November 29, 2014

Pipers go back to College for Echoes of Oban

Dugald MacNeill of the College of Piping at the 2014 Echoes of Oban recital

Glasgow’s College of Piping enjoyed the strongest turnout of performers and enthusiasts perhaps since the 1970s for the annual “Echoes of Oban” recital, and event that showcases and celebrates prizewinners from the most recent Argyllshire Gathering.

Among the performers taking the College of Piping stage were Roddy MacLeod and Willie McCallum, each of whom had not appeared at any event at the venue for many years

Other recitalists were Cameron MacDougall (winner of the MacGregor Memorial); Scott Barrie (second in the MacGregor); Alistair Henderson (prizes in the A-grade light music); and Craig Sutherland, who won both the March and the Strathspey & Reel A-Grade events.

MacDougall played “The Old Men of the Shells,” starting the tune at the door and making his way up to the stage while playing the ground. Scott Barrie followed with “The MacKays’ Banner,” also without tuning in front of the audience.

Dugald MacNeill (left) presents the College of Piping Services Award to Sandy Grant Gordon of William Grant & Sons.

Light music was supplied by Alistair Henderson with an MSR and a set of six big jigs, before Roddy MacLeod concluded the first half of the evening with the ground of “Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay” and an MSR.

Fear an tighe Dugald MacNeill then presented the inaugural College of Piping Award for Services to Piping to Sandy Grant Gordon, the head of William Grant & Sons, who have supported piping events for more than 50 years, mostly with the Glenfiddich brand.

After the intermission, then second half started with part of the film that was made of the Inveraray & District Pipe Band walking the West Highland Way in 2008. The video was played because Stuart Liddell was unable to attend, and he film included jigs played in a pub in Balmaha at the end of the first day’s walking, and “The Massacre of Glencoe” as the background music farther along the route.

Craig Sutherland continued with two airs and a double MSR, and Willie McCallum rounded off the night with 6/8 marches and an MSR.

Echoes of Oban was an annual event in the 1960s and ’70s, faded out in the early-1980s, but was resurrected about five years ago.

In August of this year, Robert Wallace abruptly left the College of Piping after 15 years, and the organization has continued since without any apparent challenges.




  1. great to see the echoes of oban event growing again in popularity and having pipers present who haven’t played at the College in many years! This is great for piping.



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