There isn’t a lot of rudeness to be found in piping and in pipe bands. Really. On the whole, we are a civil, polite and supportive bunch. A notable feature of the solo-piping world, in particular, is the affable and enlightened nature of its devotees. Rudeness in our world, when it does rear its ugly head, is invariably to be found at an organisational level, e.g. from those members of Renfrewshire Council who thought it acceptable to have a major pipe band competition at the unsuitable St James Playing Fields in Paisley. Likewise, it was rude of those in Glasgow City Council to impose a two-day World Pipe Band Championships on us without asking.
Stuart Letford, Editor.
It might be of some interest to readers that 50 years ago the first Breton pipe band was created – An Ere Pipe Band from Rennes – and competed in Scotland, winning for its first appearance at the Cowal Games a second place in Grade 3.
Taking lessons from Aaron Shaw and attending the summer school produced tangible results. In 2013, I was the Grade 4 solo piping aggregate winner in the Western United States Pipe Band Association and was moved up to Grade 3 in 2014. In 2015 I won the same award for Grade 3 and was moved up to Grade 2 in 2016. These solo competition successes opened the door for me to play at the Tattoo. I learned about the Pipers’ Trail from the March 2016 Piping Times front-page picture and Tom Breckenridge’s accompanying article. The Pipers’ Trail was seeking pipers at a Grade 2/Grade 3 level and since I had recently been moved to Grade 2, I submitted an application and a video.
The world’s most popular bagpipe tutor, the College’s Book 1, has been re-edited and brought up to date by Colin MacLellan, Director of Piping. Colin said: “It’s been acknowledged by many that there is no other piping tutor book that has ever taught as many beginners and turned them into pipers. It is tried, tested and trusted by the piping world. It was hard work getting the book produced but it was a real honour as well.”
Since it was launched in last month’s Piping Times, hundreds of pipers around the world have signed up to take part in ‘Battle’s Over’, a unique tribute that will commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War.
“One of my favourite things is Glen’s 1929 catalogue which offered to supply experienced and unbiased judges for piping. Another is John Cameron’s epitaph which he wrote himself. … There are two things which I would like to know more about. One is what became of Gavin MacDougall’s grandson in India and the other is the Gillanders baby taken to Australia by her Center aunts after her mother died. I wonder if she ever came back and met her father and her brothers and sister?”