Category Archives: Pipe Band

Hundreds of pipers around the world have already registered for this once-in-a-lifetime tribute to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War.

We would like to reach 1,000.

Essentially, this tribute lasts all day on November 11 next year but it kicks off at 06:00 with pipers around the world playing of the well known retreat march, When the Battle’s O’er.

Why so early, you ask?

Well, the Armistice of Compiègne was signed at that time on November 11, 1918. It marked the end of the fighting on the Western Front and ultimately the end of the Great War, that terrible, gruelling four year conflict that saw millions killed and wounded, including around 2,000 pipers. Countries all around the world were affected in what was one of the largest wars in history.

A contemporary sketch of Daniel Laidlaw VC playing during the Battle of Loos. Laidlaw, seeing that his company was shaken with the effects of gas, mounted the parapet and, marching up and down, played his company out of the trench. The effect was immediate and the company dashed to the assault.

We are asking you to play the Pipe Major William Robb composition at 0600hrs local time at any location of your choice, whether it is a cenotaph or war memorial in your village, town or city – or even outside your house ... any location you feel appropriate. The choice is yours.

Following the event, those taking part will be able to download the special certificate that they can then frame as a permanent reminder of their involvement. To register simply complete your details below.

Each month, a list of those taking part will be published in the Piping Times.

To register please click HERE.

Thank you.

The RSPBA's Music Board met today and approved the first changes for next season:


New Bands:

Grade Novice Juvenile B – Thuirle Thairle Youth - Canada


Novice Juvenile B to Novice Juvenile A – Oban High School and Lochalsh Juniors.

Oban High School Pipe Band.

Oban High School Pipe Band.

Novice Juvenile A to Juvenile – Dollar Academy, George Watson College, Oban High School and Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums.

Grade 4B to 4A – Lisnamulligan, Kilmarnock, Kildoag and The College of Piping Summerside (Canada).

Grade 4A to 3B – 3rd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Bowhill and District, Tullylagan, St Mary's Derrytrasna and Denny & Dunipace.

Grade 3B to 3A – Royal Burgh of Annan, The Highlanders (4 Scots), Bothwell Castle and Quinn Memorial.

Wallacestone & District's Pipe Major Neil Henderson.

Grade 2 – Wallacestone & District's Pipe Major Neil Henderson.

Grade 3A to 2– Wallacestone & District and the Royal Burgh of Stirling.


Pipe Major David Wilton of Lomond & Clyde.

Grade 1 – Pipe Major David Wilton of Lomond & Clyde.

Grade 2 to 1 – Lomond & Clyde and The Glasgow Skye Association.



Novice Juvenile A to Novice Juvenile B – Dunoon Grammar School and 1st Troon BB (by request).

Grade 4A to 4B – Granite City.

Grade 3B to 4A – Methil & District and Portavogie (by request).

Grade 3A to 3B – Ballybriest.

Grade 2 to 3A – Glasgow City (this band has now disbanded).

Grade 1 to 2 – Ravara and Peel Police (Canada).

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.

Glasgow Police appoints McLaren as Pipe Sergeant

Glasgow Police appoints McLaren as Pipe Sergeant Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band said today that Alisdair McLaren, pictured left, has joined the band as Joint Pipe Sergeant. Duncan Nicholson is the Grade 1 band's other Pipe Sergeant. He was formerly Pipe Major of the band. McLaren, from Perth, Australia, previously played with the Glasgow Police…
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Always Argyll – a Liddell goes a long way

The Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championship trophy is now ensconced by the beautiful shores of Loch Fyne, Argyll. Inveraray & District Pipe Band's short rise – indeed,

The Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championship trophy is now ensconced by the beautiful shores of Loch Fyne, Argyll. Inveraray & District Pipe Band's short rise – indeed, Ascension – is utterly astonishing and a testament to the loyalty and affection shown to Pipe Major Stuart Liddell from his players.

Stuart has lived in Inveraray since the early 1980s and prior to resurrecting the local pipe band (which last played in the 1930s), played with ScottishPower and Simon Fraser University. He has also established a formidable – to say the least – record on the solo piping circuit. In 2003 he began tutoring the children of the local primary school. After a couple of years, the local band was re-established and registered with the RSPBA. The band's first competition was at the Cowal Gathering in 2005. They borrowed drums and played in their own kilts.

The breathtaking rise through the grades to Grade 1 has now culminated in the ultimate pipe band accolade. No wonder the crowd’s response was so fulsome. Stuart’s reaction was not to charge around like a lunatic – something we have wearily become accustomed to from pipe band people performing for the cameras. No. As humble as ever, he simply bowed and wept.

What a journey. A gong is surely around the corner for this gentleman.

Here is the band exiting the Green:

• The full band summaries can be found HERE.

Inveraray marches from the field with the Grade 1 trophy.

Scottish Pipe Band Championships, Levengrove Park, Dumbarton, July 29 – Inveraray & District Pipe Band yesterday took the penultimate pipe band championship before the 'Words'. Fourteen bands competed in Grade 1, with Stuart Liddell's band securing its third major out of four. The band had two first in the piping.

If there was a 'most improved' prize, it would surely have gone to the Vale of Atholl. The Perthshire based band, playing a new brand of chanter reeds, sounded very good indeed despite being placed eighth.

In a very enjoyable Grade 2 contest, the band to watch all season, Lomond & Clyde, took its third championship of the year.

The day itself was wet and windy for most of the day.


Grade 1 – 1. Inveraray and District; 2. Field Marshal Montgomery; 3. St Laurence O’Toole; 4. Scottish Power; 5. Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia; 6. Police Scotland Fife.
Judges: Gordon Lawrie and Ken Eller (piping), Gordon Parkes (drumming) and Nat Russell (ensemble).

The City of London Pipe Band celebrates after placing in a major in its first season.

Grade 2 – 1. Lomond and Clyde; 2. The Glasgow Skye Association; 3. Closkelt; 4. MacKenzie Caledonian; 5. City of London; 6. Grampian Police Scotland.
Judges: Robert Shaw and William Garrett (piping), Jim Baxter (drumming) and Peter Snaddon (ensemble).

Grade 3A – 1. Deeside Caledonia; 2. City of Inverness; 3. Wallacestone and District; 4. 2622 (Highland) Squadron R.A.F; 5. Vale of Atholl; 6. Kintyre Schools.
Judges: Thomas Brown and Jim Semple (piping), Alexander Russell (drumming) and David Brown (ensemble).

Grade 3B – 1. Royal Burgh of Annan; 2. Quinn Memorial; 3. Ayr Pipe Band Society; 4. Bothwell Castle; 5. Pipes and Drums Scots Guards Association (South); 6. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (ensemble preference).
Judges: Alvis Kerr and George Wilson (piping), Alex Dudgeon (drumming) and Gordon Craig (ensemble).

Dollar Academy took the Juvenile grade.

Juvenile – 1. Dollar Academy; 2. George Watson's College (ensemble preference); 3. North Lanarkshire Schools; 4. Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia; 5. George Heriot's School; 6. West Lothian Schools.
Judges: Gordon Lawrie and Ken Eller (piping), Gordon Parkes (drumming) and Nat Russell (ensemble preference).

Grade 4A – 1. 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland; 2. The Scots School Albury; 3. Tullylagan; 4. Bowhill and District; 5. Johnstone; 6. Lochryan (ensemble preference).
Judges: Judges: Thomas Brown and Jim Semple (piping), Alexander Russell (drumming) and David Brown (ensemble).

Grade 4B – 1. Kilmarnock; 2. Kelty and Blairadam; 3. Bessbrook Crimson Arrow Pipe Band; 4. Elgin and District (ensemble preference); 5. Davidson’s Mains and District; 6. Stow Borders.
Judges: Jim Wark and John McCarlie (piping), Joe Noble (drumming) and Cameron Edgar (ensemble).

Novice Juvenile A – 1. Oban High School (ensemble preference); 2. George Watson's College; 3. Dollar Academy; 4. Ross and Cromarty Pipes and Drums School; 5. Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia; 6. George Heriot's School.
Judges: Jim Wark and John McCarlie (piping), Joe Noble (drumming) and Cameron Edgar (ensemble).

Novice Juvenile B – 1. Oban High School; 2. North Lanarkshire Schools; 3. Bucksburn and District; 4. Mackenzie Caledonian; 5. Kintyre Schools; 6. Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band.
Judges: Jim Wark and John McCarlie (piping), Joe Noble (drumming) and Cameron Edgar (ensemble).



forres2The RSPBA closes entries for the 2015 European Pipe Band Championships, Piping at Forres, on Wednesday, 13th May.

Tickets to Piping At Forres 2015, the European Pipe Band Championships for 2015, to be held on 27 June 2015 in Grant Park, Forres, Moray  are now available. Tickets purchased in advance offer a discount on the ticket prices on the day.

To buy tickets online click here

gourock logoOn Sunday 10th May 2015, Gourock Park starts off the Highland Games season with a bang as hundreds of drummers, pipers, heavies and highland dancers from across the country come together to compete in the Gourock Highland Games.

An important date in the Scottish calendar, it’s the first games after the winter and a chance to celebrate sports, music and dancing outdoors against the scenic backdrop of the firth of Clyde and Argyll hills beyond.

The event is supported by EventScotland and forms part of Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink celebrations. There will be a food & drink marquee filled with Scottish producers selling everything from tablet to chilli sauce!

Inverclyde Council has announced that the Chieftain for this year’s Gourock Highland Games will be long term campaigner for the elderly, Nell McFadden MBE from Gourock.

Nell has been campaigning for and supporting Inverclyde’s elderly residents for over twenty years and her accomplishments have been recognised nationally on numerous occasions; she was awarded a MBE, has visited 10 Downing Street and attended the Queen’s Garden Party.

She is Chair of the Inverclyde Elderly Forum and was the founding member, now honorary president, of Inverclyde’s Your Voice, an organisation which aims to empower local people to influence the planning, development and provision of local services, specifically focusing on underrepresented groups who face discrimination and social exclusion.

Provost Robert Moran said: “The position of Chieftain of the Gourock Highland Games is a fantastic way of recognising the achievements of an Inverclyde resident and Nell has achievements in abundance. Nell has worked tirelessly for a great many years ensuring the elderly are looked after, treated with respect and I am thrilled that we are able to recognise and celebrate all she has done.”

Speaking on her appointment as Chieftain, Nell said: “I am absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity. I never expected to be recognised in this way so I was very surprised when I was asked, but I am extremely honoured and very much looking forward to what I am sure will be a great day.”

The draw for Gourock can be found here

wpbclogoThe World Pipe Band Championships returns to Glasgow Green on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 August 2015. The Worlds 2014 was watched by some 30,000 on Glasgow Green, and thousands more around the globe followed the action online.

Tickets for the World Pipe Band Championships 2015 are on sale now.

Get your tickets here



BATHGATE 2015 – The British Pipe Band Championships featuring all the top pipers and drummers from throughout the UK and beyond – Plus: The annual West Lothian Highland Games sponsored by Calor Scotland featuring: highland dancing, heavy events – including tossing the caber, the popular Veteran’s Hill Race & children’s entertainment; takes place on Saturday the 30th May at a NEW, BIGGER, BETTER VENUE: Balbardie Park of Peace/Bathgate Sports Centre.

British Championship Draw