Shotts Announces Sponsorship With Asset Guardian Solutions Limited

Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band is delighted to announce a new sponsorship deal with one of the world’s leading industrial software companies, Asset Guardian Solutions Limited. Asset-Guardian-Solutions-Logo-Transparent-Background-Large

Asset Guardian Solutions Limited and its sister company Elite Control Systems Limited have indirectly supported the band over the last few years and are now delighted to formalise this sponsorship. The link between the band and the two companies stemmed from the relationship with the well-known McAllister piping family who have been involved in all organisations for a number of years.

The sponsorship deal will enable the band to continue its evolution as one of the more storied institutions in pipe band history. Support like this also allows the band to further develop its links with young pipers and drummers as demonstrated in its recent, highly successful youth competition that it staged in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council.

Asset Guardian Solutions Limited is a market leading international solution provider of compliance, configuration management and disaster recovery of process critical software within the control & automation sector. Asset Guardian is used across a wide range of worldwide companies that have high value complex production processes to protect the integrity of their process critical software. Asset Guardian Solutions Limited provides its software solutions to all regions of the globe, from Aberdeen to Angola, Norway to the USA and Algeria to Australia.

P/M Ryan Canning said: “The band is absolutely thrilled to announce our partnership with Asset Guardian Solutions Limited. It’s such an enormous job to run a band of this size, and having the support of Sam Mackay, our own Ewan McAllister, and the Asset Guardian Solutions team will go a long way towards helping us continue in our development. It’s also very meaningful to us that Asset Guardian Solutions is a local company, supporting a band in its own local community. It’s with the help of this kind of local support on which Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia was originally founded in 1910, and we’re very proud that Asset Guardian Solutions will be a part of our next chapter.”

Sam Mackay, CEO of Asset Guardian Solutions Limited said “We are delighted to provide some financial security for the band, we know the financial and physical effort required to sustain an organisation such as Shotts. My business partner, Ewan McAllister, himself a past player in Shotts, is still involved in the band on a daily basis and keeps us informed of the band’s amazing progress over the last couple of years. In fact, Ewan’s family has been involved in the band since 1927 so you can see the long connection.

We are happy that we can play our part in this success story. Also, as a local lad myself, it will be nice to see our brand proudly displayed throughout the UK and especially when the band attends our local championships in Bathgate next year.”

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From the Archives: Lodgings on a cold, cold ground

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We put together the following piece for the February 1998 issue of the now-defunct paper Piper & Drummer magazine.

John McLellan, DCM

It’s natural for pipers and drummers to hope the graves of our post-greats suitably reflect their contribution to the art. The great composer Roddie Campbell’s plot is pristinely adorned with living roses, the grass beautifully kempt. The piping genius G.S. McLennan’s site, on the other hand, is a disappointment: difficult to find, overgrown, and seemingly forgotten in a defunct cemetery in Edinburgh.

When we set out to find the final resting place of John McLellan, DCM, one of piping’s greatest composers, we sent our investigators to Dunoon, the Argyll town that’s synonymous with McLellan and, of course, Cowal Games.

Recognized by most as a genius of melody, “Jock” McLellan’s masterworks include “Lochanside,” “Highland Brigade at Magersfontein,” and the tune now known as “Road to the Isles,” which was originally entitled “The Bens of Jura.” He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1900 for his gallantry as a piper at Magersfontein in the Anglo-Boer Wars. In the First World War, he battled alongside Willie Lawrie in the 8th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders until Lawrie was invalided to England. McLellan took over as Pipe Major of the 8th Argylls from James Wilson in 1919. He wrote lyrics for many of his tunes, and was also an accomplished poet.

The final resting place of the great John McLellan, DCM, at Dunoon Cemetery.

On the Dunoon waterfront a commemorative plaque in homage to “Jock” McLellan cites his achievements in and contributions to Scottish music. But we really wanted to find his burial site, and, after seeing the plaque, thought that surely McLellan would have a massive monument erected to him in Dunoon Cemetery.

We were saddened to discover that the great John McLellan is indeed buried there, but in an unmarked grave. After two thorough visits, our faithful and dedicated reporters couldn’t find a marker for him, and then resorted to contacting the records office of the Argyll & Bute Council, which got back to us with information on McLellan’s plot.

According to the Campbeltown Courier of August 13, 1949 – which the council very kindly sourced for us – McLellan’s funeral was quite a grand affair: “The funeral, which took place to [sic.] Dunoon Cemetery was attended by a large and representative gathering, including a great number of ex-Servicemen. Pipers who attended played the lament ‘The Flowers of the Forest’ as the cortege made its way to the cemetery and later played ‘Lochanside’, one of the Pipe Major’s own compositions.”

According to the Observer and Argyllshire Standard of August 6, 1949, the pipers who played were Pipe-Major George D. MacDonald, Pipe-Major James Wilson, and pipers David and George Smith.

The actual plot in which John McLellan rests is marked with the stone of one “A. McK. Henderson” of the Royal Scots. Apparently, John McLellan’s grandmother, who is said to have raised him, is buried in the same plot.

We are pleased to report that, because of the Piper & Drummer’s unfortunate discovery that the great John McLellan’s grave is unmarked, a move is on in Dunoon to erect a marble stone to mark his final resting place. Readers interested in getting more information on this project are encouraged to contact the Argyll and Bute Council, Area Office, Manse Brae, Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8OU Scotland.

Our thanks to Jean Towie and Margaret Wilson for their help with this piece.

Update: Despite some efforts since this piece appeared 16 years ago, John McLellan’s grave is still unmarked.

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Asset Guardian Solutions backs Shotts with sponsorship

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The Grade 1 Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band of Shotts, Scotland, has struck a sponsorship deal with Asset Guardian Solutions Limited, a leading industrial software company. According to a statement from Shotts & Dykehead, the financial support will “enable the band to continue its evolution . . . and further develop links with young pipers and drummers.” as demonstrated in its recent, highly successful youth competition that it staged in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council.

The band said that Asset Guardian Solutions and its sister company Elite Control Systems have indirectly supported the band in the recent past, stemming from a relationship with the McAllister family, who have been closely connected with Shotts & Dykehead for most of the last century, including three former pipe-majors.

“The band is absolutely thrilled to announce our partnership with Asset Guardian Solutions Limited,” said Pipe-Major Ryan Canning. “It’s such an enormous job to run a band of this size, and having the support of Sam Mackay, our own Ewan McAllister, and the Asset Guardian Solutions team will go a long way towards helping us continue in our development.”

Shotts & Dykehead is arguably the most celebrated and award-winning pipe band in history, and one of the first great civilian non-police bands.

Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia competing in the Grade 1 Final at the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships, where it placed fifth.

Canning continued, “It’s also very meaningful to us that Asset Guardian Solutions is a local company, supporting a band in its own local community. It’s with the help of this kind of local support on which Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia was originally founded in 1910, and we’re very proud that Asset Guardian Solutions will be a part of our next chapter.”

Asset Guardian Solutions is headquartered in Livingston, Scotland, and is in the business of compliance, configuration management and disaster recovery of process critical software, with business around the world and annual revenues of approximately £2-million. Band member Ewan McAllister is a partner in the four-year-old company.

“We are happy that we can play our part in this success story,” said Sam Mackay, CEO of Asset Guardian Solutions. “Also, as a local lad myself, it will be nice to see our brand proudly displayed throughout the UK and especially when the band attends our local championships in Bathgate next year.”

McAllister said that the band’s name will remain the same, and only the placement of the Asset Guardian Solutions logo on the bass drum and bag covers is required.

Shotts & Dykehead under former Pipe-Major Robert Mathieson was sponsored by the House of Edgar, and changed its name during the endorsement. The band’s only other sponsorship was relatively informal support from Cummings engineering in the 1980s.

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Canterbury convincing win at Jenny Mair Highland Square Day

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Canterbury_logoPalmerston North, New Zealand – December 13, 2014 – Next to the national championships, the Jenny Mair Highland Square Day is the biggest pipe band contest of the New Zealand season, and Canterbury Caledonian emerged victorious with first places in each of the Medley and MSR Grade 1 events. Weather was warm and sunny in the morning, but became blustery and cold by the afternoon, and then calm and warm by the time results were announced. Grade 1 and Grade 2 competed together.

Grade 1 & 2
Overall
1st Canterbury Caledonian
2nd Manawatu Scottish
3rd Auckland & Districts
4th New Zealand Police
5th Northland Caledonian (Gr2)

Medley
1st Canterbury Caledonian (1,1,1,1)
2nd Auckland & Districts (2,3,3,2)
3rd Manawatu Scottish (3,2,2,4)
4th New Zealand Police (4,4,4,3)
5th Northland Caledonian (Gr2) (5,5,5,5)
Judges: Martin Frewen, F. Jones (piping); A. Roach (ensemble); R. Levy (drumming)

MSR
1st Canterbury Caledonian (1,2,1,1)
2nd Manawatu Scottish (2,1,3,4)
3rd Auckland & Districts (3,3,4,2)
4th New Zealand Police (4,4,2,3)
5th Northland Caledonian (Gr2) (5,5,5,5)
Judges: A. MacKenzie, Philip Mair (piping); L. Turnbull (ensemble); J. Hilliard (drumming)

Canterbury Caledonian competing at the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships.

Grade 3 Overall
1st Celtic
2nd Wellington Fred Hackle
3rd Manawatu Scottish No. 2
4th City of Hastings
5th Auckland Police
6th City of Auckland
7th City of Wellington

Grade 4 Overall
1st Scots College
2nd Hamilton Caledonian
3rd City of Tauranga
4th Manawatu Scottish No.3
5th Kapiti Coast
6th Te Puke & District
7th Wellington Regional Development

Do you have competition results? You are invited to send them by email to pipes|drums along with photographs and details of the event. Please be sure to use the format above, and send as a standard text file.

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Trailing Drones: Burning romance, The Fonz, Dixieland jazz and more . . .

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Harry’s been warming himself at the fire, which is an environmentally sensitive, high-efficiency, wood-burning stove that burns the family’s recycled paper. And does Harry have paper! First off, there is about 15 years’ worth of wee digest editorial, and then there are the years’ of adjudication sheets from the local games, where “experts” don’t always appreciate the full genius of Harry’s musicality. If you’ve got paper stocks of your own to use, Harry recommends this site for a little pre-reading, but be cautious when you do the mixing – the smell is unbearable. Harry saw some pretty toxic material in those old rags.

The fire’s going, a dram in hand, and Harry turns back to the Glenfiddich [See what he did there? The dram? The Glenfiddich?] and just has to say what a brilliant day of music that was. The live stream, which sounded fine despite Henrietta in the background grinding walnuts for the coffee cake, was again just a joy for the punters who couldn’t be there, and it seems to have enlivened the crowd at Blair Atholl, too. The near-ubiquitous Bob Worrall provided excellent insight and commentary, and only slipped once or twice into band-speak. Well done to Glenfiddich and the National Piping Centre too, for using the LiveStream as a fundraiser for the P-M Donald MacLeod Memorial competition.

Harry loves to see events supporting other events. As Yuletide approaches, bands need to know the roster, and now’s the time when there’s a bit of movement among rosters, especially in AU/NZ as the annual guest player frenzy will be heating up for the season there.

Donald MacPhee, heading for RSPBA panel?

Harry sees that Donald MacPhee will be retiring from Field Marshal Montgomery after some pretty great years with the band. Seems as though he might be missing a pretty big concert in 2016, but I suppose time will tell, and Donald’ll be that busy writing sheets for the RSPBA, he won’t have time to worry about it. Seriously, Mr. MacPhee is one of piping’s really good guys, and him coming on the panel anywhere should be a great addition to balanced and fair.

Big Donald’s from the Deep South (via Detroit Rock City), and Harry hears rumblings from Dixie about a few bands hoovering up players from the lower grades to make a few Grade 3 “superbands” (yes, apparently Grade 3 bands are now aping Grade 1 bands with massive rosters soaking up players from Grade 2). A number of Grade 5 and Grade 4 bands are simply folding in the southeastern USofA. I have to ask Why, why, why is this happening? Little fish, meet wee pond, I guess. Look away, look away, look away . . .

The RSPBA has apparently appointed a Music Board caretaker for piping, drumming, ensemble and drum majoring – a “go to” person to deal with discipline and other items. Names mentioned include Peter Snaddon (piping), Gordon Lawrie (ensemble) and Gordon Craig (drumming). The venerable John Wilson is the new RSPBA Music Board Chair, with Joe Noble and Vice-chair and Robert Mathieson as Secretary.

A. John Wilson‘s name has also come up as the possible new Principal of the College of Piping in Glasgow, and while Harry’s a little miffed he didn’t get the nod, he supposes that’ll be a breath of fresh air for all concerned. Like The Fonz used to say, Heeeeyyyyyy!

Speaking of Spongey, we were reminded of him and his Polkemmet band of the mid-1980s breaking “Itchy Fingers” into the top of the charts for the first time with this wee gem.

That was like a Bad Romance.

Get those tunes and scores learned, decide on the new solo tunes for 2015, and get stuck in for the winter months by the new fire. And, remember, send your burning questions, news and coal-scuttlebutt to harry@pipesdrums.com

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Stuart Highlanders promoted to Grade 1 . . . again

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Not often does a band have the honour of being moved up to Grade 1 two times by two different associations in the space of six months, but the Stuart Highlanders of Massachusetts are now the answer to a pipe band trivia question after the band’s home association officially upgraded them.

In May 2014 the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association upgraded the Stuart Highlanders without consulting the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association or the band itself. The group did not protest the move and competed at the World Pipe Band Championships in August in the premier grade, and placed ahead of several well-established Grade 1 bands.

The EUSPBA, however, kept the band in Grade 2 over the summer, waiting for due process to take place, and the official upgrade was announced as part of the association’s long list of band and solo changes.

As with the RSPBA upgrade, Stuart Highlanders Pipe-Major Adam Holdaway did not have advance notice of the move, though it was widely expected.

Stuart Highlanders competing in the Grade 1 Qualifier at the 2014 World Championships.

“I was very happy to hear the news myself,” Holdaway said. “The band is excited to be upgraded here at home, thus making our official grading consistent across all associations. On a personal note, I am so proud of the accomplishments of this organization and its members over the past several years. It is truly a testament to the dedication and vision of the membership.”

The band has made a rapid ascent since absorbing the remains of the Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band of New York in 2013.

Also moved up was the Dunedin Pipe Band of Dunedin, Florida, which will compete in Grade 2. Among other prizes, Dunedin won the Grade 3 competition at the 2014 North American Championships at Maxville, Ontario.

Pipe-Major Iain Donaldson commented, “I am delighted with the upgrade to Grade 2 and equally gratified with the City of Dunedin Band Members’ dedication and commitment to raise the standard of piping and drumming in Dunedin. It’s a tremendous reward to see and hear students develop their skills and perform within this organization. The pipe band is a definite attraction for pipers and drummers relocating. In the past two years we have been fortunate that five members have made Dunedin their new home.”

Donaldson added that Dunedin’s first contest in Grade 2 will be Dunedin Highland Games on March 28th, saying that the competition has received a few inquiries from other Grade 2 bands. The group also plans to compete at the 2015 North American Championships and other contests next year.

The EUSPBA also moved to Grade 3 the City of Chattanooga and Saffron United, and, to Grade 4, Cyril Scott, Thomas I Hall Memorial, Grandfather Mountain Highlanders, and the Mohawk Valley Frasers.

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Piping Centre and College of Piping getting together

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The College of Piping & Celtic Performing Arts of Canada is making news again, this time announcing a collaboration with the National Piping Centre on a week-long sumer school in July 2015 in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

It marks the first time that two major organizations dedicated to teaching piping have combined. The school will run from July 5th through 10th, with piping, drumming and pipe band classes and workshops on offer. According to organizers, pipe band workshops will probably be customized according to the needs of interested bands.

“Ever since I started here at the College I’ve been wondering about a collaboration, and Karen Hatcher and I threw around the idea from time to time,” said James MacHattie, Music Director at the College. “In August we sat down with [National Piping Centre Director] Roddy MacLeod in Glasgow to see if we could make a partnership work. He was very open to the idea, and we’ve struck an agreement to join forces and run a school jointly.”

Several National Piping Centre instructors will come to Summerside to join with College of Piping staff.

“I’m pretty excited for this,” MacHattie continued. “I love the idea of two organizations committed to instruction getting together, supporting each other and presenting a strong combined product.”

The College of Piping & Celtic Performing Arts of Canada was started in 1990. Among other early achievements under its first director, the late Scott MacAulay, the college had the foresight to secure the URL www.collegeofpiping.com at the start of the Internet boom, despite the College of Piping in Glasgow having been around since 1947.

The National Piping Centre has held several summer schools in the United States, but none so far in Canada.

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CoW and Manchester getting together for 2015

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It’s not a merger, but a “collaboration,” according to both the Grade 3 Manchester Pipe Band and the Grade 2 City of Washington pipe bands from the eastern United States, as they combine for the 2015 season.

The partnership will see the City of Washington Pipe-Major Dan Lyden and Pipe-Sergeant Ben McClamrock provide instruction to the Manchester group, and members of CoW competing with Manchester over the summer.

The move comes after the former Grade 1 CoW was on hiatus in 2014 due to a loss of personnel, following a gradual decline from the band’s stint in Grade 1 in the 2000s.

Manchester Pipe Band at Loon Mountain games, 2014.

According to a statement from Manchester, “the collaboration will accelerate the pace of development within MPB, improving access to high-quality instruction for MPB pipers, and redoubling MPB’s efforts to field a pipe band at the forefront of the grade.”

Each band will continue to run on its own, with individual practice schedules, except for combined monthly weekend practices in alternating locations. Manchester is based in Connecticut, several hours from Washington, DC.

The combined competition group will operate under the Manchester Pipe Band name, in Grade 3, and will be led by Pipe-Major Jared Otto and Leading-Drummer Wes Cole. They predict a roster in 2015 of at least 25 pipers, eight snare drummers, two tenors and a bass.

A source within the band said that 10 to 12 pipers will come into Manchester from CoW, and that the band’s drum section has added former members of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, Toronto Police, Oran Mor and the Stuart Highlanders, as well as a few Manchester alumni who have returned.

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The Style Guy: tassel hassles, willynilly ghillies and back in black

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Been awhile, and it’s getting to be a long, cold lonely winter, at least for those north of the equator, but me, I’m writing this from my Tahitian beach house, where the national dress is a grass skirt. For those who like to don the tartan, I’m here to address your questions of dress and deportment.

Remember, you, too, can approach The Style Guy with your wonderings of wandering ensemble.

So let’s get right at the letters addressed to me, The Style Guy, shall we?

We shall!

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MacDougall, Stewart take top trophies at Shotts Junior Championship

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Shotts, Scotland – November 29, 2014 – The first annual Shotts & Dykehead Junior Piping & Drumming Championship was held at Calderhead High School in Shotts. pipes|drums made a cash contribution, sponsoring the 18 and Under and 15 and Under overall trophies, which were won by Cameron MacDougall and Donald Stewart, respectively. Each first prize winner also received a one-year subscription to the magazine.

The competition is put on with the assistance of North Lanarkshire Council, and was judged by several  piping Gold Medalists and World Solo Drumming Champions.

“When we set out organizing this event, I think we all concentrated on getting the thing to run smoothly from a competitor’s point of view and making sure that everyone had the best experience on the day,” said Ewan McAllister of Shotts & Dykehead. “What we didn’t fully appreciate until after the event is the actual cost of hosting it. Without the fantastic support of North Lanarkshire Council, pipes|drums, Scott Currie Ltd., Jim Kilpatrick Percussion, TyFry Ltd. and many others, financially, these events would simply not be viable. Hopefully, we have established a strong enough brand and with [continuing] support . . . can make it last for at least a few years.”

Solo Piping
18 and Under
Piobaireachd
1st Cameron MacDougall
2nd John Drew
3rd Fraser Hogg
Judges: Glenn Brown, Finlay Johnston

MSR
1st Cameron MacDougall
2nd John Dew
3rd Gregor Stewart
4th Andrew Hutton
5th Fraser Hogg
Judges: Glenn Brown, Ryan Canning, Finlay Johnston

Chanter
Slow Air (Two Parts)
1st Calum Ramsay
2nd Harrison Bishop
3rd Robert Mitchell
4th Amy McIntyre
5th Leah Harvey
Judge: Ryan Canning

March
1st Craig Peters
2nd Calum Ramsay
3rd Cameron Cleland
4th Ailidh McDermid
5th Nicholas Knowles
6th Simon McAlphine-Scott
Judge: Ryan Canning

15 and Under
Piobaireachd
1st Angus MacPhee
2nd Donald Stewart
3rd Bethany Hanley
4th Lewis Russell
5th Holly Frelander
6th Jordan Ednie
Judges: Chris Armstrong, Callum Beaumont

MSR
1st Lewis Russell
2nd Donald Stewart
3rd Jamie Campbell
4th Paul Christie
5th Holly Fredlander
6th James Miller
Judges: Cameron Drummond, Peter Hunt

Ground of Piobaireachd
1st Brodie Watson-Massey
2nd Blair Dickinson
3rd Paul Christie
4th Douglas Mair
5th Jack Smith
6th Cameron MacLeod
Judges: Chris Armstrong, Callum Beaumont

Solo Drumming
Snare
18 and Under
MSR
1st Chloe Taylor
2nd Lachlan Kyle
3rd Rachel Thom
4th Lee McIver
5th Fingal Hall
6th = Niamh Brophy, Rory Power
Judges: Arthur Cook, Jim Kilpatrick

Sticks & Pad
March
1st Jack Menneer
2nd Heather Dillon
3rd Abigail Hall
4th Millie Wright
5th Sally Weir
6th Caitlyn Malloy
Judge: Jim Kilpatrick

MSR
1st Callum Edwards
2nd Conner Hart
3rd Alistair Joyce
Judges: Jim Baxter, Arthur Cook, Paul Turner

Tenor
18 and Under MSR
1st Rhiannon McAleese
2nd Alison Geal
3rd Heather Nimmo
5th Kirsty Lennon
6th Nicole Kirk
Judges: Amanda Cook, Sharleen Donaldson

15 and Under March
1st Lexy Letham
2nd Kirsty McCron
3rd Phoebe King
4th Joanna Merrilees
5th Lucy Carroll
6th = Jane Mitchell, Katy Robson
Judges: Amanda Cook, Sharleen Donaldson

Do you have competition results? You are invited to send them by email to pipes|drums along with photographs and details of the event. Please be sure to use the format above, and send as a standard text file.

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