Pipers and Pipe Music of the Great War – Part 3

Now to conclude this series, we will begin with more on Pipe Major William Lawrie, 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and other famous pipers. Willie Lawrie, a native of Ballachulish in Argyll, was a pupil of John MacColl, Oban, and won both Gold Medals at Oban and Inverness in 1910. Like MacColl, Willie was a gifted composer; his tunes include the competition 2/4s John MacDonald of Glencoe and John MacColl’s March…

With Precautions, No Additional Risk from Playing Pipes at Social Gatherings

A report by leading musicians and scientists has labelled the media’s demonising of the playing of pipes and other woodwind instruments during the Covid-19 pandemic as ‘simply wrong’ and that when suitable mitigations are in place the practice posed no aditional risk at social gatherings. Their comprehensive report is entitled ‘Following the Science: A systematic literature review of studies surrounding singing and brass, woodwind and bagpipe playing during the COVID-19…

14th Annual Balmoral Classic US Junior Solo Piping & Drumming Championships Results and Report

By the Editor Over last weekend I judged the Balmoral Classic junior amateur championship contest held annually in the US. This year it was a virtual event and thanks to excellent organisation it worked very well. My fellow judges, Jim MacGillivray (Canada) and Scott Walker (US), were sent video recordings of the pipers’ piobaireachd and MSR entries towards the end of the week. We came together on Saturday to make…

Pipers and Pipe Music of the Great War – Part 2

We continue with our look at the great pipers whose music marked the tragic era of the First World War…. Next we will consider P/M George Stewart McLennan of the Gordon Highlanders, GS as he was, and still is, known. He is pictured above in full ceremonial dress. GS was a child prodigy – at 10 years old he was commanded to play for Queen Victoria at Balmoral Castle.  He…

Editor’s Notebook: Vaccine and Band Season/ Mystery Marches/ Ross’s Album/ David’s Book/ Finger Lock

Good news this week on the Covid-19 vaccine. The British Government had wisely ordered millions of doses in advance and Scotland will, rightly, gets its proportionate share. Other scientists working on other vaccines will report soon on their efficacy, hopefully positive. Whether it will all be in time to save the 2021 pipe band season remains to be seen. It will take months to roll the jabs out to the…