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Conway takes over New Zealand Police in January

Published: October 4, 2014

Emmett Conway as a guest piper with the New Zealand Police.

The 10-times World Champion Field Marshal Montgomery are providing another Grade 1 band with a leader, with long-time FMM piper Emmett Conway taking over the Pipe-Major role of the Grade 1 New Zealand Police.

The 22-year-old Conway replaces Iain Robertson, who willingly stepped down after eight seasons at the helm of the New Zealand Police. Robertson will stay with the band long-term, and also maintain the leadership role until Conway immigrates to New Zealand from Northern Ireland in January 2015.

Conway has played as a guest piper with New Zealand Police for the last two southern hemisphere outdoor seasons, so he is familiar with the band and the country. He joined Field Marshal Montgomery at the age of 16.

“When Iain offered me the position I had no hesitation in accepting,” Conway said. “Having been a guest player for the past two years I know the quality and calibre of players there are to push the band forward. The Pipe Band scene in New Zealand is strong and I will be looking forward to tapping into that talent to build a stronger pipe corps and band.”

Conway is the second FMM piper to seize a pipe-major role with a Grade 1 band, following Ryan Canning’s move to the pipe-majorship of Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia in 2012.

“After an extensive period of rebuilding and changes in the band I am very proud of the advancements the organization has made,” Robertson commented. “There are too many highlights to mention but bringing the band back to a point where we can once again resume competing at an international level was always the main goal and we have achieved that. I feel the time is right to hand over leadership to someone who will be able to take the band to the next level on the world stage.”

New Zealand Police competing at the 2014 World Championships.

“I’m leaving behind many friends, however opportunities like this do not present themselves that often,” Conway continued. “I would like to thank Pipe-Major Richard Parkes for giving me the opportunity to play among such a talented group of players. I have learned so much under Richard’s musical leadership and I will always be extremely grateful for that. It has been a privilege and an honour to have played with Field Marshal Montgomery.”

Robertson said that as a result of no longer running the band he is looking forward to spending some more time with his family.

Robertson will lead the New Zealand Police likely for the last time at Palmerston North Square Day in December. Angus Crowe remains the band’s leading-drummer.

The New Zealand Police competed at the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships last August, but did not qualify for the Grade 1 Final, finishing last in both events in their group.

Ewan Henderson elected Glasgow Skye pipe-major

Published: October 3, 2014

Ewan Henderson as a member of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, with the 2006 European Championship trophy.

After a search that started in the middle of the summer competition season, the Grade 2 Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band of Scotland has elected Ewan Henderson as its new pipe-major. Henderson replaces Kenny MacLeod, who announced his plan in July to leave the post following the 2014 World Championships.

Henderson was elected ion a band vote on the night of October 2nd, and comes to Glasgow Skye from the Grade 1 Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band, to which he returned in 2013. He previously was with the band (then named the Strathclyde Police) from 1998 until 2010, and served as pipe-sergeant under then Pipe-Major Donald MacKay.

Henderson is originally from Yorkshire, England, and was pipe-major of the Grade 2 Williamwood Pipe Band of Glasgow from 2010 to 2013.

“The band members are delighted with the appointment and everyone is keen to see the progress that is made under the new leadership,” said Glasgow Skye Treasurer Dougie Orr. “This is an exciting time for the Skye and it is hoped that under his leadership, the Band can now move forward on a positive footing.”

Orr added that those interested in joining the band are welcome to contact him via the group’s website.

Glasgow Skye is one of the world’s more established pipe bands, competing mostly in Grade 2, but rising to Grade 1 status several times in its history.

Alberta scene reaching new heights with three new Grade 2 bands

Published: October 1, 2014

While other regions in Canada are struggling to maintain numbers, the pipe band scene in Alberta in particular is enjoying a surge of success.

Starting with the Rocky Mountain Pipe Band of Calgary, former pipe-major Sean Somers has returned to the post after serving as pipe-sergeant in 2014 when the band received a first-place from every judge it played for in Grade 3. The band will move back to Grade 2 status, with former Grade 1 Alberta Caledonia pipe-major Andrew Smith taking the pipe-sergeant spot. Somers was the band’s pipe-major for several years, beginning in 2008.

According to Somers the band’s roster includes more than 30 players, including new Leading-Drummer Trevor McKay, who brings experience as a member of the Grade 2 Glengarry Pipe Band of Ontario and the Grade 1 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) Pipe Band, and a brief stint with Rocky Mountain in 2012 and ’13.

Rocky Mountain plans to compete in Grade 2 at all regional contests, and has indicated that it will work to get to the 2015 North American Championships at Maxville, Ontario.

Meanwhile, in Edmonton, the North Stratton Pipe Band has been founded, and will apply to the Alberta Society of Pipers & Drummers to compete in Grade 2, with Hugh Armstrong . . .

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Hall takes snare title at South African Drumming Championships

Published: September 28, 2014

Steve St. Clair-Hall in the middle with his pipers Damien Pitman and Gavin Abell, also of African Skye.

Johannesburg – September 27, 2014 – The South African Solo Drumming Championships were held at St, Benedict’s College, Bedfordview in Johannesburg with a record number of entries. There is no existing grading system in South Africa, so the snare drum entries were divided into three categories following an open heat where competitors were assigned to one of A, B or C groups, ensuring that all competitors were allowed the opportunity to compete fairly for a prize. African Skye Leading-Drummer Steve St. Clair-Hall and senior drum tutor of the National Youth Pipe Band of South Africa, took the top spot and was named South African Open Champion, while Chad Naude and Lauren Strimer were awarded Bass Drum and Tenor Drum Champions, respectively.

Open Snare
Category A
MSR
1st Steve St. Clair-Hall (African Skye Gr2)
2nd Theo van Wyk (Benoni MacTalla)
3rd David Murray (African Skye Gr2)
4th Clinton Miles (1 Medical Battalion)
5th Anthony Evans (Transvaal Scottish)
6th Dewar van Dyk (1 Medical Battalion)
Judge: Gareth McLuckie

Category B
MSR
1st James Penberthy (1 Medical Battalion)
2nd Duncan Tee (Sandton Scottish)
3rd Trevor Wilson (1 Medical Battalion)
4th Jeremy Coutts (Richmond Avenue)
5th Caylee O’Leary (Richmond Avenue)
6th Callum Leesam (Transvaal Scottish)
Judge: Kevi Levin

Category C
MSR
1st Dylan Jones (Benoni MacTalla)
2nd Nicholas Schmidt (Transvaal Scottish)
3rd Andrew Rose (Transvaal Scottish)
4th Ross Campbell (St. Benedict’s)
5th Dennis Tewson (Sandton Scottish)
6th Brian Mola (KES)
Judge: Gareth McLuckie

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“The Battle of Waterloo” – the final piece in the 2014 Set Tunes Series

Published: September 27, 2014

Angus MacKay

The 2014 Set Tunes Series by William Donaldson concludes with “The Battle of Waterloo,” a composition rarely played by pipers unless prescribed for the major competitions.

Once again we thank Dr. Donaldson for his contribution to piping, by compiling and analyzing the various historical settings for piobaireachds played today. His series now number nearly 150 compositions, all freely available to pipes|drums readers, amounting to probably the greatest single comprehensive source of piobaireachd ever compiled.

Just click on the image below to go to the Set Tunes Series.

Click to go to Set Tunes Series.

 

ScottishPower makes Jake Jørgensen leading-drummer

Published: September 25, 2014

ScottishPower_logoThe Grade 1 ScottishPower Pipe Band of Glasgow has appointed Jake Jørgensen as its Leading-Drummer, succeeding Barry Wilson, who retired after the 2014 season.

Jørgensen comes to ScottishPower with a wealth of experience, including most recently as a member of Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia. He was Leading-Drummer of the Grade 1 Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band for several years until the band folded in 2012.

“I look forward with great enthusiasm to working with [Pipe-Major] Chris Armstrong and the rest of this great band,” Jørgensen said in a statement to pipes|drums. “I am confident that together we will be able to produce some exciting, enjoyable and highly competitive music.”

He went on to say that he is interested to hear from drummers who might be interested in joining ScottishPower.

Armstrong commented, “We are now looking very much forward to getting stuck in and preparing the band for the future. It’s exciting times ahead. I’d like to extend a welcome to Jake from myself and the band and thank everyone again who also took the time to apply.”

ScottishPower marches to the line at the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships.

The band put the position out to applicants, and it is thought that as many as six drummers were seriously considered, reportedly including several well known names.

ScottishPower in the last few years entered the elite of Grade 1 bands, finishing second at the World Championships in 2012. The band has since remained at the forefront of World’s contenders, with strong finishes in piping, but often back enough in drumming to spoil chances of winning a major championship.

Jørgensen is originally from Denmark, but has lived in Edinburgh for many years.

Here is a Jake Jørgensen playing with then Pipe-Major Neil Hall, when they were members of the Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band in 2012.

 

Craig Stewart returns to Toronto Police as Leading-Drummer

Published: September 24, 2014

Toronto_Police_logoIt took the Grade 1 Toronto Police only a few weeks to settle on the appointment of Craig Stewart as the band’s leading-dr4ummer. Stewart takes over from Mark Passmore, who left the band following the 2014 Ontario season.

Stewart comes to Toronto Police after several years as a long-distance member of the Grade 1 Los Angeles Scots, a band that has also seen changes in its drum section, following the dismissal of Leading-Drummer Glenn Kvidahl.

Craig Stewart has as much Grade 1 band experience as perhaps any snare drummer on the planet. Currently in his early-fifties, Stewart first played in the premier grade in his early-teens with the 400 Squadron Pipe Band when it was in Grade1. He has also served with the Peel Regional Police, where he was leading-drummer for several years, and an earlier stint with the Toronto Police.

Craig Stewart

“I’m excited to be back with the band and looking forward to the challenges ahead,” Stewart said. “Although I can’t confirm the final numbers yet I can tell you that some of last year’s corps are staying with the band and there are some guys coming in who have played for me before. [Pipe-Major] Ian MacDonald and I are on the same page and our expectations for the band are high. We are anxious to get started making some great music.”

The Toronto Police have had several changes in its drum section over the last decade, producing mixed results. The band did not qualify for the Grade 1 Final at the World Pipe Band Championships, but had a moderately successful year on its home ground in Ontario, with a pipe section that often finished first against two or three other competitors.

Piping and drumming community bands together for a friend in need

Published: September 22, 2014

Bill “Gillette” Sawyer

The southern Ontario – and possibly even the world – piping and drumming community is banding together to assist piper Bill “Gillette” Sawyer, who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor earlier in the year.

Sawyer was a long-time piper with the Grade 1 Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band under Pipe-Major Ken Eller in the 1970s and ’80s. Before his illness was discovered, he participated in the Clan MacFarlane Reunited historical pipe band interview that pipes|drums published in four parts.

On October 4th supporters are gathering in Niagara Fall, Ontario, at 4 pm for a $25/person fundraiser at the Niagara Falls Legion. Twisted Pillar and McPherson’s Rant, two local bands, will perform at the BBQ and beverages event, with all proceeds going towards Sawyer’s expenses for palliative care. As a self-employed trucker, Sawyer does not have employment insurance or extended health insurance.

The fundraising efforts, which include a Facebook group page and donations via PayPal, are being coordinated by Eller and Peter MacKenzie, who also played with “Gillette” in Clan MacFarlane.

“A few friends unable to make the event have sent heartfelt letters filled with memories and best wishes, which Bill has cherished,” said Sawyer’s sister Sue Gagnon. “He is so appreciative of the outpouring of generosity and would like to thank everyone for their kindness and best wishes.”

“On the Bus with Bill Sawyer” refers to the many years that Sawyer drove the bus for the Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band, and recognizes the nearly 40 years of contribution he made to the pipe band community.

“It recognized the years Bill Sawyer reached out to so many players involved, with selfless intentions of making them better players and better people,” Eller said. “Former associates have come forward and, to the person, have told stories of how Bill encouraged them along the way, and in many cases, if it had not been for his kind and generous support, they would not be active today. I am amazed at the lives he has touched. For me personally, his friendship was never more appreciated than when my father, past treasurer of the Clan, was in his final years. It was Bill who regularly visited and shared my dad’s remaining days so well. Now it is our turn to step to the plate for Bill and for all of us that have shared Bill’s great friendship over the years, we are thankful to assist in his time of need.”

The Clan MacFarlane band had a tradition of earned nicknames for its members. Bill Sawyer earned “Gillette” because he liked to keep his hair razor-short.

Those who would like to make a donation via PayPal can do so using Eller’s email address: thecaptainscorner@gmail.com, and any amount is appreciated.

pipes|drums Magazine has made a donation to the cause.

“The Red Hand in the MacDonald’s Arms” – the next in the 2014 Set Tunes Series

Published: September 21, 2014

Charles Simeon Thomason

Our exclusive feature by Dr. William Donaldson on the 2014 piobaireachds assigned to the major gatherings continues with “The Red Hand in the MacDonalds’ Arms.”

The Set Tunes Series now numbers nearly 150 piobaireachds, each meticulously analyzed by Donaldson, a former pupil of Robert Nicol and one of the world’s foremost academic researchers on pipe music. His book, The Highland Pipe & Scottish Society, is a semenal deconstruction of the historial events and class circumstances that contributed to the current state of ceol mor.

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

 

Liddell on top at Springbank

Published: September 20, 2014

Liddell_Stuart_Springbank_2014_small

Stuart Liddell with the overall trophy for the 2014 Springbank Invitational. [Photo: Derek Maxwell]

Campbeltown, Scotland – September 20, 2014 – The Kintyre Piping Society held the annual Springbank Invitational Piping Competition at the Seafield Hotel, and Stuart Liddell of Inveraray, Scotland, emerged the overall winner, with a first in the Piobaireachd, which broke a tie with Angus MacColl of Benderloch, Scotland, who won the MSR, and neither had a prize in the other event that counted toward the aggregate. The event is sponsored by Springbank Distillery.

Piobaireachd
1st Stuart Liddell, “Lament for the Laird of Annapool”
2nd Roddy MacLeod, Glasgow, “Isabel MacKay”
3rd Iain Speirs, Edinburgh, “Donald Gruamach’s March”
4th Callum Beaumont, Bo’ness, Scotland, “Lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar”

MSR
1st Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland, “Craigendarroch,” “The Argyllshire Gathering,” “Shepherd’s Crook,” “John Roy Stewart,” “Mrs. MacPherson of Inveran,” “Alick C. MacGregor”
2nd Willie McCallum, Bearsden, Scotland,
3rd Roddy MacLeod,
4th Callum Beaumont,

Hornpipe & Jig
1st Angus MacColl, “Kyle Howie’s,” “Skye”
2nd Gordon Walker, Galston, Scotland,
3rd Stuart Liddell
4th Willie McCallum

Springbank 2014 competitors L-R: Roddy MacLeod, Willie McCallum, Angus MacColl, Callum Beaumont, Gordon Walker, Stuart Liddell, Niall Stewart and Iain Speirs. [Photo: Derek Maxwell]

Also competing but not in the prizes, was Niall Stewart of Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland.

Iain MacFadyen, Iain Morrison and John Wilson judged all of the events.

Sherriff Memorial invitees getting ready for November 15th

Published: September 17, 2014

George Sherriff

The 10 contestants who have earned a spot in the 19th annual George Sherriff Memorial Amateur Invitational Solo Piping Competition on Saturday, November 15th at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, in Hamilton, Ontario, have been settled, featuring top amateur pipers from across North America:

  • Tyler Bridge, Ontario
  • James Dyson, Nova Scotia
  • Andrew Hahn, California
  • Tyler Harris, Ontario
  • Liam Hilder, British Columbia
  • Andrew Hutton, Ontario
  • Kaitlin Kimove, Ontario
  • Kevin McLean, British Columbia
  • Sean Regan, Virginia
  • Jack Williamson, Kansas

“The Sherriff” is seen as one of the best events in the world for amateur pipers, often a swan song for competitors moving to the Professional class. Competitors are decided based on recommendations and results from the various associations across the continent, with an informal per-capita weighting based on the total number of competing pipers in their respective regions.

There are three events that comprise the Sherriff, beginning with 6/8 Marches at 10 am; Piobaireachd at 1 pm; and MSR at 7:30 pm.

2014 George Sherriff Memorial Amateur Invitational Piping Competition contestants.

Led by renowned piper, teacher, composer, and host Bob Worrall, the event is organized by a team of volunteers and the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario. Judges for all events at this year’s Sherriff Memorial are Andrew Berthoff, Toronto; Patricia Henderson, Kirriemuir, Scotland; and Iain MacDonald, Regina, Saskatchewan.

The competition is named in honour of the late George Sherriff, who committed much of his life to teaching piping in the Hamilton area.

63% of pipes|drums readers say Yes to Scottish independence

Published: September 16, 2014

scottish_vote_smallpipes|drums Magazine’s online readers’ poll, reflecting exactly the question and choices posed to qualified residents of Scotland on Thursday, September 18th, indicate that nearly two-thirds of the world’s pipers and drummers are in favour of Scottish sovereignty.

After two days of voting, to the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” 63% had answered Yes, while 37% answered No.

The Scottish referendum has drawn the attention of the world and the world’s media. The extraordinary decision has been described as a once in a lifetime opportunity for a country and, in Scotland’s case, the first time in more than 300 years that such a referendum has been permitted.

Locations of voters reflect that of pipes|drums’ readership, with more than half of participants being from countries in Great Britain. Analytics with the polling software delineate only sovereign nations, with no ability to break out the four countries that comprise the UK.

Location of survey participants:

  • United Kingdom – 54%
  • Canada – 23%
  • United States – 16%
  • Australia – 1%
  • New Zealand – 1%
  • Ireland – 1%
  • Rest of world – 4%

With survey respondents from the UK, those in the Yes camp are at 68%, while the No side is at 32%.

Canadians are narrowly against Scotland being an independent country, with 51% saying No, and 49% Yes. US participants are on the Yes side, with 60% saying Yes and 40% responding No.

Multiple votes from a single IP address were deleted.

“As with all of our polls, it’s a snapshot of how our readers think overall,” said pipes|drums editor Andrew Berthoff. “It’s a decent gauge of the temperament of the world’s pipers and drummers, and obviously is not an indication of how the actual vote will go on Thursday. The eyes of the world are on Scotland, and that of course includes our readers.”

The poll will remain open until Wednesday night and readers who have not yet participated are encouraged to cast their opinion.

Scientific surveys of the eligible voters of Scotland indicate that the referendum is neck-and-neck.

Sutherland goes to Pitlochry; wins

Published: September 15, 2014

Craig Sutherland

Pitlochry, Scotland – September 13, 2014 – Weather was hot and sunny at the annual Pitlochry Highland Games, a traditional season-ender for the outdoor Scottish solo circuit. Craig Sutherland had the best overall day against a strong turnout, which included the return of the long-absent Logan Tannock and Brian Lamond to the boards and the prizes. Pitlochry traditionally does not hold a piobaireachd event.

MSR
1st Logan Tannock, Sauchie, Scotland
2nd Craig Sutherland, Crieff, Scotland
3rd Allan Russell, Kelty, Scotland
4th Brian Lamond, Inverkeithing, Scotland
5th Graham Mulholland
6th Donald MacPhee, Alexandria, Scotland
Judges: Duncan MacDiarmid, Tom Speirs

Jig
1st Graham Mulholland
2nd Craig Sutherland
3rd Dan Nevans
4th Allan Russell
5th Andrew Bova, Glasgow
6th Adam Michie
Judges: Jimmy Banks, Gordon Clark

6/8 March
1st Craig Sutherland
2nd Andrew Bova
3rd Allan Russell
4th Logan Tannock
5th Brian Lamond
6th James MacPhee, Inverness, Scotland
Judges: Jimmy Banks, Gordon Clark

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

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

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

Medley
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

Medley
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

Published:

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.

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

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

Open
March
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

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

March
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’

Published:

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.

Clasp
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.

Clasp
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.

 

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TIP OF THE DAY
Mid-sections: Setting the instruments at evenly pitched intervals doesn’t constitute tuning whatsoever and is no substitute for finely tuned instruments playing carefully voiced phrases that replicate or counter melodic passages.
Scott Currie, SC Drumming, Uddingston, Scotland