Category Archives: General

The College of Piping is holding a unique – and free – trade show on the Thursday afternoon of PipingLive! It will give pipers the chance to see, hear and try the products of some of the biggest names in piping.

Included so far are:

  • Pipe Major Chris Armstrong who will be demonstrating his X-TREME line of pipes and reeds;
  • Craig Munro of Wallace Bagpipes who will be demonstrating his bagpipe range;
  • Pipe Major Dougie Murray who will be demonstrating Kilberry Bagpipes’ products;
  • Debbie Park of Debbiecovers with waterproof bag covers and gloves;
  • Jock Elliot of G1 Reeds.
  • Jim Begg of Begg Bagpipes.


  • The run down for the week is:Monday 7:
    Piobaireachd of the Day – 12noon: Brian Lamond.
    Pipe Band – 1-2pm: National Youth Pipe Band

    Tuesday 8:
    Piobaireachd of the Day – 12noon: Dougie Murray.
    Pipe Band – 1-2pm: Police Fife Scotland

    Wednesday 9:
    Piobaireachd of the Day – 12noon: Michael Grey.
    Pipe Band
    – 1-2pm: Boghall Bathgate Caledonia.

    Thursday 10:
    Piobaireachd of the Day – 12noon: Donald MacPhee.
    1-2pm: Trade Show.

Tickets are £5 each day; £4 concessions.

Win tickets to the Argyll Gathering

The College of Piping has teamed up with the Argyll Gathering, a new traditional festival which takes place in Helensburgh on August 19-20, to give away a pair of weekend tickets. The line-up includes among others, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Mànran, Daimh, Treacherous Orchestra, the Jarlath Henderson Band plus RossAinslie and Ali Hutton.  As…
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Butter Fingers’ blog, July 7, 2017

A'right? I thoroughly enjoyed the All-Ireland championship last week. For me, it was a relatively sober affair; I was too busy listening to as many bands as possible. In Grade 1 I thought Field Marshall's pipe corps was truly excellent – much better than at the Europeans at Forres. I thoroughly enjoyed the Grade 2…
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Entry open for SPA Juvenile contest

In addition to the usual categories, this year's annual Scottish Pipers' Association Juvenile contest will feature chanter competitions. This is in order to stimulate interest in the younger learners.

The competition will be held at the College of Piping on September 9.

Download the entry form: Annual Juvenile Piping Contest Entry Form 2017.

July 2017 Piping Times

The pipe bands who took part were: Manchester Community Pipe Band, Accrington Pipe Band, Greater Manchester Fire Service, Manchester Phoenix Pipe Band, Bolton Caledonian, Everton Pipe Band, Oldham Scottish, Liverpool Scottish, Notts Police Band, Birmingham Irish. Newport Wales Pipe Band, Dowco from Vancouver, Canada, Clan Wallace Liverpool, the Scots Guards Association, Southern Jacobites from Southampton, City of Liverpool, West Yorks Fire and Rescue, Beeston Pipe Band as well as many unattached pipers and drummers.
We salute each and every one of you.
Stuart Letford.

At 06:00 in November it will be dark but that will add further poignancy to the unique aspect of this special tribute – the  sound of the pipes playing emerging from the darkness of the morning. We would ask pipers to play the tune, and repeat it for no longer than five minutes. This will be a personal tribute from pipers worldwide. It is planned that members of the Society of Editors will be sent a complete list of all the names and locations so that local newspapers can send photographers, along with television news channels sending cameramen.
“We are also delighted to be involving the College of Piping in this unique, worldwide tribute.”
Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR.

“I remember coming here [Lorient] in the mid-1970s. It had began as a ‘trial run’ and in those days was classed as purely a bagpipe festival. Since then it has grown, having introduced many other arts such as singing, dancing, many other instruments, folk groups plus visual art and even sports such as golf and wrestling.”
Tom Johnstone.

I remember once chatting with Gordon [Duncan] and he asked me who his favourite piper was. I was sifting my brain and he was clearly expecting me to say, “Well, you Gordon.” I said to him, “I quite like Fred’s [Fred Morrison] playing,” and he went, “Whiiiiit?!!?” I just picked Fred’s name out of the air to wind him up!
Ali Hutton.

Andy Tasker is a piper with an impressive piping lineage. The retired banker from Leeds can trace a direct lineal descent to two of our most important piping families, the MacKays of Raasay and the MacKays of Gairloch – and also Captain Malcolm MacLeod of Raasay.

Sign up for ‘Battle’s O’er’ tribute

Join in the 'Battle's O'er' Pipers are being asked to take part in a unique and simple way to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War. The College of Piping is assisting Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, founder and pageantmaster with ‘Battle’s O’er – A Nation’s Tribute’. This will be a mass…
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Seymour takes the salute.

I don’t know about you but I fair enjoyed last weekend’s pipe band championships at Grant Park, Forres. That’s what I call a pipe band championship venue! I’m glad to hear that we’ll be back in the Moray town next year on the 30th of June for what will be the last year of its five-year deal. I truly hope the organisers are able to continue beyond 2018.

Just a thought: in light of the DUP deal with Tories that will see an extra £1 billion going to Ulster, maybe a smidgen of the money could be used by Belfast City Council to outbid Glasgow in 2021 when the Worlds comes up? After Grant Park, the thought of returning to that appalling, soulless venue in Glasgow for the Worlds rather depresses one.

I digress. Wasn’t Major General Seymour Munro a great chieftain? You should’ve seen the lump in his throat as Inveraray & District played that 6/8 in his honour. Seymour is what we call a good egg. He may be neither a piper or drummer but he is one of us.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for many bands, even in the top grades. I thought Field Marshall, the Vale, the Glesga Polis, Buchan Peterson and a couple of others struggled with the erratic weather conditions. It was surely brave of FM to play Donald MacLellan of Rothesay? It’s a great, tune, yes, but for me it simply didn’t work for the band last week.

The Vale was first on but the pipe corps was struggling from the off. That said, its new drum corps was damn good and I wasn’t surprised by its second place. ScottishPower performed very well – great march! – and in my opinion should’ve been placed second. It was also a good day for Boghall and the Fife Police, who deserved better than 7th place. This band is now hitting its stride and I hear it will have an influx of a few more quality pipers at the end of the season. On the subject of Police Scotland Fife, congratulations go to its Pipe Major, Dougie Murray on his new part-time teaching position at Dundee High School.

In Grade 2, I was again mightily impressed by Lomond & Clyde and the Glasgow Skye. They were well ahead of the pack.

Bridge of Allan Games will have 50 bands competing this year – including New York state band, Schenectady which is celebrating its centenary. The number will grow, too, but it's already a healthy – and encouraging – number. Too many bands through all grades these days opt only to play at majors. Despite most games being small it can nevertheless cost £30,000 to put these smaller contests on. Support them, please, bands.

Butter Fingers

Grampian Games’ Piping League placings

The placings thus far of the Grampian Games Association Piping League are: 1= Gordon McCready 1= Faye Henderson 2= Eddie Gaul 2= Ben Duncan 3= Calum Brown 3= Allan Russell 4= Bruce Macdonald 4= Alan Clark This is based on the results from Gordon Castle and Aberdeen: Ceòl Mòr Gordon Castle 1) Gordon McCready 2) .…
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Inveraray takes the Europeans

Inveraray & District won the Grade 1 European Pipe Band Championships today at Forres. In an day of very changeable conditions, Pipe Major Stuart Liddell's band nudged Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band into second place. Results: Grade 1 – 1. Inveraray & District; 2. Field Marshall Montgomery; 3. Scottish Power; 4. St Laurence O'Toole; 5.…
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2017 Natal Scottish Gathering

Entries to the 2017 Natal Scottish Gathering end on Wednesday, 14th June. The contest will take place on Saturday, 24th June at Natal Mounted Rifles Headquarters in Masabalala Yengwa Avenue, Durban, South Africa. 2017 NSG solo entry form 2017 NSG Band entry form
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