November 30, 2002

William M. Macdonald Dies

William M. MacDdnald of Inverness, Scotland, has died after an illness.

Affectionately known as “Watery Willie” – as a result of his career with the water works and to differentiate him from William MacDonald, Benbecula – Macdonald was one of the last surviving pupils of John MacDonald, Inverness, and extremely highly regarded as a competitor and composer.

Macdonald was one of only 11 pipers to win both Highland Society of London Gold Medals in the same year (1955). His collection of original compositions, published in the 1990s, is regarded as one of the best in recent years, and his air, “Vatersay Bay,” has emerged as a favourite with soloists and bands.

Macdonald freely passed along his knowledge to many young pipers in the Inverness area and, for a time, in South Africa. Aside from piping, he was as famous in Scotland as a Shinty player as he was a piper, winning numerous championship medals. He served in the Cameron Highlanders and was a prisoner of war in Germany in World War II.

In his latter years, Macdonald judged frequently at the major competitions.

On behalf of the world piping and drumming community, we extend our condolences to William Macdonald’s family and friends.





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