970. It features P/M George Stoddart, the Tattoo’s first ‘Lone Piper’. It reads: ‘Back with the old crowd is George Stoddart, for many years…