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Monthly Archives: December 2010

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Willie McCallum lunchtime recital #6

The last video from Willie McCallum’s lunchtime recital, recorded at The Piping Centre during Piping Live 2010. The video set concludes with a slow air and jigs.

Willie McCallum lunchtime recital #5

The fifth video of Willie McCallum’s lunchtime recital from Piping Live in August 2010. A set of retreat marches this time. I do quite a good set of retreat marches, and Willie plays them about as well as anyone on the planet.

Tomorrow is the last video; I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to this masterful player.

Willie McCallum lunchtime recital #4

Part 4 of 6 from Willie McCallum’s lunchtime recital during the Piping Live Festival from August 2010: slow air and hornpipes.

Willie McCallum lunchtime recital #3

Part 3 of 6 of Willie McCallum’s lunchtime recital from Piping Live 2010: 2/4 marches.

Willie McCallum lunchtime recital #2

The next video in Willie McCallums lunchtime recital from Piping Live 2010: strathspeys and reels.

Willie McCallum lunchtime recital

While cruising YouTube this morning I came across a series of videos recorded during the Piping Live Festival in Glasgow, Scotland in August 2010. Each day featured a lunchtime recital at The Piping Centre. Stuart Liddell gave one of the recitals, and this one is Willie McCallum.

Willie is one of the top solo competitors on the circuit today and one of the most decorated solo pipers of all time. He’s also a heck of a nice guy.

Here’s the first of six videos in the series: 6/8 marches. The rest of the videos in the series will follow.

Mmm, hmm. I do love me some 6/8 marches.

Play for the fun of it

As an active bagpiper, I find it very easy to get wrapped up in the competition music. For one, it’s always in need of improvement (try listening to a recording of yourself playing if you don’t believe me), and for another competitions are one of the few chances I get to play for the critical ear of a distinguished piper.¬† Read More

It’s the Monday Survey: Volume 11!

I had a rather disappointing response to last week’s question, and I’m hoping this week will be different.

With the holiday season fully upon us and the time for Piping Claus to bring his gifts fast approaching,

What piping goodies do you have on your wish list?

Do you go for the basic supplies, like reeds, hemp and maintenance supplies? New instrument parts like chanters or blowpipes? Fancy bag covers? Cases? Gadgets?

As always, leave your comments on this page. I’d like to hear what you have to say!

Town hall meeting a success!

I spent just over an hour this evening “attending” the town hall style meeting with Eastern United States Pipe Band Association president Eric MacNeill. The meeting was organized by Andrew Douglas from The Piper’s DoJo, and through the wonders of technology there were folks logged in from several locations throughout the EUSPBA, as well as Scotland and Costa Rica.

Somewhere between 40-50 people were actually attending, roughly the same attendance by the end of the Annual General Meeting held a few weeks back. Tonight’s meeting started with Andrew asking a few questions of Eric, and then they took questions from the audience. There were some really good questions.

My favorite part was that many of the people who chimed in with questions were not the same people who dominated the discussion time at the AGM, and they definitely represented more of the general membership of the association. It was really nice to hear some thoughts from some different folks, who are much more interested in the music than the politics.

I like the fact that in the few weeks that he’s been in office, Eric has already participated in something like this, taking questions from the membership at large, that his predecessor wouldn’t have done. I knew there was a reason I voted for him!

I hope this conversation between president and members will continue, and that it might lead to a more active (and happier) membership.

Most overplayed tunes: retreat marches

I’m going to step up on my soapbox here and complain for a bit. I’ve posted before about the stunning lack of variety in the selection of MSR tunes for the higher levels of band competition, but the¬†unimaginative tune selection isn’t limited to high level bands, or to competition bands specifically. Read More