August 31, 2010

Piping Live! Day 2: sunshiny playing and only three more sleeps

Libby O’Brien reports from Glasgow

I awoke on Tuesday morning looking forward to another day of all things piping and drumming at the 2010 Piping Live! Festival. Drumming priorities prevailed however, so I squeezed in a spot of practice before heading to the University of Strathclyde for the Todd Bar Masters Drumming Recital.

As I arrived, members of the St. Thomas Episcopal School Pipe Band were finishing a performance and made way for Steven McWhirter and Stuart Liddell to take to the stage. Steven and Stuart are the leading men of the well-known Inveraray & District and played a range of music including, according to one member of the audience, “some enjoyable simple pipe tunes played extremely well.” Steven’s scores were up to his usual high technical standard and he played a selection of band and solo settings, including an accompaniment to a pipe tune written by the Vale’s drum sergeant, Paul Turner.

Simon Fraser University’s Reid Maxwell was up next, sporting his trademark orange cap and looking completely relaxed. With young piper Greig Wilson in tow, Reid kicked off his presentation with “Lochanside,” a tune that remains an “old school” favourite with soloists and bands. He followed on with one of the band MSRs that he hopes to not be playing on Saturday, (due to playing it at the Worlds last year,) and then went on to perform a hornpipe and jig set. I’ve got a soft spot for “The Old Wife of the Mill Dust” and this lead me to rank Reid’s hornpipe and jig my favourite set of the afternoon. Reid was then accompanied by eight of the band’s pipers and the full drum corps to perform their second MSR, followed by a performance of SFU’s popular drum salute, “Salute to Willie McErlean.”

After indulging in some great drumming performances from some of the best drummers in the world, I thought it only fair to get out into the Glasgow sunshine to check out what else the festival had to offer in its second day.

I took a saunter down to George Square to see who I could catch performing at Piping in the Square and was pleased to see the sight of diced glengarries in the distance as I approached the venue. Peel Regional Police . . .




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