Category Archives: General

The Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming will host the fifth Captain John A. MacLellan Piping Championships on Saturday the 7th of October.

Held at Inchdrewer House in Colinton Road, Edinburgh, this event usually features some of the best solo pipers in the country. As ever, there are separate Piobaireachd and Light Music events in P, A, B and C grades, and a Hornpipe and Jig contest open to all competitors. So far, a strong entry has been received in each grade and spectators are very welcome.

Food and beverages will be available throughout the day.

Last year's competition saw Faye Henderson take the P/A Grade Piobaireachd (with a confident and flowing Scarce of Fishing), and Bruce MacDonald and Scott MacRae take the B and C Grade respectively. Jonathan Greenlees won the P/A Grade MSR, Calum Watson the B Grade and Connor Jardine the C Grade. Jamie Forrester won the Open Hornpipe & Jig.

The 'Captain John' has quickly established itself as an important autumn piping event in Scotland's capital city.

 

 

 

The Springbank Invitational Solo Piping Competition,
Seafield Hotel, Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland. September 16

L-R: Roddy MacLeod, Angus MacColl, Iain Speirs, Willie McCallum, Gordon McCready, Callum Beaumont, Alasdair Henderson, and Glenn Brown.

Ceòl Mòr – 1. Roddy MacLeod (Lament for MacSwan of Roaig); 2. Alasdair Henderson (MacDougall’s Gathering); 3. Gordon McCready (The Vaunting); 4. Iain Speirs (In Praise of Morag).

MSR – 1. Willie McCallum; 2. Callum Beaumont; 3. Roddy MacLeod; 4. Alasdair Henderson.

6/8 March – 1. Angus MacColl; 2. Roddy MacLeod; 3. Willie McCallum; 4. Gordon McCready.

Hornpipe & Jig – 1. Alasdair Henderson; 2. Angus MacColl; 3.  Gordon McCready; 4. Willie McCallum.

Overall: Roddy MacLeod.

Judges: John Wilson, P.M. Iain Morrison and Iain MacFadyen.

Fear-an-Tighe: Alan Forbes


All-Ireland Solos, Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun, Dublin, September 16

Piobaireachd A – 1. Kriss Coyle; 2. John McElmurry; 3. Ashley McMichael.

Piobaireachd B – 1. Ryan Cupples-Menendez; 2. Craig Davidson; 3. Dion Boyle.

Senior Piping – 1. Scott Wallace; 2. Ashley McMichael; 3. Kevin Rogers.

Intermediate Piping – 1. Seán Maloney; 2. Cameron Hume; 3. Noel Kelly.

Junior A Piping – 1. Scott McKay; 2. Alastair Donaghy; 3. Cillian Hartford.

Junior B Piping – 1. Tim Wharton; 2. Joshua Truesdale; 3. Cillian Bissett.

Juvenile (Under 14) – 1. Jack Hamill; 2. Brady Annett; 3. Emma Ferguson.

Juvenile (Under 16) – 1. Beth Preston; 2. Jordan Gibson; 3. Nathan Coburn.

 

Glenn BrownDonald McPheeGlenn Brown and Donald McPhee have joined the College as Instructors for this year's Autumn Schools. The schools take place over the two weeks of Monday 9th-Friday 13th October and Monday 16th-Friday 20th October and cost £95.00.

Glenn is one of the most sought-after teachers in the world and has enjoyed much competitive success in recent years. Donald retired from competitive piping a couple of years ago to concentrate on reed-making and playing for highland dancing. Prior to this, he achieved the pinnacle of success in solo piping and with Grade 1 pipe bands such as ScottishPower and Field Marshall Montgomery.

Colin MacLellan, the College's Director of Piping, said: "We are delighted to get guys of Glenn and Donald's calibre teaching at this year's schools. Glenn is a top solo piper whose competitive record speaks for itself: he's won the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting, the A Grade March at the Argyllshire Gathering, and the Dunvegan Medal in Skye, plus of course, he took the Senior Piobaireachd at this year's Argyllshire Gathering.

"He's also a three-time World Pipe Band Champion with Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band and has also played with ScottishPower, Peel Regional Police (Pipe Major) and the 78th Fraser Highlanders.

"Donald, meanwhile, is already a legend in piping. He's also a Northern Meeting Gold Medalist and has accumulated numerous pipe band championships over the course of his career. He's also holds a Graduate and Senior Teacher's Certificate with the Institute of Piping and the Advanced and Teacher's Certificate with the RSPBA. He's also a fully qualified RSPBA Adjudicator and a solo adjudicator on the CPA's list of Active Competitive Adjudicators.

"I have no doubt Glenn and Donald will bring all their experience and knowledge to those attending this year's two Autumn Schools."

The instructors on the Autumn Schools, therefore, are Glenn Brown, Donald McPhee and Andrew Wallace.

To reserve a place on one of the Autumn Schools click HERE.

Bellows piping at the College on Tuesday nights.

Bellows piping at the College on Tuesday nights.

The College of Piping Scottish Smallpipes class is supported (and part-funded) by the Lowland & Border Pipers Society (LBPS), and takes place on Tuesday evenings from 7.00pm-9.00pm during term time. Students can enjoy of one-to-one tuition and participation in the group workshop.

In addition, the class is the de facto home of The Glasgow Smallpipers, an informal folk orchestra featuring Scottish Smallpipes (currently between six and 12 pipers, depending on the event), and other instruments such as fiddle, whistle and guitar. The group is always open to new members, and performs live regularly at family and community events.

Donald Lindsay.

During the academic year 2017-18, The Glasgow Smallpipers intend to record an album of music. All of the preparation for this will take place within the context of the Tuesday evening group sessions, and pipers who would like to be involved are very welcome to come and join us.

Our next ten-week term runs from tonight – 19th September – until Tuesday, 5th December with a mid-term break. Following this, the Scottish Smallpipes class will continue into 2018.

Individual one-to-one instruction can focus on any of the following special areas, according to preference :

* Beginners: All levels of student can be catered to, and special consideration will be given to students who have little or no prior experience on the pipes. It’s perfectly acceptable to begin with smallpipes, and a structured course will be provided, based on the LBPS manual, More Power to Your Elbow.

* Bellows technique: essential for pipers transitioning from mouth-blown pipes, bellows technique session will cover the development of a comfortable posture, a smooth winding style, steady pressure & tone. The bellows anatomy and basic maintenance will also be covered.

* William Dixon tunes: referring specifically to the variation sets found in The Master Piper collection, Dixon sessions will cover the development of a solid technical foundation for playing in this style. Exercises, to help in mastering the characteristic style of melodic ornamentation, will be provided. Dixon tune classes can be delivered using practice chanters if so desired, and may be of interest to players of the Highland pipes or to musicians playing other instruments.

* Pipe & Song: taught by Donald WG Lindsay, who is an experienced traditional singer and smallpiper, these classes will explore the task of using your smallpipes to accompany yourself or others singing. This is something the smallpipes are well suited to, and a range of stylistic approaches can be used to structure the pipe accompaniment sympathetically to the song.

* Surviving sessions: for pipers interested in participating in pub and festival tune sessions, these sessions will give some guidance on where to begin, including repertoire, playing and learning by ear, general session tips and etiquette, and if desired a piper’s introduction to the penny whistle (a very useful second instrument for any piper in this context).

* Lowland & Border tunes: These sessions will focus on the historic repertoire of the Lowland/Border pipes, from Soor Plooms to Hunt’s Up, as researched by Gordon Mooney, Pete Stewart, Matt Seattle and others. The history of the bellows pipes can be at times mysterious and elusive, but nonetheless rewarding and fascinating. This course will include background reading for the student.

Term dates: Tuesday, 19th September to Tuesday, 5th December.

Instructors: Donald WG Lindsay and Alana MacInnes

Classes run from 7.00pm till 9.00pm on Tuesday evenings. Tuition is given on one-to-one basis. You will learn under the instruction of one of our expert instructors. Complete beginners welcomed.

To enrol for the new term, please follow this link. Enrolments may also be made by contacting the College on 0141 334 3587 or email college@collegeofpiping.org. The cost for the term is £85 for adults and £70 for juveniles (those under-18), those over 65 and those unwaged.

This year's annual Echoes of Oban recital will be held at the College on the evening of the 18th of November. The invited pipers are:

Echoes of Oban line-up

Clockwise, from left to right: Craig Sutherland, Glenn Brown, Cameron Drummond, Lewis Russell, Cameron MacDougall and Gordon McCready.

Craig Sutherland – who won the Highland Society of London's Gold Medal (with Lord Lovat's Lament).

Glenn Brown – who won the Senior Piobaireachd (with Craigellachie)Cameron Drummond – who was second in the Gold Medal and third in the Former Winners' MSR.

Cameron Drummond – who was second in the Gold Medal and third in the Former Winners' MSR.

Cameron MacDougall – who won the Silver Medal.Lewis Russell – who won the MacGregor Memorial

Lewis Russell – who won the MacGregor Memorial.

Gordon McCready – the winner of the Jigs.

'Echoes' features almost all of the winners from the 2017 Argyllshire Gathering and become something of a piping institution in the winter months ever since it was established in the 1950s. 'Echoes' gives those who were unable to get to Oban for the Argyllshire Gathering a chance to enjoy some of the winning performances in a relaxed, convivial manner.

Tickets are priced £8.00 and are available at the door on the night.

We look forward to another excellent night of piping at one of the best – if not the best – piping night of the winter.

Gillie McNab of the Vale of AthollMost pipe band organisations have one or two members who could be considered stalwarts. Few pipe bands these days have members who have been with them for over 50 years.

Today we take a moment to congratulate Gillie McNab, Secretary of the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band for chalking up an incredible 50 years of playing at the Vale's 'Highland Night' entertainment shows. These shows have taken place each summer in Pitlochry for 52 years and are a significant part of the Highland Perthshire's summer attractions and economy. They also contribute greatly to the Vale's fundraising income. Beginning in 1967, Gillie has played at each one and has organised them for many years.

L-R: Archie McNab, Emily Ingham, Gillie McNab, Logan Shanto and Annabel Charlton cut the cake.

L-R: Archie McNab, Emily Ingham, Gillie McNab, Logan Shanto and Annabel Charlton cutting the cake in 2015.

A spokesman for the Vale said: "Near the end of this summer we realised Gillie had racked up 50 years of participating in our Highland Nights. It really is quite something to think that she has been part of these for half a century. The Vale and Gillie are quite synonymous and we'd like to thank her publicly for her efforts and contributions over all this time. Her unwavering dedication is impressive."

In 2015 the Vale celebrated 50 years of its Highland Nights by cutting a cake at the July 27 show.

The McNab family were special guests at the European Pipe Band championships at Forres earlier this year. Their interest in piping and drumming spans four generations.

 

Ian K. Murray

Ian K. Murray judging at Lochearnhead in the early 1990s.

Ian Murray, the well known Edinburgh piper, died in hospital last Sunday (10th September). He was 83.

Ian was born in February 1934 and was taught by Pipe Major Hance Gates of the Edinburgh Police Pipe Band. A lawyer by profession, Ian was a stalwart of the Edinburgh piping scene for a great many years He was a member of the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society, the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society, the Piobaireachd Society, and was a member of BBC Scotland’s piping sub-committee, along with Seumas MacNeill and Col. David Murray.

Ian was a regular contributor to the Piping Times and to The Scotsman and in 2016 published a collection of his writings, The Chanter and the Pen. We extend our condolences to Elsie and the family.

The funeral is at Mortonhall Crematorium on Wednesday, 20th September at 1.30pm.

 

 

Robert Wallace – an apology

In the 'Butter Fingers' blog on 18th August, 2017, we published a post relating to the withdrawal from the Argyllshire Gathering by one or two senior pipers, because of the presence of a particular judge. Although the judge was not named we accept that, to those familiar with the subject matter of the  post, he would be identifiable as Robert Wallace.
In the post, the particular judge was described as an "opinionated, mendacious and malevolent individual driven mad by his own ego, bitterness and self-interest." We accept that such comments were ill-judged and to make them in a setting which afforded Mr Wallace no simultaneous right to respond or comment was unfair. We also accept that such comments were not appropriate for a blog that is published by the College of Piping. We apologise to Mr Wallace accordingly.


Glenn Brown and Craig SutherlandLining them up

I hear Glenn Brown and Craig Sutherland, pictured right, may receive an invite to play at next spring’s Pipe Major Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition. Glenn won the Senior Piobaireachd at Oban this year while Craig scooped the Gold Medal. Before then, of course, Craig will no doubt relish returning to pipe at Blair Castle, only this time not as part of its rota of daily pipers but as one of the 10 pipers competing at the Glenfiddich.

The line-up for the GF hasn’t been released as yet but I expect it to be something like this:

* Roddy MacLeod (winner of last year’s Glenfiddich)
* Jack Lee (winner of the Former Winners’ MSR at the 2017 Argyllshire Gathering)
* Callum Beaumont (2016 Bratach Gorm and overall champion at the London comp.)
* Glenn Brown (Senior Piobaireachd winner at the 2017 Argyllshire Gathering)
* Ian K. MacDonald (second in Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering)
* Craig Sutherland (winner of the Gold Medal at the 2017 Argyllshire Gathering)
* Cameron Drummond (winner of the Former Winners’ MSR at the 2017 Northern Meeting)
* Ally Henderson (winner of the Gold Medal at the 2017 Northern Meeting)
* Angus MacColl (second place in the Clasp at the 2017 Northern Meeting)
* Iain Speirs (winner of the Clasp at the 2017 Northern Meeting)

As I said last week, this year’s GF looks set to be the first one without a MacCallum.

Also, I imagine both Glenn and Craig will be invited to play at the College of Piping’s annual ‘Echoes of Oban’ night. ’Echoes’ is usually held in mid-November and is always a great night.


Kyle Cameron competing at Invercharron last year.

Kyle Cameron competing at Invercharron last year.

The final straight

Invercharron Highland Games takes place this weekend. It’s usually the last highland games of the season and let’s hope some of our soloists have a little bit of fuel in the tank to take part. I really hope so. At Pitlochry last weekend, entries for the solo piping and the pipe band competitions were as low as I can recall in at least a decade.

Invercharron is usually well supported by pipers in the district but it would be great if some more pipers from furth of Inverness would enter. Like many of our smaller games, Invercharron is a charming and well run day.

It's been said many times before: use them or lose them.


A good record … in the Main

A huge ‘well done’ to the youngsters of Davidson's Mains & District Pipe Band for releasing their version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle on the Hill’ to raise money for charity. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Cash for Kids, the UK-based charity that helps  disadvantaged children or those suffering from abuse or neglect. I can’t say I’m a fan of Ed Sheeran’s songs but this recording has a certain charm to it. You can buy the single on iTunes HERE:

I remember the youngsters performing alongside the Red Hot Chilli Pipers in Princes Gardens, Edinburgh a few years ago. I think they played Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing’ Cars but I may be mistaken. No doubt there’s a clip on t’internet somewhere.

Butter Fingers

BRECHIN

Entries are now open for the City of Brechin Pipe Band's annual solo piping competition for pipers and drummers aged 18 and under.

The competition this year takes place on Saturday, September 30 at Craigie High School, Dundee. Entry forms:

COBPB Solos Comp - Piping Entry2017 COBPB Solos Comp - Drumming Entry 2017

SHOTTS

Elsewhere, entries are also now open for this year's Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band annual junior solo competition which will take place at Calderhead High School, Shotts on November 18.

Colin MacLellan, the College of Piping's Director of Piping, said: "This competition was first held in 2014 but it has quickly – and firmly – established itself. With the competition taking place mere weeks after the College of Piping's Autumn School, I would encourage any youngsters intending to compete to enrol on the school with a view to helping them prepare for the competition."

Entry forms HERE. Entries close on 30th October.

 

 

Seumas MacNeill was born 100 years ago today. Today’s generation of pipers may not be fully aware of Seumas, pictured right. This may be perhaps inevitable but it is nevertheless regrettable because the present, healthy state of piping that they – we – are enjoying is down, to a huge extent, to Seumas. He co-founded the College of Piping in 1944 and edited the Piping Times from 1950 until his death (and was its main contributor since 1948 when it first appeared).

He was a controversial figure in his lifetime and aroused strong feelings from many. However, as Neil Fraser put it at the service of remembrance, “It is unlikely that the world of piping will again find an individual who gave so much of himself in the cause of the music that he loved for so little material return.”

Seumas died on April 4, 1996 after a long illness and was buried the following day in Riddrie Cemetery with family and a few close friends in attendance. The following week, on 10th April, a large gathering attended a service of thanksgiving at St Luke's Church, Milngavie.

In this the centenary of his birth, we reproduce in full the eulogy delivered by Dugald MacNeill and the tribute given by Neil Fraser of BBC Scotland:

Seumas MacNeill

Music is one of the most precious of God's gifts and — unlike many of the things we enjoy — it is harmless, no matter how much or how deeply we indulge in it. It is curious then, that although most of us would accept that it is a divine gift and that it is pleasurable and harmless, it is curious that our instrument, the bagpipe, in much of our folklore, is depicted as being the devil's musical instrument. If it has been the devil's instrument, and if it is true that good men go to heaven, then I can tell you that the angels by now will have abandoned their harps and are now having their first piping lesson.

How do you measure goodness? I believe that it is measured by how much lasting pleasure you afford others and if so Seumas MacNeill was indeed a good man. Through him, many many thousands of people throughout the world have had their lives enriched — they have come to know the thrill, the excitement and the beauty of the Highland bagpipe and the fellowship it engenders. His efforts are even more praiseworthy when we remember that he did it all for no material gain — quite the reverse. He and Tommy Pearston for all of their working lives, each holding down technically demanding jobs, spent virtually all of their leisure and other resources starting the College of Piping and running it. Tommy eventually retired and cut his involvement to teaching only — but Seumas increased his involvement.

He added very significantly to the literature of the bagpipe. He administered the Piobaireachd Society, the MacFadyen Trust, and many other organisations and events. He was for many years the anchor man of piping on the radio and of course he produced the Piping Times for well nigh 50 years. We ordinary folk can only wonder at such a prodigious work load. I well remember a van load of people, Rose Fletcher and her friends, driving up from Manchester each week for a specially arranged, very late evening teaching session with Seumas and then driving all the way back – and this long before the days of motorways. These Mancunians also attended the early summer schools in Skye, Tiree and Speyside.

The idea that you had to be of Highland stock with a knowledge of Gaelic culture to play piobaireachd was debunked by Seumas at an early stage. That small spark of interest shown by Professor Yamane in Tokyo was soon ignited and fanned to full flame and now there is a substantial and growing body of pipers in Japan — before there was none. Fifty years ago the convention was that girls did not play pipes — an odd one did – but they were considered odd. Soon there were many girls in the College beginning with the Currie sisters, now like myself at the grandparent stage.

Much of the early interests in the Highland bagpipe on the continent of Europe was triggered by his visits, his writings, and their attendance at the College. Perhaps his greatest success in terms of numbers was in Canada and North America where he pioneered the idea of summer schools, now happily multiplying steadily. The only other piping college is in Canada. There are now more pipers in North America than in Scotland and their numbers are still increasing. Muslims, Hindus, all colours and creeds throughout the world are enjoying the bagpipe; lots of them directly, others indirectly through his efforts. Even that remote (remote from Glasgow) place, the city of Edinburgh benefited from his personal teaching on Tuesday evenings for about 14 years.

Undoubtedly he was a good man, an exceedingly good man, but not quite a saint. May he be forgiven for those few occasions when he was perhaps a little more caustic than those of us on the receiving end thought was necessary, and may those among us, who, through ignorance, jealousy. or whatever, sought to denigrate him, may they too be forgiven.

Today, while we mourn his death, we his pupils, his pupils’ pupils, all those whom he introduced to the music of the bagpipe and those whose knowledge and appreciation were deepened and enhanced by him; we, all of us, join in thanking God for his wonderful teaching and the lasting pleasure he afforded us.

Thereafter Neil Fraser delivered his tribute to Seumas in the following manner:

I was greatly honoured when Netta asked me to say a few words in tribute to Seumas to you today. And in the brief time available on this occasion I can but touch on just some of the qualities of this rare and remarkable man.

I first met Seumas in 1968 when I was asked to produce the BBC's piping programmes. I was an enthusiast for the music of the pipes, reasonably musically literate, but in virtual total ignorance of the world of piping, its personalities and its politics, its factions and frictions. All were to be revealed within a short space of time. Seumas had just completed an outstanding six part series, produced by Fred MacAulay, called, ‘Piobaireachd’, later to become the subject of a book and a fine LP recording. I was presented with an immediate challenge — how to continue this high standard of work through into the programmes of the future. Discussion with a range of people on developing formats and ideas for new programmes took place and it quickly became clear that in Seumas I had someone who was not only a progressive and a proselytiser for piping. but also one who recognised the value of radio and how to exploit it. Seumas was a born communicator: you might on occasion disagree with his view — even strongly disagree — but who would question his ability to present his case with forethought and fluency, commodities which were in as short supply in piping as they were in all other walks of broadcasting life. Seumas and the late John MacFadyen, another progressive, were to make a monumental contribution to piping broadcasts which will surely stand the test of time. They were men with a mission — men of vision who gave selflessly of their time and energy for a greater cause.

But Seumas had an extra dimension as communicator. I was thumbing through some past editions of the Piping Times the other night, marvelling at the sheer tenacity which produced a monthly magazine uninterrupted over a period of nearly 50 years ("A proud record,” he once claimed, "and apart from the very first edition, it has always come out late!'‘). At the same time I was chuckling at the well-aimed thrusts at unfortunate targets — myself among them on one or two occasions — but Seumas, as sole editor throughout that time, sustained a degree of relevance, variety and humour that can only have come from an intense dedication and concern for his beloved instrument, its music — and the piping fraternity.

A young John MacLellan. Photo courtesy of Colin MacLellan.

His own writings and those of other luminaries of the piping world combined to make the late John MacLellan, who had himself for a period of three to four years run in opposition with The International Piper, declare graciously that, "There is more valuable material in the pages of the Piping Times than all the other books and magazines put together." The Piping Times is surely one of Seumas' most extraordinary achievements — a veritable archive of the changing face of piping over half a century, mirroring all its intrigue and complexity, containing the views of some of our most highly regarded adherents and read now throughout the world as witnessed by the geographical diversity of its letters page.

But Seumas had another side to him. I recall in my own early days of broadcasting the immense kindness and patience of which he was capable. Through the ‘Chanter’ programme and the wonderful 'Masters of Piping' series, I was introduced one after the other to the great characters of piping of the time — some of them very old, Angus Macpherson and his ilk, some of them from a later generation like the Bobs of Balmoral and Bessie Brown, and many of them, like Seumas, now gone. That was indeed a rare privilege. The civility, humour and mutual respect which characterised those meetings will always generate the happiest of memories. Seumas was at the heart of it all, encouraging, gentle, understanding, immaculately prepared — the sure sign of the professional who had thought through his subject. I should add that the conversations over a drum in the BBC Club after some of the studio discussions were frequently of a more robust nature, but nevertheless decorum was always maintained. I recall once chancing my arm in such a robust exchange between Seumas and John MacFadyen on a journey north to Skye — I was told in no uncertain terms to be quiet. This was a matter for pipers not producers! Diplomatically, I now forget which one said it!

There are many tales to be told of our joint excursions in search of new material for broadcast: journeys to places as far apart as South Uist and Santa Cruz. Seumas was a consummate travelling companion — a walking, talking Piping Times — reminiscing, laughing, thoughtful, good- humoured. These tales will have to await another day.

It is unlikely that the world of piping will again find an individual who gave so much of himself in the cause of the music that he loved for so little material return. Most of what he achieved derived from a personal vision. He fought many campaigns and battles single-handedly. That was a measure of the man and his belief. If he had something to say you got it straight. Seumas was a piper and teacher first and foremost, a writer and broadcaster, a critic, friend, touchstone, strategist, visionary, and there has never been a more successful and effective ambassador for the noble instrument and its music in the new world. This summer sees the 25th Seumas MacNeill Summer School of Piping in California.

The California Summer School is still going. This is the Class of 2016.

Seumas was a good friend. I will miss him — we all will — and so too will all the many new friends of piping he created overseas.

Sadly, in the last months of his life, ill-advised criticism and mis-informed reporting came at a time when he was least capable of defending himself. I believe future generations will judge his life's work and surely decide that no one has made a more effective and lasting contribution to elevate and dignity the status of the bagpipe and its music than he has. This is a time for all of us to reflect with a touch of humility on how much poorer the world of piping and the world in general would have been, and will be, without his patriotic and perceptive presence.

Seumas MacNeill was devoted to his country, his music and his family. But our thoughts today are solely with the family, his wife Netta, his son Rory and his wife Simone with their daughter, Hayley.

Their loss is the greatest of all.

After the thanksgiving service Dr John MacAskill played the slow air, The Fields of Hope followed by the piobaireachd, Lament for Patrick Òg MacCrimmon. Angus J. MacLellan played The Flowers of the Forest at the graveside following the burial service.