Remembering Alasdair Gillies: Willie McCallum

Published: November 30, 2011
(Page 3 of 3)

. . . be talking about this reed, or that bag that you hadn’t even heard of. The developers would make sure they tried it with Alasdair before the rest of us got a look!

These past weeks there have been many reminders of Alasdair, whether it be at a contest, playing a tune in the house or hearing a tune he played or an event, or just remembering a story or incident involving him. I hope this will always be so. He played such a big part in all of our piping lives that he will be so missed.

 

I realize I haven’t mentioned the playing yet. His performances at the “big” March, Strathspey & Reel were of course legendary, among the best ever performances I have heard. Of course the sheer numbers of wins make sure the 11 silver stars will never be beaten. Alasdair’s mastery of the pipe and music stretched to every part of the repertoire, a true all-rounder and he proved this at the major competitions on many occasions. His ceilidh piping was always a treat, inventive and he had an advantage over the quicker fingered players in that the music shone above the amazing technique, not many can master this. You could listen all night.

We can only share in his memory now and share our sadness with his family and dearest. I am privileged to have known him, heard him play and call him my friend.

We will never see his like again.

Willie McCallum is probably the most successful all-round competitive solo piper of the last 50 years. A native of Campbeltown, Scotland, he now lives in Bearsden, Scotland, with piping as his profession at Willie McCallum Piping.

Page 3 of 3123
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.3/5
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0
  1. TheCaptain

    Willie….so spot on…. you have given us another glimpse of one of the most charismatic personalities to ever play the pipes. Our lives are so much richer for having known Alasdair, yet so much poorer from his passing…… always remembered… Ken Eller

  2. Hossman

    Ah Ali G. As each day goes by and as time should provide healing. I find myself more sore and missing him more and more. Great stories from good guys. Reason alone to subscribe to Pipes Drums. RIP Alasdair

MOST RECENT POST
  • Toeing a fine line
    Sun, 29 Mar 2015
    Pressuring bands to compete only in sanctioned contests makes some sense. The RSPBA’s most recent alleged request – some use the word “bullying” – that bands not compete at the new Spring Gatherin’ has brought the topic to the for …
Read more »
UPCOMING EVENTS April 25, 2015Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd ChallengeCollege of Piping, Summerside, PEI

April 25, 2015139th Anniversary Sacramento Valley Scottish Games and FestivalYolo County Fairgrounds * Woodland, CA

April 25, 2015Brandon Highland FestivalCrocus Plains High School, Brandon

May 2, 2015Savannah Scottish Games & Highland GatheringBethesda Academy 9520 Ferguson Avenue Savannah GA

May 2, 2015The LivingstoneHamilton, Ontario

TIP OF THE DAY
The lifecycle of a piper or drummer: Learning to play; Studying the instrument and the music; Passing on this knowledge by teaching.
Sandy Keith, Dunedin, Florida