The Transformative Sound of the Great Highland Bagpipe

This reader contacted us after we published the article from Scotland’s History magazine ‘The Meaning of Bagpipe Music on the Western Front During WW1‘ My name is Robyn M Pio. I am a 70-year-old American woman raised by a German great-grandmother (who was born in Bremen, 1878). I now live in Chicago, Illinois, but my first language was German. I became a Catholic Francophile whilst living in France years ago. I am…

Hope Rises for a Normal Season as Tickets for European Pipe Band Championships Go on Sale

As pipe bands prepare for a busy season of competitions in 2022, organisers of ‘Piping Inverness’, which incorporates the European Pipe Band Championships, are set to welcome a strong turnout next year, writes Jen Symington. After a two-year absence from major competitions, pipe bands from across the globe are ‘desperate’ to get back competing. Piping Inverness will give them the opportunity to compete when it takes place at Bught Park,…

George Watson’s College Pipes & Drums – the End of an Era

After 22 years of dedicated service teaching pipes at George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, P/M Iain Simpson has announced that he will retire from his position in April 2022. Iain will leave an indelible mark upon the school and its pipe bands. The teaching programme has become one of the largest, and most successful, in the world.  On the competition field, Iain’s pursuit of excellence has brought many significant awards for…

Editor’s Notebook: Duncan Ban Macintyre/ Raasay/ Livi Drumming/ Pipe Music Software/ 1968 US Results

Last weekend was spent near St Conan’s Kirk, on Loch Awe-side in Argyll. That’s the handsome church you see on your left about twenty miles east of Oban as you head for the Argyllshire Gathering.  It was the venue for a concert to celebrate the life and work of the famous Gaelic poet, Duncan Ban Macintyre. There was piping and poetry and stories. One speaker, Professor Alan Riach of Glasgow…

Livingston Invitational Solo Drumming Competition 2021 – With Prizes for Pipers!

My last judging outing was to the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships at Kilmarnock on the 8th of March 2020 so when my good friend and colleague Jim Baxter invited me to adjudicate at his ‘LIVI INNvitational Solos’ on Saturday, the 13th of November, I was more than delighted to accept.  The day’s events took place at Deans Bowling Club in Livingston and comprised two competitions: an MSR and an ‘anything goes’ freestyle competition.  By Peter…