Published: March 31, 2010

Debut of new orchestral suite to coincide with March 20th Duncan Johnstone Memorial

For the last 10 years, the Duncan Johnstone Memorial Solo Piping Competition in Glasgow has paid homage to the late, great piper and composer, and this year’s event on March 20th will pay further tribute with the debut of “A Suite for Allan,” an orchestral piece written by Johnstone’s son, Neil, an accomplished classical cellist.

The composition will be performed by professional musicians and students at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Scottish Music and calls for strings, smallpipes, flute and whistle. The work, to be performed live at the National Piping Centre, will be prefaced by Piping Centre Director Roddy MacLeod performing “Lament for Allan, My Son,” a piobaireachd written by Duncan Johnstone for the untimely death of his other male child.

“A Suite for Allan” takes its theme from the piobaireachd, with variations throughout the work, while also borrowing from marches, airs, jigs and reels also composed by Duncan Johnstone.

The solo piping competition, which is sponsored by the Competing Pipers Association, is reserved for CPA-member-competitors graded B or C by the organization. Last year’s event was won, overall, by John Mulhearn of Glasgow, with Ashleigh Bell of Muir of Ord, Scotland, and Alasdair Henderson of Dunoon, Scotland, gaining the first-prizes. (Henderson and Bell are pictured in the homepage photo.)

“A Suite for Allan” was commissioned using funds from the Scottish Arts Council and the National Piping Centre.

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