October 31, 2002

Lunar landing

The Glendinning Bagpipe Music Collection
Moonstar Music,

Reviewed by John Cairns

The Glendinning Bagpipe Music Collection captures a lifetime of music and memories for the Glendinning Family.

Charlie Glendinning and his wife Paula have been predominant figures in the northeast US piping scene for more than 30 years. They have studied under Sandy Jones, Donald Lindsay, Bob Nicol, and Jimmy McIntosh. They were members of the Denny & Dunnipace Pipe Band under P-M Sandy Jones, and have been long-standing members (including two stints for Charlie as P-M) of the City of Washington Pipe Band, winners of the 1999 Grade 2 World Pipe Band Championships.

There are over ninety tunes in this collection, almost half of them either written or arranged by Charlie Glendinning, including two of my favourites, “Moonstar” and “MacRae Meadow.” The remainder of the tunes have been collected from many well known pipers whom they have either been associated with or were influential in their piping careers.

Of great historical interest are a few unpublished tunes by Angus MacKay and a short piobaireachd (ground and first variation) taken from a recording made by John MacDonald of Inverness.

It was very enjoyable to see the photos and read the story behind each of the tunes, as it gave me an insight into the inspiration for writing each tune. Additionally, it made me aware of how dedicated and committed Charlie and Paula have been to studying this art form and how extensive their exposure has been to many great piping teachers and performers.

The only aspect of this book that I did not care for was the Christmas and church music located at the end. I feel that this collection is full of sufficient piping tunes that can stand on their own without the inclusion of the additional music. However, taking into consideration Charlie’s musical background, it was interesting to see his arrangements of these classic melodies.

All in all, there are a lot of wonderful tunes from all of the time signatures that will appeal to pipers of all levels. This is a very professional publication that will surely provide all pipers with hours of enjoyment and some new material to add to their repertoire.

John Cairns lives in London, Ontario, and plays with the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band. In 1999 he became only the eleventh piper ever to win both Highland Society of London Gold Medals in the same year.


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