A History of St Patrick’s Pipe Band, Donaghmore

During the 1960s and 70s the Robert Armstrong Memorial Pipe Band dominated the Irish pipe band scene with one of their main rivals being St Patrick’s, Donaghmore. While both bands have long since departed the scene the Belfast-based RAMS as they were known remain revered with a considerable amount of information available compared to that of the St Patrick’s band who in their day were also trail blazers. During the lockdown I contacted…

After 70 Years the Bell Tolls for Piping Times Magazine

I have it on good authority that we have seen the last of the Piping Times. If my information is correct, and I have no reason to doubt it, this is more grim news in piping’s grimmest of grim years. It gives me no pleasure at all to write this article. I was editor of the magazine for 15 years from 1999 – 2014. I gave my journalistic best to…

Editor’s Notebook: Red Hot Chile Painting/ Pipe Major Identity/ Covid Crisis Proposal for Piping

Reader Mario Zuniga writes from Chile: ‘I’m a piper from Chile. I have seen the news about the painting challenge and I would like to participate with my last piper painting, but for this I think I’m out of time. ‘Here I attached a picture for you my first bagpipe’s topic painting. ‘The Lone Piper’, oil on canvas, 70×35 cm. Thanks. Regards from Chile.’ Well done Mario. Pity you missed the Lockdown…

Piping Instructor Wanted for Lochgelly High School in Fife

The award-winning Lochgelly High School band are looking for a new instructor. The band, for years taught by dedicated teacher and former RSPBA Music Board official Tam Brown, have multiple championships to their name and Fife Council are anxious that this success continues. The new instructor will be based at the school and teach and its five feeder primary schools. The job spec reads: Fife Council is looking to recruit…

South Uist’s Forgotten Piper Mick Haggerty and a Happy Ending to His Story

I can report a positive conclusion to the P/M Michael Haggarty story. As was previously reported, it was believed that his service medals were buried with him when he died in June 1974. (He’s pictured wearing miniatures of them in above photograph.) However it turns out that they were in the possession of one of the members of the now disbanded Cardiff RSL Pipe Band (Newcastle, NSW, Australia) and he had…