Archives

Donald Graham, 1959-2014

Published: July 15, 2014

Donald Graham

The South African piping and drumming scene was saddened by the death of Donald Graham on July 13, 2014, at the age of 55.

Graham was a past President of the Pipe Band Association of South Africa and a long-time bass drummer and tenor drummer with several prominent bands, including the Southern Johannesburg Caledonian Society, Transvaal Scottish, Richmond Avenue and African Skye at various points in his career.

Born on June 8, 1959, Donald Graham had an intense passion for pipe bands in general and bass sections in particular. His innovation in terms of tones, multiple drums and technique were way ahead of their time and he inspired an entire fraternity. He learned drumming in the cadet band at Parktown Boys High School, and went on to the Southern Johannesburg Caledonian Society Pipe Band as a snare- and tenor-drummer, and then the Transvaal Scottish as a tenor drummer.

With the South African Irish in the 1980s Donald Graham experimented with playing multiple tenor drums with different tones, well before the current trend. He then served as the Leading-Drummer of the short-lived De La Salle Old Boys Pipe Band, and then played bas with Richmond Avenue for more than 20 years. He was a tenor drummer with African Skye before starting Sandton Scottish where he also played tenor.

In addition to a term as President, Donald Graham was a frequent member of the PBASA Executive Committee, and was a bass section adjudicator for the PBASA.

We extend our sympathies to Donald Graham’s family and many friends at this sad time.

 

Viscount Park takes both days at Fort Edmonton

Published:

ViscountPark_logo_smallEdmonton, Alberta – July 12-13, 2014 – The newly resurrected Viscount Park Pipe Band of Edmonton won both the Grade 2 events and put on a concert with James P. Troy at the Capitol Theater in conjunction with the Fort Edmonton Games. The City of Regina Pipe Band provided entertainment on Saturday night in the Hangar inside Fort Edmonton Park. All events were judged by James P. Troy, James W. Troy, Dan Diessner, and Tim Boan.

Saturday
Grade 2
MSR
1st Viscount Park
2nd City of Regina

Grade 3
Medley
1st Rocky Mountain
2nd Ben Nevis

Grade 4
March Medley
1st Ogden Legion
2nd Edmonton Youth
3rd Edmonton & District

Sunday
Grade 2
Medley
1st Viscount Park
2nd City of Regina

Grade 3
MSR
1st Rocky Mountain
2nd Ben Nevis

Grade 4
Medley
1st Ogden Legion
2nd Edmonton Youth
3rd Edmonton & District

Professional Piping
Piobaireachd
1st Jonathan Grady
2nd Zephan Knichel
3rd Alex Rasmussen

MSR
1st Rob MacRae
2nd Zephan Knichel
3rd Jonathan Grady

Hornpipe & Jig
1st Rob MacRae
2nd Zephan Knichel
3rd Alex Rasmussen

Seven on the trot for African Skye

Published: July 14, 2014

AfricanSkye_logoPretoria, South Africa – July 12, 2014 – The St. Benedict’s College Highland Gathering was sunny but cold with the wind chill factor a challenge for most bands. Overall, African Skye made it seven out of seven, winning the medley and coming in second to Benoni MacTalla in the MSR, who won on an ensemble preference. The South African season closes later in the month with the South African Championships and Champion of Champion titles awarded at the Benoni Gathering on July 26th.

Grade 2
Medley
1st African Skye (1,2,3,1)
2nd Benoni MacTalla (2,1,2,3)
3rd Transvaal Scottish (3,3,1,2)
Judges: Geoff Irvine, Bob Worrall (piping); Dennis Tewson (drumming); Thomas Fuller (ensemble)

MSR
1st Benoni MacTalla (1,2,3,1) (ens pref)
2nd African Skye (2,1,2,2)
3rd Transvaal Scottish (3,3,1,3)
Judges: Roger Davies, Bob Worrall (piping); Dave Jeffrey (drumming); Ewen Gilchrist (ensemble)

Members of the African Skye Pipe Band hang out with guest judge, Bob Worrall, after the contest.

 

Grade 3
1st Sandton Scottish (2014 Regional Champions)
2nd Glen Allen

Grade 4
1st African Skye (Gr4) (2014 Regional Champions)
2nd Transvaal Scottish (Gr4)
3rd Lyttelton Manor
4th Pretoria Highlanders
5th De La Salle Combined

Juvenile Overall
1st Pretoria Boys Juvenile (2014 Regional Champions)
2nd St Benedict’s Juvenile
3rd Benoni Juvenile

Novice Juvenile
1st Jeppe CBC Boksburg (2014 Regional Champions)
2nd Cornwall Hill College
3rd Benoni Novice Juvenile

“The Big Spree” – the first installment in the 2014 Set Tunes Series

Published: July 11, 2014

MacCrimmon_piper_thumbWe begin the 2014 Set Tunes Series by William Donaldson with “The Big Spree,” one of the greatest and most-played tunes in the piobaireachd repertory.

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 open the full tune and the complete Set Tunes Series.

The Grade 1 and Grade 2 World’s draws: some sitting pretty, others look for upside

Published: July 9, 2014

WorldChampionshipsThe random draw for the eight competition grades at the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships has happened, and bands around the world are closely examining their placement, which, in larger grades and pools of contestants, can have a substantial impact on their chances of doing well or leaving the park dejected.

A total of 23 bands are entered in Grade 1, and 22 in Grade 2, each grade broken into qualifying heats.

Reigning champions Field Marshal Montgomery will be pleased with their position, playing eighth in Grade 1 Heat 1, sandwiched between Bagad Cap Caval of Brittany and New Zealand’s Canterbury Caledonian. The resurging 2010 World Champions, St. Laurence O’Toole of Ireland, perhaps have the best placement of all strong contenders for the title, second-last in the same heat as Field Marshal.

2014 European Champions Inveraray & District will be happy, on eighth in their 12-band heat, right after perennial contenders Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia.

But those bands are almost certain to qualify for the final round the following day no matter where they are drawn, and it is not clear whether the final event will have its own draw after the results of the qualifier are known, or if original draw from the qualifier will be applied.

A band’s placement in the order-of-play can also dramatically change its collective attitude over the month leading up to the August 15-16 World’s, with a draw often either casting a pall on a band’s hopes and dreams or putting a solid spring in their step as they approach the big day at Glasgow Green.

Perhaps not so fortunate of the Grade 1 bands vying for qualification are the likes of Canada’s 78th Fraser Highlanders and Dowco Triumph Street, drawn second and third, respectively, in their heats, each with a perceived contender for the title in ScottishPower and Simon Fraser University immediately after them. But that juxtaposition can also be considered a big benefit, adjudicators able to compare them quickly with perceived strong-seeds.

“My initial impression was disappointment when I saw that we were drawn to play second – we’ve not had much luck with draws this year,” said Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe-Major Ryan Canning. “However when I realised it was in the second heat, meaning that if we qualify we’d play seventh or eighth out of 12, I was happy with that. Of course we still have to play well enough to qualify first of all!

“While the draw overall is quite good for us (should we qualify for the final) I think the most balanced option would be to do a new draw once the qualifying bands are known. It would be very disappointing to have to play first on in both the qualifier and the final especially given that it’s over four performances now and not just two.”

“There are many ways to guess the potential psyche of the adjudicators’ relative to your position of play on the day,” commented 78th Frasers’ Pipe-Major Doug MacRae. “Insofar as that goes, we have no reason to over-analyze our draw. From the band’s point of view, though, we are happy to be playing between Fife and Power. As The 78th Fraser Highlanders continue to improve, it makes for an excellent opportunity to perform our music surrounded by two exceptional bands.”

Adjudicators are always a factor, too, and this year the judges for the Grade 1 qualifying heats for the most part are likely to be considered free of . . .

Continue reading

Bands on edge awaiting critical World’s draw

Published: July 7, 2014

For many bands, tens of thousands of dollars hang in the balance as they await word of the random draw for order-of-play at the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships.

Playing early in a larger competition is almost always a disadvantage, and playing before 10 am in the notoriously unpredictable Glasgow weather can mean the difference between final glory and a whole lot of money and effort swirling down the toilet.

The all-important draw takes place on Wednesday, July 9th, at the RSPBA’s headquarters at 45 Washington Street in Glasgow.

At the 2013 World Championships, the morning of the first day of competition saw cold, torrential, often humiliating, rain pelt bands that had to play between 9 am and 11 am, while bands in the afternoon performed under clear, sunny and warm conditions. Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, Toronto Police and Simon Fraser University were some of the worst-hit, some players having a difficult time simply keeping their balance against the wind, much less finishing the performance.

Simon Fraser University were among the bands that got the worst of the rain, playing at around 9 am on the first day of the 2013 World Championships.

But an early draw isn’t necessarily all doom. If a lesser-established band is surrounded by favourites in the order-of-play, it can be an opportunity to compare favourably and get a bump up with the judges. And if stronger bands are grouped together, playing early becomes relatively moot.

This year’s World Championships are on Friday, August 15th, and Saturday, August 16th. It will be the first time that the event has been held on a weekday. In Grade 1, 2013 World Champions Field Marshal Montgomery, after winning seven consecutive RSPBA major titles, suddenly look vulnerable following recent losses at the hands of Inveraray & District, ScottishPower and St. Laurence O’Toole at the European Championships on June 28th in Forres, Scotland, and St. Laurence O’Toole at the All-Ireland Championships at New Ross, Ireland, on July 5th.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for analysis of and commentary on the order-of-play for the prominent grades in the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships.

SLOT tops FMM at All-Ireland Championships

Published: July 5, 2014

New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland – July 5, 2014 – St. Laurence O’Toole took home the 2014 All-Ireland Pipe Band Championship, beating 2013 World Champions and incumbent All-Ireland Champions Field Marshal Montgomery in both the MSR and Medley events at the annual contest at Town Park. Bleary continued its strong season by taking Grade 2 with straight firsts.

Grade 1 (three competed)
Medley
1st St. Laurence O’Toole (ens.pref.) (2,2,1,1)
2nd Field Marshal Montgomery (1,1,2,2)
3rd Cullybackey (3,3,3,3)
Judges: Bill Garrett, Michael Fitzgerald (piping); David Brown (drumming); Gordon Lawrie (ensemble)

MSR
1st St. Laurence O’Toole (1,2,1,1)
2nd Field Marshal Montgomery (2,1,2,2)
3rd Cullybackey (3,3,3,3)
Judges: Malcolm MacKenzie, Colin Moffett (piping); Ciaran Mordaunt (drumming); Joe Noble (ensemble)

Grade 2 (four competed)
1st Bleary & District (1,1,1,1)
2nd Manorcunningham (2,2,2,2)
3rd Arklow (3,3,4,3)
4th St. Finbarr’s (4,4,3,4)
Judges: Malcolm MacKenzie, Colin Moffett (piping); Ciaran Mordaunt (drumming); Joe Noble (ensemble)

 

HD videos: 78th Frasers continue win-streak at Kincardine

Published:

Kincardine, Ontario – July 5, 2014 – On a typically brilliant, sunny, warm summer day on the shore of Lake Huron at the 15th annual Kincardine Scottish Festival, the 78th Fraser Highlanders continued their unbeaten streak in Ontario with a first in the Grade 1 medley contest, with four firsts from the judges. Grade 2 saw only the new Greater Midwest Pipe Band play, unfortunately travelling from their Michigan home-base without another challenger in the grade. Ian K. MacDonald picked up another Piper of the Day award. Zack Miller was the Professional Drummer of the Day.

Bands
Grade 1 (medley, three competed)
1st 78th Fraser Highlanders (1,1,1,1)
2nd Peel Regional Police (ens.pref.) (3,3,2,2)
3rd Toronto Police (2,2,3,3)
Drumming: 78th Fraser Highlanders
Judges: Ken Eller, Glenna Mackay-Johnstone (piping); Greg Dinsdale (drumming); Jim McGillivray (ensemble)

Grade 2 (MSR, one played)
1st Greater Midwest
Judges: Ken Eller, Glenna Mackay-Johnstone (piping); Greg Dinsdale (drumming); Jim McGillivray (ensemble)

See next page for more results and top-three Grade 3 band videos from Kincardine.

Continue reading

Canning, Watson, Dew win at Thornton

Published:

Greig Canning

Thornton, Scotland – July 5, 2014 – Results at the Thornton Highland Games were fairly scattered with a light entry. Euan Anderson and Andrew Frater judged all of the events.

Open
Piobaireachd
1st Greig Canning
2nd Craig Martin
3rd Greig Wilson
4th Ross Miller

MSR
1st Callum Watson
2nd Greig Wilson
3rd Craig Martin
4th Greig Canning

Under-18
Piobaireachd
1st John Dew

MSR
1st John Dew
2nd Chris Happs
3rd Ewan Cameron
4th Mathew Clark

pipes|drums announces 14th Set Tunes Series by William Donaldson

Published: July 3, 2014

Dr. William Donaldson

Since 2000, Dr. William Donaldson has worked with pipes|drums to create an annual analysis of the piobaireachds picked by the Piobaireachd Society for the major competitions, and continues the landmark Set Tunes Series – free to all readers of the magazine – again in 2014.

With close to 150 tunes, each meticulously presented in the various settings that preceded the Piobaireachd Society’s ongoing attempt to standardize the compositions, the 2014 Set Tunes Series numbers six tunes, as most of those set for the Senior, Gold Medal and Silver Medal competitions at the Argyllshire Gathering at Oban, Scotland, and the Northern Meeting at Inverness, Scotland, have already been presented.

The totality of the Set Tunes Series with multiple settings of each tune represents the largest single compendium of piobaireachd anywhere.

The tunes in this year’s series:

  • “Abercairney’s Salute”
  • “The Battle of Waterloo”
  • “The Big Spree”
  • “Lament for the Departure of King James”
  • “MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute”
  • “The Red Hand in the MacDonalds’ Arms”

A native of Aberdeen, Scotland, William Donaldson was a pupil for nine years with the legendary Robert Nicol. As a leading academic expert on Scots musical composition and song, Donaldson has published several works on Highland piping, including the seminal work, The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, a critical study of the evolution of piobaireachd and the influence of a few aristocratic power-brokers to control the music for competition.

We launch the 2014 Set Tunes Series with a brief interview with William Donaldson.

pipes|drums: The Set Tunes Series is now in its fourteenth year. It’s one of the bigger collections with more than 150 tunes.

William Donaldson: Yes. It is a good start, but providing reliable, authentic scores only takes us so far. They have to be interpreted and played, realized with all the musical talent we know our current cohort of professional players possesses (obvious from the brilliant way they handle the light music). But there are obstacles to this, as we all know, mainly the . . .

Continue reading

MacLeod to step down as Glasgow Skye P-M after World’s

Published: July 2, 2014

Kenny MacLeod

With nearly a total of a quarter-century of service with the Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band, Pipe-Major Kenny MacLeod will step down from the post after the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships. He latest stretch with the band was four years, when he returned to help rebuild the then-struggling Glasgow-based Grade 2 band.

Before the fall of 2010, MacLeod previously was a member and pipe-major of the band for some 20 years, playing in the band with other members of his family.

Under MacLeod’s most recent direction the band has returned to the height of Grade 2 on a world level, last year consistently placing in the top three at major championships, including a fourth at the 2013 World Championships. In the 1990s he brought the band for a brief period to the Grade 1 level.

“I’ve played in the Skye for a total of 24 years over two stints, and enjoyed every minute of it,” MacLeod said, “but it was always the plan that I was coming in this time to steady the band on a short-term basis, and the long-term future of the band was always the most important thing for me. When I joined we were very low in pipers and we’ve built that back up to healthy numbers again. We’ve replaced the drums, jackets and waistcoats and kilts and generally improved the uniform. Perhaps most importantly the band is financially secure.”

The band has already started a search for MacLeod’s successor, encouraging those interested to contact the band’s treasurer, Dougie Orr, or secretary, Lesley Jamieson.

“It really is a great prospect for a new pipe-major to come in and look at things as a long-term project. I decided that it was better to announce now that I would be stepping down at the end of this season, so any candidates could contact the band for more details, and then have time to think about their future, well before the end of their season. I will play absolutely no part in the selection process and it will be the band members who will pick the next pipe-major.”

So far in 2014 Glasgow Skye has not fared quite so well at majors, with a fifth-prize at each of the British and European championships.

“The season isn’t over, though, and I hope we can improve our placings after some mixed results so far,” MacLeod continued.

The band recently travelled to California to compete at the Costa Mesa Highland Games.

African Skye makes it six for six

Published: July 1, 2014

AfricanSkye_logoPretoria, South Africa – June 28, 2014 – Weather was chilly and cloudy with intermittent sunshine at the Cornwall Hill College Gathering , where African Skye continued its dominance in Grade 2 making it six of six with the Transvaal Scottish and Benoni MacTalla edging closer and closer into the last leg of the South African season. The regional finals on July 12th and the South African Championship Gathering is on July 26th. The drum corps of the African Skye disrupted the Transvaal Scottish’s clean sweep by taking the overall drumming title on Saturday. Benoni MacTalla won the piping in the MSR with two firsts. The Transvaal Scottish won the medley event but MacChamberlain Richmond Avenue took the drumming prize.

Grade 2
Medley
1st Transvaal Scottish (1,2,2,2)
2nd African Skye (2,1,3,3)
3rd Benoni MacTalla (3,3,4,1)
4th MacChamberlain Richmond Avenue (4,4,1,4)
Judges: Craig Herwill, Geoff Irvine (piping); Duncan Tee (drumming); Ewen Gilchrist (ensemble)

MSR
1st African Skye (2,2,1,1)
2nd Benoni MacTalla (1,1,3,2)
3rd Transvaal Scottish (3,3,2,3)
4th MacChamberlain Richmond Avenue (4,4,4,4)
Judges: Roger Davies, Adrian Haddow (piping); Clinton Miles (drumming); Thomas Fuller (ensemble)

Gibb in form at 700th Ceres Games

Published: June 29, 2014

Robert Gibb

Ceres, Scotland – June 28, 2014th – While many of the UK’s pipers were at the European Championships, the 700th anniversary of the Ceres Highland Games went on, with Robert Gibb having the most success in the senior solo piping. The event is tied in with the anniversary celebration of the Battle of Bannockburn. Euan Anderson judged everything.

Senior
Piobaireachd
1st Robert Gibb
2nd Michael Elder
3rd Craig Martin
4th Andrew Hill

March
1st Michael Elder
2nd Robert Gibb
3rd Craig Martin
4th Andrew Hill

Strathspey & Reel
1st Robert Gibb
2nd Michael Elder
3rd Craig Martin
4th Andrew Hill

Under-18
Piobaireachd
1st Robbie MacIsaac

March
1st Robbie MacIsaac
2nd Ewan Cameron
3rd Euan Bailie

Strathspey & Reel
1st Robbie MacIsaac
2nd Ewan Cameron
3rd Euan Bailie

2014 European Champions: Inveraray & District

Published: June 28, 2014

Inveraray_logo Forres, Scotland – June 28, 2014 – Field Marshal Montgomery’s string of consecutive major championship victories came to a crashing end at seven, with Inveraray & District’s win of the European Championships, with the 2013 World Champions tumbling to a surprising fourth prize. It was the first championship victory in Grade 1 for Inveraray. Field Marshal Montgomery had two firsts in piping, but a fifth in ensemble and a crippling seventh in drumming were too much to overcome. Only 11 Grade 1 and 12 Grade 2 bands made the trip to the village of Forres (population 9,000) in the north of Scotland for the European Championships, the third of the five RSPBA majors in the year. Weather was a mix of sun and cloud, with a high of about 14. Grade 2 was won by Buchan, continuing that band’s run of success and almost certain move to Grade 1 in 2015. Dundee’s Mackenzie Caledonia surged forward to second in Grade 2, the band’s highest placing yet in a major.

Grade 1 (medley, 11 competed)
1st Inveraray & District (2,4,3,2)
2nd ScottishPower (3,2,6,1)
3rd St. Laurence O’Toole (ens.pref) (4,5,1,4)
4th Field Marshal Montgomery (1,1,7,5)
5th Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (5,3,2,6)
6th Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate (6,7,4,3)
Drumming: St. Laurence O’Toole
Judges: George Wilson, Ian Wood (piping); Paul Turner (drumming); Peter Snaddon (ensemble)

Grade 2 (MSR, 12 competed)
1st Buchan Peterson (3,3,1,1)
2nd Mackenzie Caledonian (1,2,4,2)
3rd Torphichen & Bathgate (4,1,3,4)
4th Lomond & Clyde (2,6,2,3)
5th Glasgow Skye (9,5,5,6)
6th City of Edinburgh (7,4,8,9)
Judges: Gordon Lawrie, Harry Stevenson (piping); David Brown (drumming); Joe Noble (ensemble)

Pints for what ales you: pipers open piping-inspired craft brew-pub in California

Published: June 25, 2014

MacLeodAle_LogoIt might not yet be the Park Bar or the Snaffle Bit in terms of piping lore, but the piper-owned MacLeod Ale Brewing Company in sunny Van Nuys, California, makes its own beer, each named for famous pipe tunes.

After years of planning, the new brewpub officially opened on June 23rd to much fanfare and acclaim and the sound of the Grade 3 Pasadena Scots Pipe Band, in which owners Jennifer Febre and Alastair Boase play, with Febre as pipe-major.

Febre and her husband, with the help of a master brewer who moved to the Los Angeles area from Rhode Island, make traditional British cask ales, each pulled from tap handles custom-made by McCallum Bagpipes of Kilmarnock, Scotland. The company’s logo features a piping and drumming inspired image of a glengarry hat.

Jennifer Febre

Jennifer Febre

“The King’s Taxes” (a 60-shilling), “The Little Spree” (a Yorkshire pale ale), “Old Toasty” (dark mild), “The Session Gap” (a bitter), and “Jackie Tar” (a stout) are a few of the handcrafted libations on offer

“Originally the idea was to get a brewery to sponsor the Pasadena Scots,” Febre said, “but I’m too shy to ask a brewery for money, so I decided to start my own.”

The new venture has been met with wide acclaim and positive reviews from highbrow beer publications and even the LA Times newspaper, which said, “The tasting room . . .is will be welcomed by the beer lovers in the [San Fernando] who’ve been growing thirsty while craft breweries sprouted from downtown to the South Bay.”

Due to local ordinances, live music is not allowed in the brewpub, but, as with the Snaffle Bit and Park Bar, exceptions might be made when someone gets out a set of pipes . . . or tries to play one of the tap-handles.

BC Games good for SFU, RMM, Chisholm

Published: June 22, 2014

SFU-logo-07Coquitlam, British Columbia – June 21, 2014 – Simon Fraser University won both Grade 1 events, Robert Malcolm Memorial took the aggregate prize in Grade 2, and Jori Chisholm was the overall solo piping champion at the BC Highland Games in warm and sunny weather.

Bands
Grade 1 (two competed)
MSR
1st Simon Fraser University
2nd Triumph Street

Medley
1st Simon Fraser University
2nd Triumph Street

Grade 2 (two competed)
MSR
1st Robert Malcolm Memorial
2nd Portland Metro

Medley
1st Portland Metro
2nd Robert Malcolm Memorial

Grade 3 (two competed)
MSR
1st Greighlan Crossing
2nd Columbia Regional

Medley
1st Greighlan Crossing
2nd Columbia Regional

Grade 4 (seven competed)
1st White Spot
2nd Robert Malcolm Memorial
3rd Crescent Beach
4th Keith Highlanders

Grade 5 (two competed)
1st Robert Malcolm Memorial
2nd White Spot

Professional Solo Piping
Piobaireachd
1st Jori Chisholm
2nd Andrew Lee
3rd Ed McIlwaine
4th John Lee
5th Andrew Bonar
6th Myles Stewart
Judge: James W. Troy

MSR
1st Andrew Bonar
2nd Jori Chisholm
3rd Andrew Lee
4th Alastair Lee
5th Myles Stewart
6th Jamie Kubasiewicz
Judge: James Beaumont

Hornpipe & Jig
1st Alastair Lee
2nd Andrew Lee
3rd Jamie Kubasiewicz
4th Jori Chisholm
5th Myles Stewart
6th Andrew Bonar
Judge: Angus Macpherson

SLOT beats FMM in MSR at Lurgan

Published:

Lurgan, Northern Ireland – June 21, 2014 – St. Laurence O’Toole of Dublin continued its resurgence as a Grade 1 powerhouse with a win over the seemingly indomitable Field Marshal Montgomery of Belfast in the MSR event at the Craigavon & District Championships. FMM took the Medley contest and the overall award, but the story of the day was SLOT under the band’s new Pipe-Major Alen Tully. The event also saw he band’s former Pipe-Major Terry Tully return to the ranks after several months’ absence. SLOT also won the overall drumming and bass and tenor prizes. The event was organized by the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA.

Grade 1
MSR
1st St. Laurence O’Toole (2,2,1,1)
2nd Field Marshal Montgomery (1,1,3,2)
3rd Cullybackey (3,3,2,3)
4th Ravara (4,4,4,4)
Judges: George Wilson, Iain Simpson (piping); Paul Turner (drumming); Peter Snaddon (ensemble)

St. Laurence O’Toole competing at Lurgan

Medley
1st Field Marshal Montgomery (1,1,1,1)
2nd St. Laurence O’Toole (2,2,2,2)
3rd Cullybackey (3,3,3,4)
4th Ravara (4,4,4,3)
Judges: Winston Pollock, Colin Moffett (piping); Gordon Parkes (drumming); John Moles (ensemble)

Frank, Gandy win USPF events

Published: June 21, 2014

Vic Frank

Newark, Delaware – June 21, 2014 – The United States Piping Foundation Professional Championships were held at the Center for the Arts at the University of Delaware, and Vic Frank won the Professional Piobaireachd event, while Alex Gandy took the light music. In the amateur contests, Campbell Webstre was the overall winner. The contest is open to at Professional-grade pipers in North America. The event restricted the entry after its status as a qualifier for the Glenfiddich Championships was taken away. Alex Gandy was the overall winner, who received airfare to compete in the UK. First prize in each of the professional events was $1000.

Professional
Piobaireachd (St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia Silver Quaich)
1st Vic Frank, Silver Spring, Maryland, “Lament for the Only Son”
2nd Bruce Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, “Donald Gruamach’s March”
3rd Andrew Carlisle, Pittsburgh, “The Big Spree”
4th Alex Gandy, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, “Lament for Captain MacDougall”
5th Liz Cherry, Pittsburgh, “Lady MacDonald’s Lament”
Judges: Peter Kent, Jimmy McIntosh

MSR (St. Andrew’s Society of Baltimore Silver Charger)
1st Alex Gandy, “Verna Leith’s Wedding March,” “Arniston Castle,” “Alex C. MacGregor”
2nd Eric Ouellette, Syracuse, New York, “John MacDonald’s Farewell to South Uist, ” “Caledonian Society of London,” “Ca’ the Ewes”
3rd Andrew Carlisle, “Braes of Castle Grant,” “Blair Drummond,” “Pretty Marion”
4th Bruce Gandy, “The Pap of Glencoe,” “The Islay Ball,” “Charlie’s Welcome”
5th Derek Midgley, Tinton Falls, New Jersey, “Duncan MacColl,” “Neil Sutherland of Lairg,” “Arnish Light”
Judges: Colin MacLellan, Jim Stack

Also competing but not in the prizes: Duncan Bell, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; John Bottomley, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Andrew Donlon, Germantown, Maryland; Robert Gray, Iowa City, Iowa; Ben McClamrock, Baltimore; Dan Lyden, Timonium, Maryland; Alistair Murray, Pittsburgh; and Andrew Walker, Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

Amateur
Piobaireachd (Donald MacPherson Silver Quaich)
1st Stanton Man, Pittsburgh, “Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay”
2nd Campbell Webster, Concord, New Hampshire, “The Little Spree”
3rd Maeghan Bielski, Middleborough, Massachusetts, “Lament for the Departure of King James”
4th Andrew Chalfoun, Owings Mills, Maryland, “Lament for the Viscount of Dundee”
5th Grace Washam, Arden, North Carolina, “The Park Piobaireachd No. 2″

MSR (Seumas MacNeill Silver Quaich)
1st Campbell Webster, “Braes of Castle Grant,” “Ewe wi’ the Crooked Horn,” “Major Manson”
2nd Allyson Crowley-Duncan, Latham, New York, “The Crags of Stirling,” “Stac Polly,” “Miss Proud”
3rd Eryk Bean, Londonderry, New Hampshire, “John MacFadyen of Melfort,” “Dora MacLeod,” “Dr. MacPhail’s Reel”
4th Stanton Man, “Leaving Lunga,” “Caledonian Society of London,” “Mrs. MacPherson of Inveran”
5th Grace Washam, “Dr. E.G. MacKinnon,” “The Doune of Invernochty,” “Malcolm Johnstone”

Judges for both amateur events: Amy Garson, Nancy Tunnicliffe

Also competing but not in the prizes were Albert DeFusco, Pittsburgh; Kenneth Flynt, Eldersburg, Maryland; and Vince Janoski, Hopewell, New Jersey.

HD videos: Sun shines on 78th Frasers at Cobourg

Published:

78th Fraser Highlanders competing at Cobourg.

Cobourg, Ontario – June 21, 2014 – The 78th Fraser Highlanders celebrated the first official day of summer with a convincing win at the Cobourg Highland Games, under spectacular weather on the shores of Lake Ontario. The Grade 1 challenge that the Grade 2 Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band presented the week before in the MSR competition at Georgetown didn’t really materialize in the Cobourg Grade 1 Medley event. Ian K. MacDonald was the Professional Piper of the Day, while Zack Miller was Professional Drummer of the Day.

Bands
Grade 1 (medley, four competed)
1st 78th Fraser Highlanders (1,1,1,2)
2nd Peel Regional Police (2,4,2,1)
3rd Toronto Police (3,2,3,3)
4th Ottawa Police Service (Gr2) (4,3,4,4)
Drumming: 78th Fraser Highlanders
Judges: Iain Symington, Bob Worrall (piping); Dan Bist (drumming); Bob MacCrimmon (ensemble)


Grade 2 (MSR, one played)
1st Ottawa Police Service
Judges: Lynda MacKay, Eddie Gorman (piping); Mike Hunter (drumming); John Elliott (ensemble)

Grade 3 (medley, six competed))
1st Paris/Port Dover
2nd Toronto Police (Gr3)
3rd Niagara Regional Police
4th Hamilton Police
5th Durham Regional Police
6th Glengarry
Judges: Bob Worrall, Iain Symington (piping); Dan Bist (drumming); Bob MacCrimmon (ensemble)

Grade 4 (medley, eight competed)
1st Rob Roy
2nd Arnprior MacNab
3rd Lindsay
4th Grand Celtic
5th York Regional Police
6th Chatham Kent Police
Judges: Bob Worrall, Iain Symington (piping); Dan Bist (drumming); Bob MacCrimmon (ensemble)

Grade 5 (march medley, 11 competed)
1st Lindsay (Gr5)
2nd Paris/Port Dover (Gr5)
3rd Hamilton Police
4th Cambridge & District
5th Barrie
6th Grand Celtic (Gr5)
Judges: Lynda MacKay, Eddie Gorman (piping); Mike Hunter (drumming); John Elliott (ensemble)

Professional Solo Piping
Piobaireachd
A-Grade (nine competed)
1st Ian K. MacDonald
2nd Sean McKeown
3rd Andrew Hayes
4th Ed Bush
5th Scott McIntosh
6th Andrew Berthoff
Judge: Bill Livingstone

B-Grade (six competed)
1st Callum Harper
2nd Nick Hudson
3rd Brendan Culver
4th Steven Tripp
5th Jacob Dicker
Judge: Bob Worrall

Light Music (16 competed)
March
1st Ian K. MacDonald
2nd Andrew Hayes
3rd Callum Harper
4th Andrew Berthoff
5th Sean McKeown
6th Dylan Whittemore
Judge: Jake Watson

Strathspey & Reel
1st Sean McKeown
2nd Ian K. MacDonald
3rd Andrea Boyd
4th Andrew Hayes
5th Steven Tripp
6th Nick Hudson
Judge: John Elliott

Freestyle
1st Andrew Berthoff
2nd Andrew Hayes
3rd Sean McKeown
4th Ian K. MacDonald
5th Callum Harper
6th Ed Bush
Judge: Peter Aumonier

Professional Solo Drumming (four competed)
MSR
1st Chris Bell
2nd Zack Miller
3rd Iain Bell
4th Cameron McKail
Judge: Dan Bist

Hornpipe & Jig
1st Iain Bell
2nd Zack Miller
3rd Cameron McKail
4th Chris Bell
Judge: Mike Hunter

Auckland & District again seeking a new L-D

Published: June 18, 2014

Auckland_District_logo_smallAlmost exactly a year ago the Grade 1 Auckland & District Pipe Band of New Zealand announced its search for a new lead-drummer, ultimately settling on Adam Alexander from within the existing ranks. But the band is again hanging out a shingle for a new corps leader.

With Alexander living in and travelling to and from Wellington – a seven-hour drive or two-hour flight – the band wants a lead-drummer who either already lives in or will move to Auckland.

The band has committed the last year to “rebuilding and consolidation,” saying it has eight snare drummers, four tenors and bass in the drum section. The band’s site lists 24 pipers on the roster.

“Adam Alexander, a New Zealand National Open Champion, did a fantastic job bringing in new players into the drum corps and under his leadership attained two seconds at Palmerston North Square Day against bands that had qualified for the Final at the World Championships only four months prior,” the band’s Pipe-Major Ben McLaughlin said in a release to pipes|drums.

Auckland & District in a 2014 photo.

The band decided last year to go with an existing player to be L-D, after recently appointing a new pipe-major, pipe-sergeant and lead-tenor.

Auckland & District has in its Grade 1 history won 12 New Zealand Championships. The band is asking interested drummers to inquire through its website.

African Skye marches on at Pretoria

Published: June 17, 2014

AfricanSkye_logoPretoria, South Africa – June 14, 2014 – It was another dry and sunny winter’s day for the second Major Championship of the South African season, the Pretoria Boys High School Gathering. The Grade 2 African Skye made it five out of five in a very close contest. Transvaal Scottish won the MSR, but African Skye maintained the overall title because of an MSR ensemble tie-breaker.

Grade 2
MSR
1st Transvaal Scottish (1,3,1,3)
2nd African Skye (3,2,3,1)
3rd Benoni MacTalla (2,5,2,2)
4th 1 Medical Battalion (4,1,5,4)
5th MacChamberlain Richmond Avenue (5,4,4,5)
Judges: Roy Blevins, Geoff Irvine (piping); Dennis Tewson (drumming); Ewen Gilchrist (ensemble)

Medley
1st African Skye (1,1,2,3)
2nd Transvaal Scottish (2,3,1,2)
3rd Benoni MacTalla (3,2,4,1)
4th 1 Medical Battalion (5,4,3,5)
5th MacChamberlain Richmond Avenue (4,5,5,4)
Judges: David Harris, Roddy Watters (piping); Kevi Levin (drumming); Roger Davies (ensemble)

Grade 3
1st Sandton Scottish
2nd Glen Allen
3rd Cape Town Highlanders

Northern lights shine for Gibb, Russell, Wilson, Forrester

Published:

Robert Gibb

Aberdeen, Scotland – June 15, 2014 – Thirteen pipers competed in the senior solo events at the Aberdeen Games at Hazelhead Park in warm but overcast conditions. Results were fairly scattered, with local Alan Clark having the most consistent day with three seconds and a third.

Piobaireachd
1st Robert Gibb, “Lament for Captain MacDougall”
2nd Alan Clark, “The Marquis of Argyll’s Salute”
3rd Allan Russell, “Lament for the Only Son”
4th Jamie Forrester, “The Battle of the Pass of Crieff”
5th Michael Elder, “Lament for the Viscount of Dundee”
Judges: Norman Mathieson, Duncan Watson

March
1st Allan Russell
2nd Alan Clark
3rd Andrew Wilson
4th Michael Elder
5th Craig Black
Judges: Jimmy Hamilton, Stuart Samson

Strathspey & Reel
1st Andrew Wilson
2nd Allan Russell
3rd Alan Clark
4th Robert Gibb
5th Fraser Maitland
Judges: Jimmy Hamilton, Stuart Samson

Jig
1st Jamie Forrester
2nd Alan Clark
3rd Peter McAlister
4th James McPetrie
5th Michael Elder
Judges: Archie MacLean, Ronnie MacLean

THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
October 1, 1952Tribute dinner for Willie Ross, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh.
MOST RECENT POST
  • Outlandish
    Tue, 30 Sep 2014
    To the general public, the sound of “the pipes” is increasingly becoming the sound of the uilleann pipes. Thanks to the film and TV industry’s ever-rising preference on original scores for Ireland’s bagpipe as the sound of anythin …
Read more »
UPCOMING EVENTS October 3, 2014Kiltsandmore Workshop for BagpiperKiltsandmore Hauptstrasse 74, 69242 in Mulhouse

October 10, 2014Andrew Hayes ConcertAlbany, New York

October 11, 2014Leinster Solo ChampionshipsPalmerstown, Co. Dublin

October 11, 2014Indianapolis Highland Games Solo Piping ContestIndianapolis, IN

October 11, 2014The Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Piping CompetitionAlbany, New York

TIP OF THE DAY
Don’t wear white socks/band paraphernalia in solo piping competitions.
Anon.

FROM THE ARCHIVES