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

Published: July 5, 2014

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.

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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 . . .

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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

Allan Russell nearly perfect at Cupar

Published: June 15, 2014

Allan Russell [photo: Derek Maxwell]

Cupar, Scotland – June 14, 2014 – Allan Russell won three events and was second in the other for a superlative day at the Cupar Highland Games in Fife, Scotland. The event had a smaller entry than usual, mainly due to the UK Pipe Band Championships running on the same day. After some initial confusion about the draw, the contest took place in warm and humid conditions weather.

Open
Piobaireachd
1st Michael Elder
2nd Allan Russell
3rd Robert Gibb
4th Jamie Forrester
5th Craig Martin
6th Grieg Wilson
Judges: Robert Barnes, Andrew Wright

March
1st Allan Russell
2nd Grieg Wilson
3rd Michael Elder
4th Craig Martin
5th Robert Gibb
6th Jamie Forrester
Judge: Iain MacLellan

Strathspey & Reel
1st Allan Russell
2nd Craig Martin
3rd Michael Elder
4th Greig Wilson
5th Robert Gibb
6th Jamie Forrester
Judge: Iain MacLellan

Jig
1st Allan Russell
2nd Michael Elder
3rd Greig Wilson
4th Robert Gibb
5th Craig Martin
Judge: Iain MacLellan

Juvenile
Piobaireachd
1st Calum Wynd
2nd James Millar
Judges: Robert Barnes, Andrew Wright

March
1st James Millar
2nd Calum Wynd
3rd Calum Douglas
4th Jordan Ednie
5th Eubanks Bailey
6th Kay Russell
Judge: Iain MacLellan

Strathspey & Reel
1st James Millar
2nd Calum Douglas
3rd Calum Wynd
4th Jordan Ednie
5th Jean Bailey
6th Kay Russell
Judge: Iain MacLellan

Wellington events won by Williams and Horsburgh

Published:

Marion Horsburgh

Wellington, New Zealand – June 14, 2014 – The Wellington Pipers Club held the 62nd annual Brown Cup and Everest piobaireachd events at the Royal New Zealand Police College, where Tracey Williams won the piobaireachd event and Marion Horsburgh the light music. John Hanning and Nigel Foster judged both events.

Everest Piobaireachd
1st Tracey Williams, “Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon”
2nd Marion Horsburgh, “Scarce of Fishing”
3rd Andrew Edwards, “Lament for Donald Duaghal Mackay”

Brown Cup (MSRAJH)
1st Marion Horsburgh
2nd Ross Horsburgh
3rd Tracey Williams

78th Frasers win Georgetown; Grade 2 Ottawa Police win Grade 1 piping, finish 2nd

Published: June 14, 2014

The 78th Fraser Highlanders leave the Georgetown field with the Grade 1 trophy.

Georgetown, Ontario – June 14, 2014 – The 78th Fraser Highlanders hung on to win the Grade 1 competition on ensemble preference, but the big story of the day was the Grade 2 Ottawa Police Services finishing second in the Grade 1 event, taking two firsts in piping, and narrowly missing beating all three certified Grade 1 bands in the competition. Weather was warm and sunny in the afternoon, but chilly in the morning, temperatures struggling to get above 13 degrees until 11 am. Ian K. MacDonald was the Professional Piper of the Day, while Tyler Harris took the equivalent honour in the amateur category.

Full video coverage of the Grade 1 and Grade 2 pipe band events follows. Be sure to subscribe to the pipes|drums Magazine YouTube Video Channel to see our library of hundreds of piping, drumming and pipe band videos.

Bands
Grade 1 (MSR, four competed)
1st 78th Fraser Highlanders (2,2,2,1)
2nd Ottawa Police Services (1,1,3,2)
3rd Peel Regional Police (3,4,1,3)
4th Toronto Police (4,3,4,4)
Judges: Colin MacLellan, Reay Mackay (piping); Alan Savage (drumming); Bob Worrall (ensemble)


Grade 2 (medley, one played)
Ottawa Police Services

Grade 3
1st Paris/Port Dover
2nd Windsor Police
3rd Toronto Police
Drumming: Hamilton Police

Grade 4 (march medley, eight competed)
1st Rob Roy
2nd Lindsay
3rd Chatham Kent
4th Grand Celtic
Drumming: Rob Roy

Grade 5
1st Paris/Port Dover (Gr5)
2nd Hamilton Police (Gr5)
3rd Lindsay (Gr5)
Drumming: Hamilton Police

Professional Solo Piping
Piobaireachd
A-Grade
1st Ian K. MacDonald
2nd Andrew Hayes
3rd Andrew Berthoff
4th Ed Bush
5th Andrea Boyd
Judge: Colin MacLellan

March
1st Andrew Hayes
2nd Andrea Boyd
3rd Andrew Berthoff
4th Ian K. MacDonald
5th Jacob Dicker
Judge: John Elliott

Strathspey & Reel
1st Andrew Hayes
2nd Andrea Boyd
3rd Ian K. MacDonald
4th Jacob Dicker
5th Nick Hudson
Judge: Ken Eller

Jig
1st Ian K. MacDonald
2nd Doug MacRae
3rd Nick Hudson
4th Andrew Berthoff
5th Andrea Boyd
Judge: Ed Neigh

Field Marshal Montgomery wins first-ever UK Championship in Northern Ireland

Published:

FMM-logoStormont, Northern Ireland – June 14, 2014 – Field Marshal Montgomery won the innagural UK Championships at Stormont, Northern Ireland, near Belfast, continuing the band’s run of consecutive RSPBA major titles, now at seven. The UK Championships took the place of the Cowal Championships on the RSPBA rotation of majors. The competition also marked the return of the Ballycoan Pipe Band of Northern Ireland to Grade 1 competition have several years’ hiatus.

Grade 1 (MSR, 13 competed)
1st Field Marshal Montgomery (1,1,14)
2nd ScottishPower (2,2,2,5)
3rd St. Laurence O’Toole (4,4,4,1)
4th Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (3,6,5,2)
5th Inveraray & District (5,3,7,3)
6th Shotts & Dkyehead Caledonia (7,7,3,6)
Drumming: Field Marshal Montgomery
Judges: John McCarlie, John Moles (piping); Sandy Russell (drumming); Tony Sloan (ensemble)

Grade 2 (medley, 12 competed)
1st Bleary & District
2nd Lomond & Clyde
3rd Torphichen & Bathgate
4th Buchan Peterson
5th Manor Cunningham
6th Glasgow Skye
Drumming: Lomond & Clyde
Judges: Cameron Edgar, Ian Wood (piping); Gordon Craig (drumming); Ciaran Mordaunt (ensemble)

Jeannie Campbell receives MBE for Services to Piping

Published: June 13, 2014

Jeannie Campbell [photo: Ned Lecic]

Jean Campbell of Glasgow was made a Member of the British Empire for services to piping on this year’s annual Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced on June 13, 2014.

Campbell’s contributions to the art include several books and numerous articles on piping, as well as regular reporting on piping competitions. For many years she worked with the late Seumas MacNeill, and has dedicated much of her time to studying bagpipe makers.

Her book, Highland Bagpipe Makers, is considered the best source so far on manufacturers known to have produced the great pipe.

Pipers and drummers are infrequently recognized in the Queen’s Honours for their work, but recipients have included Roddy MacLeod (MBE), Captain John A. MacLellan (MBE), Gavin Stoddart (BEM), Jim Kilpatrick (MBE), Iain MacLellan (BEM), Richard Parkes (MBE) and Donald MacLeod (MBE).

Despite his substantial and often pioneering work for piping, Seumas MacNeill never received a “gong” from Buckingham Palace.

pipes|drums congratulates Jeannie Campbell on her official recognition for many years of contributions to piping.

At 90, Victoria Association gets all tartaned up

Published: June 12, 2014

VHPBA_logoThe RSPBA might claim to be the world’s biggest and most powerful pipe band association, but it will never be the oldest. That honour belongs to the Victorian Highland Pipe Band Association of Australia, which this year celebrates its ninetieth anniversary, and will mark the milestone with the unveiling of their own tartan.

The VHPBA tartan, which, according to a statement from the VHPBA, features “the colours of Victoria and shades depicting the natural bush and gardens, the earth and gold,” will be introduced on June 14th at a special ceremony in Melbourne. The tartan has been recognized officially by the Scottish Registry of Tartans.

The event will see pipers and drummers gather from across the state of Victoria to celebrate the birthday of the VHPBA, which was formed at a meeting in Geelong, Australia, in 1924, seven years before the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

The VHPBA tartan

The history of the VHPBA includes an all‐female pipe band travelling to Scotland in the 1920s, a band of mostly of Victorians on a UK tour in the 1950s, and, most famous of all, the 1998 win of the World Pipe Band Championship by the now-defunct Victoria Police Pipe Band.

“In the 1950s and 1960s, Victoria welcomed hundreds of Scottish immigrants armed with pipes and drums who played a big role in the development of appreciation and participation in Scottish culture,” said VHPBA President Tim McLeod. “Every community in Victoria has experienced the stirring sights and sounds of a pipe band at some time over the last 90 years, and Saturday will be a special celebration of the contributions we have made to the social fabric of Victoria and the advancement of pipe bands since Victoria led the world and formed a pipe band association.”

Harvey Ritch, 1927-2014

Published: June 11, 2014
Harvey Ritch in his famous shop.

Harvey Ritch in his famous shop.

The southeastern United States lost one of the legendary and groundbreaking characters of its comparatively short pipe band history on Sunday, June 8, 2014, with the passing of Harvey Ritch, 86, of Linville, North Carolina. Ritch died after continuing decline in his health over the past few years. He was under hospice care at the time of his passing.

Harvey Ritch began his piping career as a member of the Charlotte (North Carolina) Caledonian Pipe Band under the instruction of the late P-M Jack Smith (ex-H.L.I. and piper for Sir Harry Lauder’s traveling American shows) in the mid-1960s. He was recruited to the group because he was known to been enthusiastic after hearing pipe music in the movie “Gunga Din” as well as the circulated rumour that he owned an LP album of bagpipe music.

Harvey’s growing interest in the bagpipes, and all things Scottish, led to his resignation from a quite lucrative career in print media advertising to pursue his new passion as a retailer of Scottish goods – prominently including piping and drumming supplies (the first storefront Scottish retailer in the South). He was also passionate about passing along his interest in piping, particularly to young people. This led to his formation of a new pipe band, one that focused on competitive success based on other North American standards of play, in Charlotte around 1970.

The Charlotte Scottish Pipe Band, which rose from Grade 4 to Grade 2 under his leadership and that of Pipe-Major Al McMullin, who had relocated to North Carolina and led the band for a couple of years. A number of top players in the Eastern United States, including several of those from the blossoming piping community of the Carolinas which bore the fruit of Harvey’s teaching from that era, passed through the band’s ranks during that band’s relatively short history. The drum corps of that band, in cooperation with a pipe section from the Wilmington, Delaware, area went on to win . . .

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Wake up to three separate bands, upgrade, for 2015

Published: June 9, 2014

Wake_District_logo_smallThe Grade 4 Wake & District Public Safety Pipes & Drums of Raleigh, North Carolina, has made known to the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association that it intends to move up a grade and sustain bands in Grade 4 and Grade 5 by 2015.

Wake & District has added players to its Grade 4 and Grade 5 rosters, now numbering more than 70 pipers and drummers in total through its program. So the group will divide and conquer by expanding with another band, plus the addition of a juvenile program in the shape of the Crossroads Kilty Pipe Band by 2016, in time for the organization’s 10th anniversary year.

With only 13 Grade 3 bands currently in the massive EUSPBA jurisdiction, the information was welcome news to association President Eric MacNeill, who Wake & District Band Manager Joe Brady said was “supportive.” The band sent a formal letter outlining its expansion and upgrading intentions to principals within the EUSPBA.

“We hope to see a few EUSPBA Grade 3 bands push themselves forward to Grade 2 next season,” Brady continued.

Wake_District_med

Wake & District Public Safety Pipes & Drums.

The organization’s competition program is being directed by Ken McKeveny (who leads the Grade 4 band) and drumming instructor Tom Foote, both professional level competitors and accredited judges on the EUSPBA circuit.

“We are opening a new chapter and want to transparent about how we continue to grow and how new members come into the band,” said Ken McKeveny, “we have policies in place to address this.”

“There is a really good piping scene in the Raleigh area,” said June Hanley, chair of the EUSPBA music board, “Wake & District is a big part of that, and . . . it is great to see good things happening down there.”

The EUSPBA was partially at the centre of a recent grading controversy after the RSPBA proactively upgraded the Massachusetts-based Stuart Highlanders to Grade 1. The EUSPBA is keeping the band in Grade 2.

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TIP OF THE DAY
Don’t worry if the outside of the natural bag has some flay or vein marks. This is normal with a natural skin – it is the inside of the bag that counts.
James Begg, Begg Bagpipes, Glasgow