Five gifts from the year in piping and drumming
At a time when much of the world pauses to celebrate family and friends, giving tokens of appreciation
and thanks, pipes|drums singles out five gifts that were given to pipers and drummers over the year for
nothing more than the comfort and joy that they bring.
- Donald MacPherson – At 80-something, MacPherson keeps playing for no other
reason but to keep playing and to give us the gift of his music. His Glasgow recital during the week
before the World’s was the stuff of legend. He is truly an ongoing gift to piping.
- Dr. William Donaldson’s Set
Tune Series – After a while, some annual gifts people tend to take for granted. Willie
Donaldson keeps gifting his scholarly musical insights, never expecting anything in return. Now
numbering more than 70 tunes, his comparative analyses of piobaireachds will keep on giving for years to
- Gordon Duncan’s tunes – For the year following his tragic death, the piping world has sat
up and taken more notice than ever of this genius’s compositions. It can be said that the originality and
musicality of his tunes have not been seen since the likes of Donald MacLeod or G.S. McLennan. What’s
more, Duncan seemed to make these tunes just because he had to, expecting nothing in return.
- Field Marshal Montgomery’s drones at the World’s – It’s hard to believe that the same
band’s drone-sound at the 2005 World’s could be topped, but it was. This gifted band again raised the tonal benchmark to which all other bands aspire
- Competition stewards – In the heat of piping, drumming and pipe band contests it’s easy
to forget the steward’s contribution to making things run smoothly. Usually volunteers or, at most,
accepting minimal remuneration, stewards deserve a special thanks for giving up half of their weekends
just to make things better. We salute you.
We wish every one of our readers a merry
Christmas, happy Hanukah, peace on earth and goodwill toward all.