Keydet Piper I'm thinking bagpipes

Tag Archives: Piobaireachd Wednesday

A whirlwind of a summer

Ok, so I think the Keydet Piper may now have returned to blogging, after taking it easy for a few months. The reason for my absence is one of simple distraction (see point #4 below). I’m not promising to return to as full a blogging schedule as I’ve maintained at some points in the past, but I hope to be able to get some posts up on a somewhat more regular basis. There’s a few things that have occurred during my absence that I’d like to address.

1. The Piobaireachd Wednesday feature was proving to be pretty popular, and I’d like to resume work on that. I don’t foresee it being a regular weekly thing, but whenever I come across a good recording or manage to record some myself I’ll be sure to post it.

Speaking of that, here’s one to hold you over. I’ve been holding on to a stack of recordings I made at the USPF Amateur Piping Championship back in June, and this was the winning piobaireachd. The player is Kirk Brunson from Derry, New Hampshire, and the tune is Lament for Donald of Lagaan; he gives a very good account of this tune.

Kirk also won the MSR at this contest, making him the overall winner of the championship. Well done to him, certainly.

2. The Worlds happened a few weeks back, and Field Marshal Montgomery once again emerged on top, winning both the medley and the MSR. I wasn’t able to watch as much of the coverage as I would have liked, but I’ve listened to a lot of the recordings that are posted at the above link, and as usual Field Marshal put on a top-notch performance. The medley contest was actually really great, and commentator Bob Worrall kept commenting about the number of bands that played well.

In my mind the big story was ScottishPower, who put in a dynamite medley performance and ended the day in a solid second place. Their medley started with The Battle of Waterloo, which is one of those tunes that pretty much everyone plays, and showing (again) that a flashy medley opener is not required to contend as a top-tier grade 1 band.

Also check out a great medley performance from Boghall and Bathgate, and just to stir up some controversy here’s the medley entry from Toronto Police.

3. We’ve also seen the Argyllshire Gathering happen, with the Gold Medal there going to Finlay Johnston from Glasgow. The other top prizes at this contest went to Peter McCalister (Silver Medal), Stuart Liddell (Senior Piobaireachd), and Gordon Walker (Silver Star Former Winners’ MSR, the seventh time he’s won it). I haven’t heard any of these performances, but keep an eye on Pipeline over the next few weeks, and hopefully they’ll have some recordings. Also keep an eye out for the Northern Meeting, which takes place later this week.

4. Holy crap I’ve moved. In my last post of any substance, I announced that I was moving west, and I’ve now had a little time to get my feet under me here in Oregon. I missed the end of the local piping season, but I’m looking forward to next year to see what it’s all about. I’ve heard the level of play here is very high, brought up significantly by the proximity to the grade 1 powers Simon Fraser University and Triumph Street. I don’t know about solo competitions in 2013, but I’ll do my best to join up with the Portland Metro Pipe Band.

So stay tuned (in all senses of the word), and hopefully you’ll see some more bagpipe-related content coming at you from the Keydet Piper blog.

Special Piobaireachd Friday: Caber Feidh Gu Brath

Consider yourselves lucky, piobaireachd fans: this is your second tune this week, and it comes from an undisputed master of the genre: Roddy MacLeod. Roddy’s instructing this week at a piping school in Virginia, and in an informal recital on Tuesday evening played the Donald MacLeod tune Caber Feidh Gu Brath. You can always count on him to have a great bagpipe, and the playing was fantastic.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what bagpipes are supposed to sound like.

If you’d like to submit a tune to be featured on Piobaireachd Wednesday, please email me.

Special Piobaireachd Tuesday: Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon

I’m away at piping school this week, and able to record some really good stuff. Piobaireachd Wednesday will be replaced this week by Piobaireachd Tuesday and Piobaireachd Friday, so check back Friday morning for another tune.

The first bonus tune this week is Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon, played by Glenn Brown in an informal instructor’s recital on Monday evening. Glenn is an instructor at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, though he’s originally from Ontario. As you can tell he’s a great player, and it was a very enjoyable tune to hear in person.

If you’d like to submit a tune to be featured on Piobaireachd Wednesday, please email me.

Piobaireachd Wednesday: The MacGregor’s Salute

Our tune this week once again comes from The Captain’s Corner, and was recorded at the 2010 George Sherriff Memorial Competition in Hamilton, Ontario. The winning piobaireachd was The MacGregor’s Salute, played by Andrew Laird.

If you’d like to submit a tune to be featured on Piobaireachd Wednesday, please email me.

Piobaireachd Wednesday: Salute to the Great Pipe

Our tune this week was picked off of The Captain’s Corner blog, where I’ve found some great piobaireachd recordings. This was recorded at the Captain John MacLellan Recital in Edinburgh on October 15, 2011. Salute to the Great Pipe is the tune, a composition by the event’s namesake, and the player needs little introduction: Roddy MacLeod, MBE.

Sheet music for the tune can also be found through The Captain’s Corner site.

If you’d like to submit a tune to be featured on Piobaireachd Wednesday, please email me.

Piobaireachd Wednesday: Sir James MacDonald of Isles’ Lament

Delving back into the results from the spring 2012 BagpipeLessons.com Online Piping Competition, our tune this week is one of my favorite wee tunes: Sir James MacDonald of the Isles’ Lament. It’s not very long, but it’s very melodic and very enjoyable to play. The player is Soren Larson, and this performance earned him 3rd place in the grade 3 piobaireachd event.

If you’d like to submit a tune to be featured on Piobaireachd Wednesday, please email me.

Piobaireachd Wednesday: I Got A Kiss of the King’s Hand

For our tune this week, I’m again using a video recorded at a reglar match meeting of The Eagle Pipers’ Society. The player is Iain Spiers, the tune is I Got A Kiss of the King’s Hand, and the recording was made on October 25, 2011.

If you’d like to submit a tune to be featured on Piobaireachd Wednesday, please email me.

Piobaireachd Wednesday: Macintosh of Borlum’s Salute

For our tune this week, I’ve selected one of 2012′s Gold Medal tunes: Macintosh of Borlum’s Salute. The player is Canadian Andy Rogers, playing at a regular meeting of the Eagle Pipers’ Society in Edinburgh in January of this year.

If you’d like to submit a tune to be featured on Piobaireachd Wednesday, please email me.

Piobaireachd Wednesday: Massacre of Glencoe

In crawling the web this week looking for a tune, I once again found myself at Ken “The Captain” Eller’s page: The Captain’s Corner. Ken has been piping for more years than I’ve been living, and is  well-known as a teacher and judge in Ontario. He manages to make great recordings of some of the high-profile amateur contests in eastern Canada, and it was one of these that he posted that I’ve decided to share this week.

The tune is the Massacre of Glencoe, recorded at the George Sherriff Memorial Competition in 2010. The piper is Glenn Walpole, at the time one of the top amateurs in the region; he now plays in the professional ranks. I think you’ll agree that he does a pretty nice job with this tune. This performance earned him second place in the piobaireachd contest, and was the overall runner-up.

This tune is one that has some sentimental value to me, for two reasons. First, I played this tune for most contests in my final year in grade 2, and I think it was pretty important in helping me move up from there. The second reason goes back to the years between 2003 and 2006, when I played with the Macdonald Pipe Band in Pittsburgh, PA. Members of the MacDonald clan were on the receiving end of the massacre, and the slow air version of the tune was part of our show repertoire. It was in that band that I got my start as a solo competitor, and I owe a lot of my piping obsession to the time I spent in that band and the friends I still have there.

If you’d like to submit a tune to be featured on Piobaireachd Wednesday, please email me.

Piobaireachd Wednesday: Pibroch (Cap in Hand)

We’re taking a step away from the usual format of Piobaireachd Wednesday this week with an installment from great English rock band Jethro Tull. This track is entitled Pibroch (Cap in Hand), and is from their 1977 album Songs from the Wood. It’s interesting, I’ll grant you that, and I think is worth listening to at least once.

If you’d like to submit a tune to be featured on Piobaireachd Wednesday, please email me.