August 14, 2019

Piping Live! 2019 – Day 2: launching into the sunshine

Donald MacLeod Book Launch: (L-R) Roddy MacLeod, M.B.E., Finlay Johnston, John Wilson, Susan (MacLeod) Miller, Dr John Smith, Chairman of the Lewis and Harris Piping Society , Fiona MacLeod.

A beautiful day of sunny weather greeted Day 2 of Piping Live! and it mostly remained that way, giving people full chance to enjoy the day. Anxious pipe-majors had the opportunity to get the bands practicing on grass. All the venues featured a full day of music and fun, with a strong international and Gaelic flavour to many parts of the day.

Swedish bagpipes appeared more than once, and the National Piping Centre was a hive of drone activity all day, featuring recitals, Street Café performances and product launches. So much to do, and hard to keep it on time. Paid ticket holders for the Lunchtime Recital with Dr. Angus MacDonald and his brother Allan had to cool their heels on the stairs while the Seumas Coyne book launch ran overtime. Key tip for presenters: stay well within the allotted time and plan, plan, plan.

The Otago Street campus was tied up in the morning with the Piping & Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB) Assessor Training. This is an annual training seminar presented by the PDQB through the National Piping Centre, and is a requirement for those persons doing exams on behalf of the PDQB. Great fun, that!

In the afternoon, Otago Street featured a book launch of the new P-M Donald MacLeod, MBE Collection of Piobaireachd, bringing together for the first time all 27 known tunes by the late, great piper. The presentation featured tunes played by Finlay Johnston and Roddy MacLeod, and John Wilson discussed the composer, his music, and sang to illustrate his examples. It has to be said: John Wilson is a tremendous singer.

The day rounded out with some great tunes from Brighde Campbell in the Street Café, and a large crowd was on hand to hear Canada’s 78th Fraser Highlanders practice on the sidewalk in front of the National Piping Centre.

With Field Marshal Montgomery taking the prize in the International Quartet Competition, and a concert of Gaelic-influenced music at Drygate Brewery, all that’s left of the day is a spirited session in the Festival Club.

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Claddagh Mhor performing on the concert hall steps. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Robyn McKay performs at the Street Cafe. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Dr. Angus in recital at the National Piping Centre. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
The scene at Buchanan Street. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
12 Wing of Canada performing on the Concert Hall steps. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Brighde Campbell performs in the Street Café. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Field Marshal Montgomery at the International Quartet Competition. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Scott Wallace with the Field Marshal Montgomery quartet. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
The Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia quartet. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Liam Kernaghan with the Canterbury Caledonian Society quartet. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Simon Fraser University pipers. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
Andrew Bova with the Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia quartet. [Photo Alister Sinclair]

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