The Vale hopes to up mid-section game with Taylor

Published: September 13, 2014

ValeofAtholl_logo_2013The Grade 1 Vale of Atholl Pipe Band of Pitlochry, Scotland, hopes to raise the standard of its ensemble and drumming with the appointment of Matthew Taylor as the new leader of its mid-section.

Taylor, of Blairgowrie, Scotland, comes to the Vale with a wealth of experience in pipe band drumming, beginning at age eight with the snare with the Coupar Angus Burgh Pipe Band, before moving on to Alyth, and then to City of Brechin, still playing as a snare drummer.

Matthew Taylor

Matthew Taylor shifted to tenor in 2010 with the National Youth Pipe   Band, before joining the Grade 2 Torphichen & Bathgate, where he eventually became “lead-tenor” in 2013.

“We in the Vale see this appointment as a sign of intent, and hope that it will encourage new players – pipers or drummers – to consider joining our ranks,” said Vale of Atholl Chairman Gus Clarke.

While Vale of Atholl’s home is Pitclochry, the band practces in the more central Perth, Scotland.

Aside from possibly the size of pipe bands, no element of pipe band has changed as dramatically as bass-sections. In the mid-1990s tenor drumming was close to extinction, only to be resurrected, to the point now that a band’s bass-section frequently determines a band’s place in the rankings.


Toronto Police drumming instability continues with resignation

Published: September 11, 2014

Mark Passmore

The Grade 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band finds itself searching again for a leading-drummer following the resignation of Mark Passmore after less than a year in the position.

Passmore said that, “Certain talks recently have left us with a difference in ideology. The split is mutual and amicable.”

He had taken over the role in late-September 2013, following Ken Constable’s three-year run as L-D. Constable had succeeded Doug Stronach in 2011.

The Toronto Police in 2014 kept fairly steady over 2013, but showed overall improvement in piping with the addition of several top-flight players. The band consistently struggled in drumming from judges, including last-place rankings in their group in each qualifier event at the World Championships.

Pipe-Major Ian K. MacDonald said that the band is eager to hear from interested applicants, and added, “On behalf of the band I would like to thank Mark Passmore for his efforts this season and wish him well in his future endeavours.”


Bands take over cancelled contest with grass-roots solution

Published: September 10, 2014

Goshen_logoReduced or outright cancelled piping, drumming and pipe band competitions are a disturbing trend in many parts of the world, as many Highland games struggle to make ends meet, find new ways to attract ticket-buyers, and question the value of pipe band contests.

But when the pipe band competition in Sussex, New Jersey, was nixed only weeks before the scheduled September 14th date, bands took matters into their own hands to re-fill a void left in the calendar, and an important run-up to the eastern United States’ final competition at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“Several bands got talking and we thought we could pull together our own contest on the open date without any of the trappings of your typical Highland games . . . and importantly keeping our costs as low as possible,” said Thomas Burnham of the Firefighter McPadden Pipes & Drums. “We took the initiative to make a late push to find a location, hire judges, recruit bands and get the contest sanctioned by the EUSPBA.”

They started with three Grade 4 bands who committed to playing both mini-MSRs and Medleys, and then figured out the costs to put on the contest and divided them up equally.

“The Goshen Pipe Band Challenge” will take place on September 14th, in Goshen, New York, and could be the first sanctioned public pipe band competition fully funded by the competing bands themselves.

“In many ways starting small is a blessing so we can work the kinks out and set this up for bigger success in the future,” Burnham continued. “We believe that if we can show this is a viable event, we can draw sponsorships that will support a larger event in the future.”

As piping and drumming at many traditional events, even in Scotland, are increasingly marginalized or eliminated, competitors and associations will have to be more creative and entrepreneurial if their regional scenes are to continue to thrive – or simply continue.

“A disturbing trend, at least in the US, is a drop in the number of bands attending contests,” Burnham said. “One possible reason for this could be Highland games marginalizing piping, drumming and pipe bands at their events by moving them to some distant dusty corner of the field where no one ventures. At the same time, many have also shifted a greater share of financial burden onto the backs of the bands by having them pay an entry fee while also asking each member to pay full admission prices which can quickly top $500 when all is said and done.”

At least for the Goshen Challenge, the entire focus will be on the bands and the pay-for-play event is cost-effective for the competitors. Burnham stressed that “the EUSPBA, the judges and the pipe band community has been extremely positive and supportive, and the Village of Goshen has been very accommodating. Can an event like this change the trend of declining band participation and contests folding? We don’t know but it is worth trying.”

They have even worked a deal with the local Catskill Brewery to provide the winner with beverages that have a tagline, suitably positioned with the participating bands: “Honest, hard-working beer.”


Pleasant time for Prince Charles at Pleasanton

Published: September 8, 2014

PrinceCharles_logoPleasanton, California – August 29-31, 2014 – The 149th ‘Caledonian Club of San Francisco Highland Games,” or “Pleasanton” to most pipers and drummers saw the Prince Charles Pipe Band of San Francisco win both events in Grade 2 at the two-day contest.

Grade 2
1st Prince Charles (1,2,2,1) (EP)
2nd Greater Midwest (2,1,1,2)

1st Prince Charles (1,1,2,1)
2nd Greater Midwest (2,2,1,2)

Grade 3
1st Winnipeg Police
2nd Bushmills Irish of San Francisco
3rd Queen City

1st Macalester College
2nd Winnipeg Police
3rd Bushmills Irish of San Francisco

Grade 4
Quick March Medley
1st Bushmills Irish of San Francisco (Gr4)
2nd University of California, Riverside
3rd Wasatch & District

1st University of California, Riverside
2nd Bushmills Irish of San Francisco (Gr4)
3rd Long Beach Fire Department (Gr4)

Grade 5
Quick March Medley
1st Kevin R. Blandford Memorial
2nd University of Riverside
3rd City of Sacramento

March,Slow March,March
1st Kevin R. Blandford Memorial
2nd City of Sacramento
3rd University of Riverside

Updated: Line-up, streaming, judges confirmed for 41st Glenfiddich Championship


A plethora of double-wins by the world’s top solo pipers at the world’s top solo piping competitions meant that the organizers of this year’s Glenfiddich Piping Championship had to go down to third-prize-winners at qualifying events to assemble one of the richest fields in the 41-year history of the world’s most prestigious piping contest.

Glendiddich spokesperson Liz Maxwell confirmed to pipes|drums Magazine that the event will once again be streamed live with the National Piping Centre.

Those earning an invitation to this year’s Glenfiddich:

  • Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Canada – winner of the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering
  • Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada – third in the Clasp at the Northern Meeting
  • Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland – winner of the Silver Star MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering; winner of the Masters at Piping Live!
  • Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland – second in the Silver Star MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering; second in the Silver Star MSR at the Northern Meeting
  • Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland – third in the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering
  • Gordon McCready, Renfrew, Scotland – third in the Silver Star MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering
  • Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow – winner of the Bratach Gorm at London
  • Douglas Murray, Cupar, Scotland – winner of the Gold Medals at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting
  • Iain Speirs, Edinburgh – 2013 Glenfiddich Champion, winner of the Clasp at Inverness; overall champion at London
  • Niall Stewart, Kyle of Lochalsh – winner of the Silver Star MSR at the Northern Meeting

Judges for the Piobaireachd are Colin MacLellan, William Wotherspoon and Andrew Wright. For the MSR are Malcolm McRae, Ronnie McShannon and John Wilson.

Bob Worrall will take the role of fear an tighe, or master of ceremonies.

Of note, Iain Speirs will be vying for his third-consecutive Glenfiddich Championship title, and Willie McCallum will go for his ninth overall win in his career, which would break his own record for most total championships gained.

It will be Gordon McCready’s first appearance at the competition.

The competition is held at the Great Hall of Blair Castle in Blair Atholl, Scotland, the ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl. The event has been sponsored from the beginning by William Grant & Sons, probably the biggest single corporate supporter of piping in history.

Kessler takes A-Grade Piob, while George Stewart has a big day at Blairgowrie

Published: September 7, 2014

Martin Kessler

Blairgowrie, Scotland – September 7, 2014 – The final larger solo piping event of the Scottish outdoor season stayed dry, but overcast and cold on the fingers. Ably run by Murray, Patricia and Faye Henderson and Aly Meek, contestants are separated from the usual side shows, including dogs, archery, owls and things. Germany’s Martin Kessler laid down a piobaireachd to gain the biggest prize, while George Stewart took both Open light music events.

1st Martin Kessler
2nd Jenny Hazzard
3rd Craig Sutherland
4th Jonathon Greenlees

1st Mael Sicard Cras
2nd Caitlan MacDonald
3rd Callum Watson
4th George Stewart
5th Nick Hudson

1st George Stewart
2nd Scott Barrie
3rd Craig Sutherland
4th Nick Hudson

Strathspey & Reel
1st George Stewart
2nd Craig Sutherland
3rd Calum Watson
4th Jenny Hazzard

1st Scott Barrie
2nd Duncan Beattie
3rd Andrew Bova
4th John Cameron

1st Jonathan Lamberton
2nd Rebecca Tierney
3rd Andrew Lavender
4th John Cameron

Strathspey & Reel
1st Jonathon Lamberton
2nd Andrew Bova
3rd John Cameron
4th Andrew Lavender

Judges for the events were Jimmy Banks, Ian Duncan, Colin MacLellan, Iain Speirs, Tom Speirs, Jack Taylor and Bill Wotherspoon.

Trailing Drones: Movin’ and shakin’ and itchin’ and scratchin’


Well, friends, Harry was fair glued to the YouTubes all summer when he couldn’t make the games, and he has to say: it was an interesting year. Harry knew that the intense competition in the UK and Eire would make it very tough for any band from other countries come the big one in August, and he was right.

The Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band (that’s a moothfu’) proved that great quality music, and not just a recent championship win, can fill a large concert hall. The band’s Ceolry concert was a triumph on its own, and with Simon Fraser University out of the World’s list for the first time in about 20 years it gives the organizers of the concert comfort that winning isn’t everything when it comes to selling tickets.

And post-Glasgow Green I hear that the RSPBA will do its now-normal thing and look at re-grading bands that aren’t their members. Not to name names, but there could be some serious upset in some regions around the world when and if the re-grades happen. (Hints: starts with N and ends with Z; starts with On, ends with tario.)

Inveraray & District isn’t going anywhere, after blasting through the middle of the top to win the European Championships and then seriously threatening Field Marshal Montgomery for the Big One. Harry thinks the George Hotel bar receipts may have spiked over the summer, and rumours of the departures of Stuart Liddell and Steven McWhirter have all but stopped. Quite right. Speculation had been rife that McWhirter was off to ScottishPower after the announcement about Barry Wilson retiring, and online and social media mongering has had Liddell moving to Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Austria, British Columbia or Swaziland. Harry’s impeccable sources say both are staying put. Time will tell.

Meanwhile the search continues for Wilson’s heir apparent, and sources say that there have been six “serious” applicants for the ScottishPower L-D gig, including some fairly prominent peeps. Word has it that a few pipers have shifted out of the band, including piping-dancing superstar David Wilton.

Band mid-sections are increasingly looking more like beauty pageants, which isn’t necessary a bad thing, especially when juxtaposed with sweaty, hard-working pipers and snare drummers. The trend towards glossy red lipstick, heavy mascara and custom manicures was never so pronounced than this year. Just make sure all that warpaint is waterproof, else these bass sections will be looking more like The Cure’s Robert Smith.

Lots of the usual talk about the piping judging at the World’s. To wit, the Grade 4A Group 2 Qualifier piping split for Ogden Legion, with a 4th and a 14th. That Grade 4B Final piping division for 6th prize-winning Irvine & District saw them receive an 8th and a 1st, which could have meant four places up or down. And the same two judges with St. Andrew’s College of South Africa in the Grade 4A Group 1 Qualifier awarding that band 2nd and 13th. And then there’s this little run of gems from the piping judges in the Grade 4B Group 3 Qualifier: Saffron United (10th and 1st); Clontibret (14th and 2nd); Hawick (1st and 12th); and City of St. Andrew’s (4th and 11th). But nothing was so, um, diversified, as the piping rankings for Elgin & District in the 4B Final: an astounding 1st and 18th to the poor band’s pipe section. That 17-band separation in piping could be an all-time record. In each instance, one of the judges must be righter than the other, and it’s up to the association to have a listen to the recordings, and then have a wee word with a few people. The bands deserve some follow-up.

The 78th Fraser Highlanders had a solid year in Ontario, winning everything except the North Americans, which their near-namesake 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) narrowly scooped. The “Frasers” had success with new Shepherd chanters, a profound change of direction, considering the band’s history. Interesting that Shotts & Dykehead, like Field Marshal Montgomery, are also playing Shepherds.

Still with Ontario, the usual rumours and speculation of a Peel Regional PoliceToronto Police merger are in heavy rotation. Favourite name choices for the new band include: PeeOnto Police, Torpeel Police, and the Ford Nation Pipes & Drums. Harry hears Stuart Liddell will be the new pipe-major. Not really, but he thinks that would be fun.

Harry is advised that there is a look into music licensing practices at the World Championships. Officials won’t be able to threaten disqualification to make this go away, and it will be interesting to see what comes of it. If Harry had a penny for every time a band played a certain itchy hornreel, he’d still want to set his ears on fire.

Out-of-tune was the designer of the Scottish athlete gear for the Commonwealth Games ceremonies. Part Brigadoon, part Lahore Celtic, the costumes were broadly panned in Scotland, but Harry thinks maybe they are onto a whole new possible look for pipe bands? Enough of the wool and boring red, green, blue of traditional tartans! Make it a show! Leave ‘em laughing, when you go. Harry’s looked at bands from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow, it’s band illusions he recalls, he really doesn’t know bands at all. (And if you catch that reference, you’re pretty good.)

Harry does know a thing or two about comfy work gear though, and he’s looking forward to seeing the new “construction kilts” in use this summer in Scotland. Should make for some great views from the sidewalk.

The changes at the College of Piping in Glasgow seemed to have had little effect on the place, and have seemingly actually improved morale and invigorated staff. Reports have come out that there was a climate of uncertainty in the place with the full-time employees. The departed principal allegedly was not an actual full-time employee, and didn’t even have a formal contract, thus the freedom simply to up and leave one fine morning.

And back again to the World’s . . . the organizers will have to look at the way photographers every year are told 15 minutes before the announcement to train their lenses on the winning band, and the scrum hangs out directly in front of them. So, everyone on the park knows who’s won. But what else can the organizers do? If they want the right shots to appear in the media they need to give them the heads up, but it unfortunately lets the cat out the bag for those there. But if there were no photos in the papers, well, they’d be bleating about that as well.

What’s your view? Send a note to Harry with the scoop from your crew, and Harry’ll marry it up with a jibe or two for the next installment.


Northern Meeting: Iain Speirs wins the Clasp; Henderson A HP&J . . . more

Published: September 5, 2014

Iain Speirs

Inverness, Scotland – September 5, 2014 – Iain Speirs won his first Clasp at the Northern Meeting, probably the biggest single event in solo piping. The award adds to Speirs’ already bulging trophy-case, which includes four Silver Chanters, two Glenfiddich Championships, and the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering. Speirs’ win marked the first time in history that a father and son have gained the Clasp. Tom Speirs won the event in 1983.

The first result from the second day of competition at the 2014 Northern Meeting was the newly introduced B-Grade Hornpipe & Jig, which George Stewart won. Quickly following, results for the other events were announced.

The winner of the overall award at this year’s Northern Meeting was Stuart Liddell.

1st Iain Speirs, Edinburgh, “Donald Gruamach’s March”
2nd Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland
3rd Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, “The Red Speckled Bull”
4th Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, “Lament for the Union”
5th Callum Beaumont, Bo’ness, Scotland
Judges: Bill Livingstone, John MacDougall, Iain MacFadyen

A-Grade Hornpipe & Jig
1st Alisdair Henderson, Dunoon, Scotland
2nd Callum Beaumont
3rd Stuart Liddell
4th Greg Wilson, New Zealand
5th Alex Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Canada
Judges: Ian Duncan, Iain Morrison, John Wilson

B-Grade MSR
1st Ashley McMichael, Northern Ireland
2nd Steven Gray, Lockerbie, Scotland
3rd Ben Duncan, Perth, Scotland
4th George Stewart, Perth, Scotland
5th Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland
Judges: Iaan MacLellan, Ronnie McShannon, Stuart Samson

B-Grade Hornpipe & Jig
1st George Stewart
2nd Ashley McMichael
3rd Matt Pantaleoni, St. Louis
4th Steven Gray
5th Sarah Muir, Glasgow
Judges: Colin MacLellan, Malcolm McRae, Jack Taylor

Murray gains Double Gold at Inverness; Stewart Silver Star; MacColl Silver; Alex Gandy A-Grade MSR

Published: September 4, 2014

Douglas Murray

Inverness, Scotland – September 4, 2014 – Douglas Murray of Cupar, Scotland, won the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal for piobaireachd at the Northern Meeting, achieving only the eleventh “Double” in history, where a piper wins both the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting Gold Medals in the same year. The last person to accomplish the feat was John Cairns of London, Ontario, Canada, in 1999.

In the Silver Star Former Winners MSR, Niall Stewart of Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland, gained the prize, while in the Silver Medal piobaireachd, Angus J. MacColl took home the award, elevating him to the Gold Medal competitions.

Earlier, Alex Gandy of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, won the A-Grade March, Strathspey & Reel. The win enables Gandy to compete in the elite Silver Star Former Winners MSR. It was the first result from the two-day competition. Craig Sutherland or Crieff, Scotland, who won both A-Grade light music events the previous week at Oban, did not feature in the prize list.

Highland Society of London Gold Medal
1st Douglas Murray, “His Father’s Lament for Donald MacKenzie”
2nd Bill Geddes, “Glasgow, “Lady Margaret MacDonald’s Salute”
3rd Finlay Johnston, Glasgow, “MacNeill of Barra’s March”
4th Peter McAlister, Dunblane, Scotland, “Lady Margaret MacDonald’s Salute”
5th Alastair Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, “His Father’s Lament for Donald MacKenzie”
Judges: Iain Morrison, Stuart Samson, Jack Taylor

Douglas Murray on his way to winning only the ninth Double in piping history.

Silver Medal
1st Angus J. MacColl, Oban, Scotland, “Corrienessan’s Salute”
2nd Colin Campbell, Inverness, Scotland, “Corrienessan’s Salute”
3rd Mike Fitzhenry, Paisley, Scotland, “Lament for MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart” (No.1)
4th Alex Gandy, “Lament for Captain MacDougall”
5th Connor Sinclair, Perth, Scotland, “Lament for Captain MacDougall”
Judges: Ian Duncan, Colin MacLellan, Ronnie McShannon

Silver Star Former Winners MSR
1st Niall Stewart
2nd Willie MacCallum, Bearsden, Scotland
3rd Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland
4th Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
5th Gordon Walker, Galston, Scotland
Judges: Iain MacLellan, Malcolm McRae, John Wilson

A-Grade MSR
1st Alex Gandy
2nd Finlay Johnston, Glasgow
3rd Sean McKeown, Toronto
4th Alisdair Henderson, Dunoon, Scotland
5th Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh
Judges: Andrew Frater, Bill Livingstone, Iain MacFadyen

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for results from day two of the 2014 Northern Meeting – including those from the coveted Clasp – as they become available.

Pipers who have won the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medals at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting in the same year
1910 – Willie Lawrie, 8th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
1911 – George Yardley, Cambuslang, Scotland
1926 – John MacDonald, Glasgow Police
1930 – Robert Nicol, Balmoral
1950 – John D. Burgess, Edinburgh
1955 – William MacDonald, Inverness, Scotland
1956 – D.R. McLennan, North Berwick, Scotland
1964 – Hector MacFadyen, Pennyghael, Scotland
1970 – Andrew Wright, Dunblane, Scotland
1999 – John Cairns, London, Ontario, Canada
2014 – Douglas Murray, Cupar, Scotland







Inverness: solo piping’s crucible starts Thursday

Published: September 3, 2014

Northern_Meeting_logoThe Northern Meeting is considered by most as competitive solo piping’s greatest non-invitational test, and this year’s two-day “Inverness” starts Thursday, September 4th, at the usual venue of Eden Court Theatre on the banks of the River Ness, with the major piobaireachd competitions and the Silver Star Former Winners MSR.

The sister competition to the Argyllshire Gathering, the Northern Meeting’s most prestigious piobaireachd events are the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal and the Clasp, for those who have already won the Gold Medal at Inverness.

Eden Court Theatre

For more than 200 years, the Northern Meeting has been the scene for many historic achievements in solo piping. Winning the Gold Medal, Clasp or Silver Star at Inverness is considered an apex in a piper’s career. The legendary Donald MacPherson won a record nine Clasps at the event, while the late great Alasdair Gillies captured 11 Silver Stars.

The Gold Medal is restricted to 25 fortunate applicants, and 18 are in for the Clasp, while the also tightly controlled Silver Medal for piobaireachd – an unofficial prerequisite to gain entry to the Gold Medal – will feature 28 contestants.

Eyes and ears will be on Craig Sutherland after his remarkable double-win of the A-Grade light music events at this year’s Argyllshire Gathering.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for results as they become available from the 2014 Northern Meeting.

Following are the order-of-plays for the major events.

1 Duncan MacGillivray, Tain, Scotland
2 Angus MacColl, Oban, Scotland
3 Euan MacCrimmon, Inverness, Scotland
4 Greg Wilson, New Zealand
5 Glenn Brown, Glasgow
6 Finlay Johnston, Glasgow
7 Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland
8 Willie McCallum, Glasgow
9 Faye Henderson, Kirriemuir, Scotland
10 Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
11 Jack Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
12 Fred Morrison, Bishopton, Scotland
13 Niall Stewart, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland
14 Iain Speirs, Edinburgh
15 Donald MacPhee, Alexandria, Scotland
16 Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow
17 Callum Beaumont, Bo’ness, Scotland
18 Andrew Hayes, Ottawa

Gold Medal
1 Finlay Johnston
2 James Troy, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
3 John-Angus Smith, London
4 Alasdair Henderson, Glasgow
5 Innes Smith, Bridge of Allan, Scotland
6 Brian Donaldson, Milwaukee
7 Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh
8 Gordon McCready, Renfrew, Scotland
9 Andrea Boyd, Ottawa
10 Jamie Forrester, London
11 Jori Chisholm, Seattle
12 Derek Midgley, Tinton Falls, New Jersey, USA
13 Allan Russell, Kelty, Scotland
14 Cameron Drummond, Perth, Scotland
15 Jonathan Greenlees, Glasgow
16 Faye Henderson
17 Alastair Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
18 Andrew Carlisle, Pittsburgh
19 David Wilton, Glasgow
20 James MacHattie, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada
21 Douglas Murray, Cupar, Scotland
22 Bill Geddes, Glasgow
23 John Mulhearn, Glasgow
24 Andrew Bonar, Vancouver
25 Peter McCalister, Dunblane, Scotland

Silver Medal
1 Michael Fitzhenry, Paisley, Scotland
2 Peter Hunt, Stevenston, Scotland
3 George Stewart, Perth, Scotland
4 Stuart Easton, New Zealand
5 David Shedden, Glasgow
6 Sarah Muir, Glasgow
7 Robert Gray, Edinburgh
8 Ed Bush, Cardinal, Ontario, Canada
9 Michael Elder, Auchtermuchty, Scotland
10 Darach Urquhart, Glasgow
11 Greig Canning, Edinburgh
12 Mael Sicard-Cras, Glasgow
13 Ben McClamrock, Baltimore
14 Martin Kessler, Germany
15 Angus J. MacColl, Oban, Scotland
16 Robert Gibb, Glasgow
17 Matt Pantaleoni, St. Louis
18 Alex Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
19 Steven Gray, Locherbie, Scotland
20 Sean McKeown, Toronto
21 Greig Wilson, Edinburgh
22 Neil Walker, Australia
23 Colin Campbell, Inverness, Scotland
24 Sandy Cameron, Roy Bridge, Scotland
25 Graham Drummond, Bathgate, Scotland
26 Decker Forrest, Isle of Skye, Scotland
27 Jason Craig, Australia
28 Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland

Silver Star Former Winners MSR
1 Gordon Walker, Galston , Scotland
2 Andrew Hayes
3 Cameron Drummond
4 Douglas Murray
5 Greg Wilson
6 Peter Hunt
7 Angus MacColl
8 Allan Russell
9 Roddy MacLeod
10 Iain Speirs
11 Brian Donaldson
12 Stuart Liddell
13 Bruce Gandy
14 Willie McCallum
15 Jack Lee
16 Niall Stewart
17 Donald MacPhee
18 Fred Morrison
19 Alastair Dunn
20 Ian K. MacDonald
21 Simon McKerrell

LA Scots dismiss Kvidahl; Parker appointed L-D

Published: September 2, 2014

LAScotslogoAfter 12 years with the band, the last five as Leading-Drummer, Glenn Kvidahl has been dismissed from that role with the Grade 1 Los Angeles Scots, and has left the band altogether. Bryce Parker, who has been a snare drummer with the band for more than 10 years, has been appointed L-D.

The LA Scots did not qualify for the Grade 1 Final at the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships, and band President Scott MacDonald said that the result had nothing to do with the decision to “part ways” with Kvidahl. The band’s drum section placed fifth in the Medley and seventh in the MSR in a group that included Simon Fraser University and three of the eventual prize-winners in the Final. LA Scots finished seventh in each event in the 11-band heat.

Glenn Kvidahl

“The Los Angeles Scots Pipe Band has decided to part ways with Leading-Drummer Glenn Kvidahl,” said MacDonald. “After several years in the L-D position, Glenn has had many successful corps and competition results. We appreciate the time it takes to be a L-D at this level and Glenn did a great job. This decision was difficult. To be clear, this decision was not based on our recent failure to qualify for the final at the World’s. This was the first step of several to prepare the band musically for the upcoming 2015 pipe band season and beyond.”

According to a source close to the band, who spoke on condition that his/her name not be used, other drummers have either left or are planning to leave the band, but that conflicts with MacDonald’s statement that, “Bryce has confirmed that everyone is staying on with the band in the drum section and he has commitments from additional snare drummers for the upcoming season.”

MacDonald said that the band is planning to attend the 2015 World Championships, and that the band planned to make the change regardless of its placing at this year’s World’s.

Kvidahl, who was appointed L-D in 2010, following the early-season dismissal of Richard Baughman, said that work commitments in Northern California this year made travel to practice difficult to keep a mostly out-of-town drum corps sharp. He said that the section essentially had one week in Scotland to work consistently with the entire corps.

In addition to drumming, Kvidahl is an accomplished piper and has composed several pipe tunes, contributing to the band’s repertoire from both sections.

“This year was definitely the most difficult for me to run the drum corps,” Kvidahl commented. “I’ve composed/arranged every aspect of our musical performances – pipes, harmony, drums, tenor, bass – for almost 10 years and I’m very proud of the music we played. Playing with some of the most talented musicians in the world has been truly an honor. I also feel the band as a whole was never as strong in competition than they were this year. There are a lot of people who make the organization successful and I thank them for their support of my efforts and the efforts of each band member to have a world-class band from Los Angeles.

“I’m looking forward to being able to pipe/drum for enjoyment more now. I’m also composing quite a bit of tunes again and I’d like to keep busy with that, too.”

A Las Vegas resident, Bryce Parker has experience as a leading-drummer when he attended St. Andrews University, and has success in solo competition.

MacDonald said that the LA Scots were not invited to compete at the annual Pleasanton Highland Games in San Francisco this past weekend due to the games’ investment in bringing in the Scots Guards band to the event. He said the LA Scots have already been invited to the 2015 contest.

Here’s a video of Kvidahl and LA Scots Pipe-Major Colin Armstrong performing in the 2012 Pipes+Drums recital at Piping Live!, an event sponsored by pipes|drums Magazine.


World’s 2014: a pipes|drums photo feature – Part 2

Published: September 1, 2014

It might be the first of September, and the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships are more than three weeks passed, but pipes|drums Magazine helps to keep memories fresh with our second photo feature from the event.

Be sure to check out Part 1 of our favourite pics from the event.

We hope that you enjoy this selection of images from the two days of competition.


The gallery was 30 to 40 deep on the Saturday, even through driving rain, while the paid stands were largely vacant at times.

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“MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute” – the latest in the 2014 Set Tunes Series

Published: August 30, 2014

Angus MacKayWe continue our exclusive 2014 Set Tunes Series by William Donaldson, free to all readers of pipes|drums Magazine. In this installment we look at a tune that is a staple in the repertoire of many piobaireachd players.

Just click on the manuscript image below to go to the series, and we hope that you enjoy this important contribution to Highland piping.


Click to go to Set Tunes Series


Oban Day 2: Sutherland sweeps A-Grade; Morrison king of the jigs; Lee, Ouellette take B-Grade events

Published: August 28, 2014

Oban, Scotland – August 28, 2014 – The second day of events at the 2014 Argyllshire Gathering brought competitors outdoors for the light music events in cool and breezy conditions and the usual starter’s pistol and bouncy castle distractions. Twenty-one-year-old Craig Sutherland won both the A-Grade events, while Fred Morrison’s return to competitive solo piping this year now features winning the Jig.

The traditional march to the games, led by 2014 Argyllshire Gathering Gold Medallist Douglas Murray (front left), with Gordon McCready, Bill Geddes and Silver Medallist Decker Forrest L-R in the front.

1st Craig Sutherland, Crieff, Scotland
2nd Alasdair Henderson, Dunoon, Scotland
3rd Alastair Dunn, Glasgow
4th Alex Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
5th Andrew Hayes, Ottawa
6th Bill Geddes, Glasgow
Judges: Iain MacLellan, Robert Wallace, Bob Worrall

Craig Sutherland

Strathspey & Reel
1st Craig Sutherland
2nd Alastair Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
3rd Alasdair Henderson
4th Andrew Hayes
5th Iain Speirs, Edinburgh
6th Jamie Forrester, England
Judges: Ian Duncan, Willie Morrison, John Wilson

Premier & A-Grade Jig
1st Fred Morrison, Bishopton, Scotland
2nd Alasdair Henderson
3rd Steven Gray, Locherbie, Scotland
4th Alex Gandy
5th Gordon McCready, Renfrew, Scotland
Judges: Andrew Frater, Bruce Hitchings, Malcolm McRae

Fred Morrison on his way to winning the Jig at Oban. [Photo: Simon McKerrell]

1st John Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
2nd Andrew Lee, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
3rd Greig Canning, Edinburgh
4th Steven Gray
5th Decker Forrest, Skye, Scotland
Judges: Walter Cowan, Iain MacFadyen, Patrick Molard

Strathspey & Reel
1st Eric Ouellette, New York
2nd Colin Campbell, Inverness, Scotland
3rd Angus J. MacColl, Oban, Scotland
4th Ben Duncan, Perth, Scotland
5th Connor Sinclair, Crieff, Scotland
Judges: Barry Donaldson, Colin MacLellan, Ronnie McShannon

Oban: Gandy wins Senior Piob; Murray takes Gold; Forrest Silver; Liddell MSR

Published: August 27, 2014

Dougie Murray, 2014 Argyllshire Gathering Gold Medallist

Oban, Scotland – August 27, 2014 – Bruce Gandy won the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering, the top event at the competition, and one of the biggest awards in solo Highland piping. It was the first time Gandy has captured the prize.

In the Gold Medal, Douglas Murray of Cupar, Scotland, won the Highland Society of London Gold Medal, at the top of a list that followed with four Canadian-born pipers. American émigré to Scotland Decker Forrest took home the Silver Medal.

Later in the evening, a large group competed in the Former Winners Silver Star March, Strathspey & Reel

Senior Piobaireachd (16 competed)
1st Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, “Lament for the Laird of Annapool”
2nd Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland, “Lament for the Laird of Annapool”
3rd Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland, “Donald Gruamach’s March”
4th Faye Henderson, Kirriemuir, Scotland, “The Red Speckled Bull”
5th Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland, “Abercairney’s Salute”
Judges: Colin MacLellan, Malcolm McRae, Andrew Wright

Bruce Gandy, winner of the Senior Piobaireachd at the 2014 Argyllshire Gathering, with some of his spoils. [Photo: Derek Maxwell]

Highland Society of London Gold Medal (27 competed)
1st Douglas Murray, “MacNeill of Barra’s March”
2nd Ian K. MacDonald, Toronto, “Lament for the Only Son”
3rd Andrea Boyd, Ottawa, “The Big Spree”
4th Glenn Brown, Glasgow, “Lament for the Departure of King James”
5th Andrew Hayes, Ottawa, “The Big Spree”
Judges: Iain MacFadyen, Robert Wallace, John Wilson

Oban Silver Medallist Decker Forrest

Silver Medal (29 competed)
1st Decker Forrest, Skye, Scotland, “MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute”
2nd Angus J. MacColl, Oban, “MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute”
3rd Sean McKeown, Toronto, “Kinlochmoidart No. 1″
4th Stuart Easton, New Zealand, “The Groat”
5th Sandy Cameron, “The Battle of Aldearn” No.2
Judges: Patrick Molard, Willie Morrison, Stuart Samson

MacGregor Medal
1st Cameron MacDougall, Nigg, Scotland, “The Battle of Auldearn” #2
2nd Scott Barrie, Ayr, Scotland, “Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay”
3rd Irsa Beckford, Maine, USA, “The Unjust Incarceration”
Judges: Ian Duncan, Ronnie McShannon, Stuart Shedden, Bob Worrall

The MacGregor was run in two heats, and the all four judges adjudicated the final.

Silver Star Former Winners MSR (26 competed)
1st Stuart Liddell
2nd Willie MacCallum
3rd Gordon McReady, Renfrew, Scotland
4th Angus MacColl
5th Gordon Walker, Galston, Scotland
Judges: Walter Cowan, Barry Donaldson, John MacDougall

Stay tuned to pipes|drums Magazine for more results from Oban as they become available.



World’s best ready for Oban test

Published: August 26, 2014

Argyllshire_Gathering_logoAbout 60 of the world’s best Highland pipers will converge again at the picturesque Scottish Highland town of Oban for the Argyllshire Gathering, one of the premier events on the solo competition piping calendar.

The piobaireachd events will take place at indoor venues on Wednesday, August 27th, while the traditional outdoor light music competitions will be held at the Argyllshire Gathering Park the day after, started with the traditional march to the games by competing pipers, in which the new Gold Medalist is the “pipe-major.” The group generally plays “The Argyllshire Gathering” into the park.

The 2012 march to the Argyllshire Gathering, with Gold Medallist Finlay Johnston in the P-M spot.

Twenty-nine have entered for the Highland Society of London Gold Medal contest, one of the two sister piobaireachd events each year, along with the same award at the Northern Meeting in Inverness in September. Winning a Gold Medal puts a piper’s permanent stamp on history, and opens the door to entry to elite piobaireachd competitions, including the Senior Piobaireachd at Oban and the Clasp at the Northern Meeting.

pipes|drums Magazine as always will have results from the Argyllshire Gathering as they are made available, so be sure to stay tuned.

Draws for the major events;

Senior Piobaireachd
1 Jack Lee (Canada)
2 Callum Beaumont (Scotland)
3 Iain Speirs (Scotland)
4 Euan MacCrimmon (Scotland)
5 Angus MacColl (Scotland)
6 Niall Matheson (Scotland)
7 Finlay Johnston (Scotland)
8 Stuart Liddell (Scotland)
9 Andrew Hayes (Canada)
10 Greg Wilson (New Zealand)
11 Fred Morrison (Scotland)
12 Glenn Brown (Scotland)
13 Willie McCallum (Scotland)
14 Faye Henderson (Scotland)
15 Bruce Gandy (Canada)
16 Roddy MacLeod (Scotland)

Highland Society of London Gold Medal
1 Innes Smith (Scotland)
2 John Mulhearn (Scotland)
3 Andrew Hayes
4 Allan Russell (Scotland)
5 Jori Chisholm (USA)
6 James MacHattie (Canada)
7 Andrea Boyd (Canada)
8 Alasdair Henderson (Scotland)
9 John-Angus Smith (England)
10 Alex Gandy (Canada)
11 Margaret Dunn (Scotland)
12 Glenn Brown
13 James P. Troy (Canada)
14 Craig Sutherland (Scotland)
15 Gordon Bruce (Scotland)
16 Donald MacPhee (Scotland)
17 Douglas Murray (Scotland)
18 Ian K. MacDonald (Canada)
19 Derek Midgley (USA)
20 Gordon McCready (Scotland)
21 David Wilton (Scotland)
22 William Geddes (Scotland)
23 Peter McCalister (Scotland)
24 Jamie Forrester (Scotland)
25 Cameron Drummond (Scotland)
26 Alastair Lee (Canada)
27 Andrew Bonar (Canada)
28 Andrew Carlisle (USA)
29 Jenny Hazzard (Scotland)

Silver Medal
1 Neil Walker (Scotland)
2 Steven Gray (Scotland)
3 Matt Pantaleoni (USA)
4 Decker Forrest (Scotland)
5 Mael Sicard-Cras (France)
6 Eric Ouellette (USA)
7 Greig Canning (Scotland)
8 Connor Sinclair (Scotland)
9 Robert Gray (Scotland)
10 Greig Wilson (Scotland)
11 Robert Gibb (Scotland)
12 Jamie Hawke (New Zealand)
13 Jason Craig (Scotland)
14 Ed Bush (Canada)
15 Sandy Cameron (Scotland)
16 David Shedden (Scotland)
17 Michael Fitzhenry (Northern Ireland)
18 Darach Urquhart (Scotland)
19 Peter Hunt (Scotland)
20 Graham Drummond (Scotland)
21 Angus J. MacColl (Scotland)
22 George Stewart (Scotland)
23 Colin Campbell (Scotland)
24 Sean McKeown (Canada)
25 Michael Elder (Scotland)
26 Andrew Hall (Scotland)
27 Martin Kessler (Germany)
28 Stuart Easton (New Zealand)
29 Sarah Muir (Scotland)

Former Winners MSR
1 Margaret Dunn (Scotland)
2 Bruce Gandy
3 Iain Speirs
4 Chris Armstrong (Scotland)
5 Gordon Walker (Scotland)
6 Jack Lee
7 Neil Walker (Scotland)
8 Cameron Drummond
9 Alastair Lee
10 Neil Smith
11 Alastair Dunn (Scotland)
12 Niall Matheson
13 Douglas Murray
14 Finlay Johnston
15 Glenn Brown
16 Stuart Liddell
17 Roddy MacLeod
18 Willie McCallum
19 Andrew Carlisle
20 Ian K. MacDonald
21 Jori Chisholm
22 Niall Stewart (Scotland)
23 Angus MacColl
24 Allan Russell
25 Donald MacPhee
26 Gordon McCready

Glasgow College of Piping left in the lurch with resignation of principal

Published: August 25, 2014

The College of Piping, Otago Street, Glasgow.

The College of Piping in Glasgow has been left scrambling after its principal, Robert Wallace, abruptly “retired” from the organization in a move that, according to sources close to the organization, was unexpected.

The organization, which was founded in 1944 by Seumas MacNeill and Thomas Pearston, had established a steady presence as a leader in teaching piping in Scotland and around the world. Located on Otago Street in Scotland’s biggest city, the College of Piping progressed until the death of MacNeill in 1996.

The organization was led by Dugald MacNeill for several years, until Wallace was appointed Principal in 1999.

The announcement was made on the organization’s website, apparently without the knowledge of the organization’s board of directors. With Wallace aged 63, the brief story labelled the move as a “retirement.” Wallace thanked various individuals, but not the College of Piping overall or its directors.

Wallace’s was also editor and publisher of the Piping Times monthly digest, which MacNeill and Pearston also started in 1948.

Under MacNeill’s management, the publication was celebrated for his often acerbic commentary and biting humour, but was nonetheless an important record of Highland piping.

Seumas MacNeill had been closely involved with the establishment of what would later become the National Piping Centre, but fell out with other leaders of the project when he was informed that he would not be the principal. The College of Piping had originally planned to amalgamate with Piping Centre, but MacNeill, who was in declining health at the time, decided to keep the College of Piping as a separate organization.

Directors of the organization were not immediately available for comment on the record about Wallace’s decision.

According to readily available public documents due to the charitable status of the organization, the College of Piping Services Ltd. carries financial liabilities of £427,499 and a total net worth of £200,257.

ScottishPower sets Sept. 19th deadline for L-D applications

Published: August 23, 2014

ScottishPower_logoThe ink is hardly dry on the prize money cheques from the World Championships, and bands are already starting post-season plans. The Grade 1 ScottishPower Pipe Band of Glasgow has formalized its search for a replacement for retiring Leading-Drummer Barry Wilson by asking for applications by September 19th.

The band had announced Wilson’s departure earlier in the year, with unsubstantiated rumours flying around that entire drum sections from other bands would move to ScottishPower immediately after the World’s.

Barry Wilson playing for the last time with ScottishPower, at the 2014 World Championships.

According to Pipe-Major Chris Armstrong, “The ideal candidate would already have experience in effectively leading a drum corps at the highest level and have the ability, commitment, drive and enthusiasm to produce quality creative music.”

Applications are to be sent directly to Armstrong via email.

The band finished sixth at the World Championships, in what was seen by many as an undeservedly relatively low placing overall. With the Armstrong/Wilson leadership tandem, ScottishPower has risen to the top of the top-tier of Grade 1, and has finished as high as second at the World Championship, but has never been able to convince judges that its drum section is a winner, despite Wilson’s highly successful career, which includes four consecutive World Solo Drumming Championship titles from 2007 to 2010.

Armstrong added that, as far as he is aware, Wilson will not be playing with another band in the future.

Craig Campbell of Utah wins 2014 Pick The Six!

Published: August 21, 2014

PickTheSix_newsWith another record number of entries to the annual pipes|drums Pick The Six competition, Craig Campbell of Layton, Utah, USA, emerged a clear victor of the winner-take-all collection of prizes contributed by advertisers, with a combined suggested retail value of nearly $2,500.

Some 2,117 entrants participated in the contest this year. Campbell had a total score of 15 to take the bounty:

1st Field Marshal Montgomery (3 points)
2nd Inveraray & District (3)
3rd St. Laurence O’Toole (3)
4th Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (3)
5th Simon Fraser University (0)
6th ScottishPower (3)

Congratulations to Craig Campbell for his canny ability to guess the future!

And thanks once again to all who entered and, of course, to all of our advertisers for their support.

Here are the prizes that Craig can look forward to receiving: a one-year membership to the Studio. Retail price: $240.

Boderiou Bagpipes one Boderiou poly band pipe chanter. Retail price: $205.

Bruce Gandy Music a six-pack of tunes. Retail price: $42.

Chris Armstrong Bagpipes Set of X-Treme standard drone reeds. Retail price: $130.

Elixir Piping & Drumming A book of the winner’s choice and all corresponding recordings and sheet music of exam pieces from the company’s wide selection of materials. Retail price: approx. $30.

Lee & Sons Bagpipes Any pipe bag of the winner’s choice: sheepskin, goatskin, cowhide with or without zipper and/or grommets. Retail price: $389.

Lyons Bagpipes On set Crozier Carbon Drone Reeds, $110 retail value, and a Moose Valve, $40 retail value.

Mayor Drum Supply Bass section prize pack: Set of Mayor Bass and Tenor Mallets; set of Hosbilt World’s Edition tenor drum heads (1 top head per drum); pair of Hosbilt bass heads with artwork (print ready art to be supplied); Mayor TMD. Total retail value: $1,100.

McGillivray Piping / One copy of Rhythmic Fingerwork ($38); one copy of Piobaireachd Fingerwork ($38); and a $100 Pipetunes gift certificate.

Reelpipes a copy of Fred Morrison’s Outlands Collection ($35) and a copy of Along the Road ($25).

Sound Supreme Precision Made Reeds a half-dozen pipe chanter reeds to whatever strength and make of chanter required. Retail value: $75.

Walsh Bagpipes An adjustable blowpipe and protector so it can be removed from the blowpipe and be stored with the valve protected. Retail value: $135.


And, just a refresher on the rules, which we stressed should have been read very carefully, so that no one’s entry would have to be disqualified:

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World’s 2014: a pipes|drums photo feature – Part 1

Published: August 20, 2014

The 2014 World Pipe Band Championships have already flown by, and this year’s event was as big as or even better than ever. The RSPBA and Glasgow Life do an impeccable job of running the extravaganza, which runs, if not like clockwork, at least as well as the Giant Wheel that looms over Glasgow Green.

We couldn’t be everywhere, of course, but we bring you some of our better photos from the two days. We’ll run our photo feature over two parts.

We hope that you enjoy revisiting some sights from the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships.

Vale of Atholl tuning up on the Friday.

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“Lament for the Departure of King James” – latest in the 2014 Set Tunes Series

Published: August 19, 2014

Exclusive to readers of pipes|drums Magazine, we bring you the latest installment in Dr. William Donaldson’s 2014 Set Tunes Series, an analysis of the piobaireachds set for this year’s major solo piing competitions.

Simply click on the first page below to go to the full tune and MP3 audio file, and the complete archive of the more than 140 piobaireachds in the series.

Click to go to Set Tunes Series


HD video: Field Marshal Montgomery – 2014 World Champions

Published: August 16, 2014

FMM-logoGlasgow – August 16, 2014 – Field Marshal Montgomery were crowned 2014 World Champions following two days of competition at Glasgow Green against 22 other bands from around the globe. Contestants on the final day of competition had to deal with at times extremely difficult weather, but thankfully nothing like the situation that had been forecasted. With Grade 1 finishing before 3:30 pm, enough time was available to hold the Grade 2 final in the main arena, to the enjoyment of those on the park and the many watching the streamed broadcast via the BBC. The announcement of all final results were not complete until nearly 8 pm.

Field Marshal Montgomery celebrates at the moment of the announcement of their win of the 2014 World Pipe Band Championship.

Grade 1
1st Field Marshal Montgomery (Northern Ireland)
2nd Inveraray & District (Scotland)
3rd St Laurence O’Toole (Ireland)
4th Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (Scotland)
5th Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (Scotland)
6th ScottishPower (Scotland)
Drumming: Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (Scotland)

Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe-Major Richard Parkes with his fourth consecutive World’s trophy and tenth overall.

1st Inveraray & District (5,3,3,1)
2nd Field Marshal Montgomery (1,1,7,4)
3rd St. Laurence O’Toole (6,2,4,2)
4th ScottishPower (3,5,2,5)
5th Peoples Ford-Boghall & Bathgate (4,4,5,3)
6th Shotts & Dykehead (2,6,1,8)
Judges: Robert Pollock, Cameron Edgar (piping); Greg Dinsdale (drumming); Joe Noble (ensemble)

1st Field Marshal Montgomery (1,2,2,1)
2nd Inveraray & Distict (3,1,6,2)
3rd St. Laurence O’Toole (5,3,3,3)
4th People Ford-Boghall & Bathgate (6,6,1,4)
5th Simon Fraser University (2,4,5,6)
6th Shotts & Dykehead (4,5,4,7)
Judges: Nat Russell, Jim Semple (piping); Gordon Parkes (drumming); Trevor Dear (ensemble). MSR

Grade 2
 (12 competed in final)
1st Brieg (France)
2nd Bleary & District (Northern Ireland)
3rd Buchan Peterson (Scotland)
4th Lomond & Clyde (Scotland)
5th Mackenzie Caledonian (Scotland)
6th St. Thomas Alumni (USA)
Drumming: Buchan Peterson
Judges: Peter Snaddon, Sam Young (piping); Paul Turner (drumming); John MacInnes (ensemble)

World2014_Saturday_ (242)_med

Grade 2 winners Bagad Brieg marching off of the field.

Grade 3A
1st Johnstone (Scotland)
2nd 101 Northumbrian Regiment R.A. (England)
3rd RAF Waddington/Halton (Scotland)
4th Royal Burgh of Stirling (Scotland)
5th Ballybriest (Northern Ireland)
6th Annsborough (Northern Ireland)
Drumming: Johnstone
Judges: John McCarlie, Ken Eller (piping); David Brown (drumming); Tony Sloane (ensemble)

Grade 3B
1st Thiepval Memorial
2nd Craigmount
3rd Upper Crossgare
4th Matt Boyd Memorial
5th Belgian Blend
6th Wallacestone & District
Drumming: Royal Burgh of Annan
Judges: Dixie Ingram, Robert Mathieson (piping); Sandy Russell (drumming); Jim Baxter (ensemble)

1st Dollar Academy
2nd George Watson’s College
3rd Boghall & Bathgate
4th Scotch College Melbourne (Australia)
5th Kintyre Schools
6th George Heriot’s School
Drumming: George Watson’s College
Judges: Nat Russell, Jim Semple (piping); Gordon Parkes (drumming); Trevor Dear (ensemble)

Grade 4A
1st 2622 (Highland) Squadron RAF
2nd Lochmaben Royal Burgh
3rd Tralee Pipes & Drums
4th Closkelt
5th 3rd Batallion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
6th Marlacoo & District
Drumming: 2622 (Highland) Squadron RAF
Judges: Ronnie McShannon, John Wilson (piping); Alex Dudgeon (drumming); Jennifer Hutcheon (ensemble)

Grade 4B
1st Burnt Island & District
2nd Methil & District
3rd Royal Burgh of Stirling
4th Whitewater
5th Ballyboley
6th Irvine & District
Drumming: Burnt Island & District
Judges: James Campbell, Colin Moffett (piping); William Black (drumming); Ciaran Mordaunt (ensemble)

Novice Juvenile
1st George Watson’s College
2nd George Heriot’s School
3rd West Lothian Schools
4th Dollar Academy
5th Robert Malcolm Memorial
6th Preston Lodge High School
Drumming: George Herriot’s School
Judges: Ian Wood, Jim Wark (piping); Sandy Steele (drumming); Malcolm MacKenzie (ensemble)


Qualifiers decided for Grade 1 World’s Final

Published: August 15, 2014

WorldChampionshipsGlasgow – August 15, 2014 – After a 22-band qualifying event across two contests for two heats, 12 Grade 1 bands were selected by the two judging circles to go through to the Final of the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green. Actual results of the heats were not announced, and only the 12 qualifying bands were publicized in no specific order so as not to have potential impact on judging.

78th Fraser Highlanders (Canada)
Canterbury Caledonian (New Zealand)
Cullybackey (Northern Ireland)
Dowco-Triumph Street (Canada)
Field Marshal Montgomery (Northern Ireland)
Greater Glasgow Police (Scotland)
Inveraray & District (Scotland)
Peoples Ford – Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (Scotland)
ScottishPower (Scotland)
Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (Scotland)
Simon Fraser University (Canada)
St. Laurence O’Toole (Ireland)

Adjudicators: MSR Heat 1 and Medley Heat 2: Gordon Lawrie, Harry Stevenson (piping); Gordon Craig (drumming); Jennifer Hutcheon (ensemble). MSR Heat 2 and Medley Heat 1: Bob Worrall, Bill Garrett (piping); Iain MacInnes (drumming); Ciaran Mordaunt (ensemble).

Also competing, but not making it to the Grade 1 Final:

Bagad Cap Caval (France)
Denny & Dunipace Gleneagles (Scotland)
Los Angeles Scots (USA)
New Zealand Police
Peel Regional Police (Canada)
Police Scotland Fife (Scotland)
Ravara (Northern Ireland)
Stuart Highlanders (USA)
Toronto Police (Canada)
Vale of Atholl (Scotland)

Piping Live! Day 4 – Brown reigns at Pipe Idol; that’s the rain on


PipingLive2014_logoThe fourth day of the Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival came with sun, clouds, wind, drizzle and a 15-minute torrential downpour that turned the Buchanan Street pedestrian walk into a cascading river.

With the qualifying round of the Grade 1 contest on the Friday, the Thursday seemed like the Friday, the Northern Ireland and Ireland bands arriving and circulating around. Field Marshal Montgomery timed their outdoor practice perfectly in terms of missing the rain, and large crowds gathered to see them do their FMM thing at Kelvingrove Park.

Calum Ian Brown competing in the final of Pipe Idol.

The final qualifying round of Pipe Idol saw James Dyson of Nova Scotia make the final, held later in the day in the auditorium of the National Piping Centre. Dyson joined other qualifiers Calum Ian Brown, Ben Murray and Calum Watson, and it was Brown who was named 2014 Pipe Idol winner, taking home a bunch of prizes, including a set of Fred Morrison Reelpipes.

_PipingLive2014_Day4_ (1)_smallThe pipes|drums “Little Supper” was scarfed up quickly by hungry festival-goers, who munched and swilled to the sound of the Grade 2 Portland Metro Pipe Band, practicing/performing in the usual spot outside the NPC.


The day wrapped with a great performance by Calum MacCrimmon’s band Boraraig, who split the bill with Rakish Paddy at the New Athenaeum theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

An early night for the sensible, who hit the hay comforted at least by a decent forecast for Friday . . . but the biggest day, Saturday, looking a bit darker with rain predicted for at least part of it.

Rein in the rain, and let the bands reign, we say, as pipes|drums wraps up our daily coverage of Piping Live! and now puts attention on the World Pipe Band Championships.

Stay tuned!



November 27, 1986Alex Duthart dies in Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York.
  • Repetition, repetition
    Sat, 22 Nov 2014
    Pipe bands and solo pipers are generally reluctant to introduce unfamiliar tunes into their competition repertoire. It’s usually regarded as an unnecessary risk to unveil a medley of all, or even half, newly minted, previously unh …
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UPCOMING EVENTS February 25, 2015Red Hot Chilli PipersThe Venue, Peterborough, Ontario

February 27, 2015MacKenzie Caledonian in Concert

Pipers: Need to manipulate your pipe chanter reed? – use a pen knife or Xacto knife instead of sandpaper. You have much more control on the amount of cane you take off with a knife vs. sandpaper. And it is much better for the cane itself; other woodworkers call this technique “feathering.”
Donald MacPhee, reedmaker, Alexandria, Scotland