Published: February 27, 2015

Glasgow College working to rebuild reputation with concert

With an objective “to create a more user friendly environment here and secure the long-term future,” Fraser MacInnes, general manager of College of Piping in Glasgow, has worked to organize a fundraising concert on March 28th featuring several word-class pipers closely identified with the cross-town National Piping Centre.

Virtuoso pipers Chris Armstrong, Callum Beaumont and Allan MacDonald and by harmonica-player Donald Black will perform at the £8-ticket event, with the omnipresent John Wilson stepping in as Fear an Tighe.

Fraser MacInnes was appointed to the general manager post shortly after Robert Wallace abruptly left in August after more than an at times acrimonious 15-year tenure. MacInnes described Wallace’s departure in quotation marks as a “retirement,” but there were reports that the former director was on thin ice with the College of Piping’s board of directors, even though he allegedly did not have full-time employment status or a contract with the organization.

Since MacInnes joined, he has looked after the organizational and commercial interests of the College, as the search for a new Chief Instructor and/or Director of Piping went on – a post that is yet to be filled.

The fundraising concert will also help to launch a “Kayak Challenge” along the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness that Willie Park, shop manager at the College, plans to undertake in May. Park has established himself as an adventurer to raise funds for the College, climbing to Everest Base Camp, raising more than £7,000 in 2009; kayaking around the Isle of Arran in 2011. He plans to paddle the 97-kilometre length of the Caledonian Canal from Corpach to Inverness in aid of the College’s educational activities.

The National Piping Centre itself has seen recent departures, with instructors Armstrong, Beaumont and Glenn Brown each handing in their resignations over the last few months, and the organization currently searching for replacements.

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