Gerry Quigg: the pipes|drums Interview – Part 3

Published: June 30, 2011

We resume our four-part discussion with Gerry Quigg, a mastermind of early medley construction. In Part 3, Quigg touches on the status of pipe bands in the United States, modern medleys and pipe bands, touring the globe with the United States Air Force Pipe Band the psychedelic sixties, meeting iconic rock stars along the way and even putting up with an emergency landing when a plane’s engine caught fire in mid-flight. As one of the first truly innovative minds, Gerry Quigg adapted concepts from Celtic and rock music to pipe bands. With the City of Toronto Pipe Band he helped to orchestrate landmark selections that keyed in to piobaireachd themes, including “The Glen Is Mine,” “MacIntosh’s Lament” and “The Desperate Battle.” He would go on to help form the musical foundation that established the 78th Fraser Highlanders as a progressive leader of pipe band music. Included in this installment is a rare archival recording of City of Toronto’s “Desperate Battle” medley in competition at the 1974 North American Pipe Band Championships at Maxville, Ontario. Exclusively for subscribers who support pipes|drums.

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TIP OF THE DAY
To ease the blowing-in period of a chanter reed, simply press the reed firmly in the lowest part of the blades between the finger and thumb until you feel both blades ease gently together. Continue to do this and keep blowing the reed until you find the reed giving an acceptible weight.
Tom McAllister, Jr.