Masterful treatment

Published: August 11, 2017
(Page 1 of 1)

Willie McCallum
Lunchtime Recital
Piping Live!
August 10,2017

In the world of solo piping, few if any names have been announced at the prize-givings more than Willie McCallum. He has been a fixture at the top for decades, and is now in the happy position of competing with his students.

The National Piping Centre auditorium was full to capacity for the Thursday recital, and with the outside temperature a little cooler than previous days, the hall was a touch more comfortable overall.

Starting with some classic 3/4s and a beautifully set instrument, McCallum moved into some great competition strathspeys and reels with a decidedly “Donald MacLeod” flavour: “Shepherd’s Crook,” “Susan MacLeod,” “Fiona MacLeod” and “Roddy MacDonald’s Fancy.” Susan and Fiona are MacLeod’s daughters, and Roddy MacDonald a great piper and longtime friend who was frequently at MacLeod’s Grainger & Campbell shop for a coffee and a chat.

McCallum spoke a little about his tunes and inspirations, but mostly it was a solid hour of great, traditional music. Flowing 6/8 marches into “Jim Tweedie’s Sea Legs” and then a big trio of lovely 2/4 competition marches, including Willie Lawrie’s “The Braes of Brecklet,” which McCallum afterwards pointed out is a brilliant tune but, for some unknown reason, isn’t heard much these days.

Back to strathspeys and reels in two parts and then an air and jigs: “The Miserable Piper of Dundee,” “Kenny Gillies of Portnalong,” and “Kenny MacDonald.”

McCallum wrapped up with the Capt. John MacLellan piobaireachd, “A Welcome for Patrick Struan.” Great to hear modern-era piobaireachds getting a listening in this format, and being given such a masterful treatment.

McCallum’s recital was an enjoyable reminder of why he has been one of the most successful competitors on record.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0

The new pipes|drums app offers the same publication with a streamlined experience. Get the latest news optimized for your smartphone.
Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play
October 17, 1974James McIntosh wins 1st ever Grant’s Piping Championship, Blair Atholl.
Articles from the last three months with the highest overall ratings by readers.
  1. Hundreds salute Reay Mackay
  2. Blair digital chanter promises to rock piping
  3. Forget not
  4. RISEN
  5. A message of thanks
  • Remember empathy
    Wed, 4 Oct 2017
    Why do many judges forget what it was like to be a competitor? This came up the other day in a conversation about judging, competing, and judges. The current flap by a vocal minority about the Solo Piping Judges Association … Cont …
Read more »
UPCOMING EVENTS October 21, 2017Labour Weekend Silver Chanter Solo CompetitionsChristchurch

November 4, 2017London CompetitionsKensington Conference & Events Centre, The Town Hall, Hornton Street London

November 5, 2017Bloomington Pipers’ Society November GatheringSt Thomas Lutheran Church, Bloomington, IN

November 10, 2017Silicon Valley Pipe & Drum WorkshopSaratoga, CA

December 3, 2017Bloomington Pipers’ Society December GatheringSt Thomas Lutheran Church, Bloomington, IN

Use earplugs. Good music shops will sell ones that block out mainly lower frequencies, protecting your hearing but still allowing you to tune your drones. Ask for them in the percussion section.
Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh