Donald MacPherson memorial recital scheduled for April 13th

Published: February 28, 2013
(Page 1 of 1)
A little less than a year since his death, a special recital in honour of the legendary piper, Donald MacPherson, will take place in Glasgow on April 13th. MacPherson died on April 22, 2013, at the age of 89.

The recital is being organized by the Scottish Pipers’ Association and will follow the SPA’s annual competition. Scheduled to begin at 7:30 pm, the ticket event will feature “several of Donald’s pupils,” but so far specifics are not known.

Donald MacPherson had a close affinity with the SPA throughout his life, stemming from his father being a founding member in 1920, along with John MacDougall Gillies and 10 other pipers.

The memorial recital will be held at the College of Piping in Glasgow, an organization with which MacPherson also had close connections. He was appointed Executive Director of the college in 1971, but left in 1974 after a disagreement with College of Piping co-founder Seumas MacNeill. MacPherson reportedly thereafter refused to be judged by MacNeill, and never  appeared in either the Silver Chanter or the Glenfiddich Championships, which he deemed to have been created by MacNeill.

MacPherson allegedly once famously flew to compete at London, discovered that Seumas MacNeill was judging, and promptly flew home.

Among MacPherson’s competitive achievements are a record nine Clasps at the Northern Meeting during his career.

MacPherson’s most successful pupil currently competing is Iain Speirs of Edinburgh, and Speirs has been invited to perform, along with Douglas Murray, George Stewart and David Shedden. Northern Meeting Gold Medallist Stuart Shedden, now retired from competing, would recount a few memories of MacPherson, and all are yet to confirm, according to sources.

Speirs was the recipient of the 2012 pipes|drums Piper of the Year and Solo Competition Piper of the Year awards.

Tickets to the event, which the organizers hope will be annual, are priced at £10, which includes a drink to start and a buffet at the interval.

The SPA said that any profits will be put back into the event, which might be hosted in alternating years by other piping societies in Scotland.

In June 2012 MacPherson’s R.G. Lawrie German silver and ivory mounted drones and stocks were sold for close to $50,000 to a buyer in Australia.

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TIP OF THE DAY
Pipers should avoid memorizing their music until the tune can be played from start to finish, fluidly, without error and at full speed. Once you memorize your music, it will become your reference every time you play. If your memory of the music has flaws in it, through repetition, you will permanently cement these flaws in your playing. Memorization is similar to the wood stain that would be added when building a bookcase – it would be the final touch to a finished product.
John Cairns, London, Ontario

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