Published: December 31, 2005

Witness to piobaireachd teaching starts December 26 on P&D Online

December 26, 2005, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bell Nicol, one of the most important Highland piping teachers in history, and on that date we will launch a new four-part series by Dr. William Donaldson of Aberdeen, Scotland, in its Features section.

Entitled “Witness to piobaireachd teaching,” Willie Donaldson’s unique, first-hand account written after lessons with Nicol during the 1970s will be the first diary to be published in the piping media.

Audio recordings of Nicol’s master class teaching are now widespread, but descriptions of how he actually taught are rare. This unique account of Bob Nicol’s piobaireachd lessons, showing many little known aspects of his teaching and the contemporary piping world, was begun as a Donaldson’s private diary 30 years ago.

“‘Witness to piobaireachd teaching’ is another landmark work by William Donaldson,” says Andrew Berthoff, editor of P&D Online. “The series of diary excerpts is essential insight into one man’s impressions of the great piobaireachd teacher, Bob Nicol, and will be seen as a major contribution to Highland piping.”

William Donaldson is one of the world’s foremost historians on Highland piping, and is the author of the seminal work, The Highland Pipe & Scottish Society. With us he has published six pioneering series on the Piobaireachd Society’s yearly set tunes since 2001.

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