Livingstone returns to former self

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The William Livingstone Senior Memorial Invitational Solo Piping Competition a few years back shortened its name to “The Livingstone” and made its format a recital-dinner with only a handful of contestants entertaining the audience and judges.

The event didn’t happen in 2014 after two years with the new format, but it is back on May 9, 2015, “returning to its roots,” according to organizers: a Piobaireachd in the afternoon and a MSRHPJ in the evening, abandoning assigned tunes, fancy catering, and the “recital” format.

In 2012 the competition was held at the swish Hamilton Club with only six contestants. In 2013, the event held the same format, but returned to familiar Officer’s Mess of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders of Canada headquarters at James Street Armories in Hamilton, Ontario.

The event also returns to familiar cash prizes for first, second, and third winners in each event and a spiff for the overall winner, with travel stipends available for those coming from afar.

The competition was started in 1979, and is organized by the Niagara-Hamilton Branch of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario. Bill Livingstone Jr. had played a part in the redevelopment of the contest in 2012 and ’13, but is no longer involved. Livingstone refused to comment on the competition’s return to the old format.

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Uist & Barra to kick off Scottish solo year with top-tier invitees

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The annual Glasgow Uist & Barra Association Invitational Piping Competition will again mark the first significant event of the Scottish solo piping calendar, and the 2015 contest on March 7th at the College of Piping will feature almost all of the UK-based top prize-winners at the major solo events of 2014.

Chris Armstrong, Callum Beaumont, Glenn Brown, Bill Geddes, Alisdair Henderson, Faye Henderson, Finlay Johnston, Angus MacColl, Roddy MacLeod, Willie McCallum, Peter McCalister, Gordon McCready, Douglas Murray, Iain Speirs, Craig Sutherland and Gordon Walker will vie for the prizes in Piobaireachd, MSR and Hornpipe & Jig events, but with a limit of 14 in each section Faye Henderson and McCalister will compete only in the Piobaireachd and Alisdair Henderson and Sutherland only in the light music.

The event moved to an invitational format in 2002, and moved away from an Open event in the mid-1990s to be available only to those graded A or Premier by the Competing Pipers Association.

“There are no plans to return to an entry-based event at the moment,” said organizer John-Angus Smith, “and there are no plans for [the competition] to be put forward as a qualifier for the Glenfiddich.”

Smith said that they hope to organize a live stream of the event.

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Patricia Henderson: the pipes|drums Interview – Part 1

Published: January 25, 2015

We begin our inspiring conversation with a piping pioneer, exclusively for subscribers . . .

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
January 25Robert Burns Day

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UPCOMING EVENTS January 31, 2015More Ceol Mor! Piobaireachd WorkshopMoss Park Armoury, Toronto

February 6, 2015Mid-Winter Celtic FestivalRegina, SK

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Bands: Share your good news with pipes|drums. We can’t report it if we don’t know about it!
Andrew Berthoff, pipes|drums

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The Big Music in a big way

Published: January 22, 2015

Tom Speirs reviews Jimmy McIntosh 144-page opus, his personal homage to piobaireachd . . .

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When practicing, take time to listen to your band outside the circle. It helps to analyze the musicality from a different perspective.
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Scots Guards CLASP 2015 – Results

Overall Winners:
Grade 1 – Stewart Gaudin
Grade 2 – Romana Brunner
Grade3 – Bianca Kail

Full results available here: http://www.theclasp.co.uk/competitions/results/37/

www.thepipingcentre.co.uk/

Bairns ‘Brave’ Burns Lunch

Come along with your wee ‘uns for a celebration of Robert Burns at The National Piping Centre with a Disney Brave theme. Learn about the great man, 2 course lunch for all the family, competitions, goodie bags and more!

Featuring Linda Jackson, Scottish Storyteller and Singer.
2 Course meal for the whole family
Learn the address to the haggis
Burns songs
Write your own Burns poem competition
Sing Auld Lang Syne
Dress up for the occasion in a Brave theme, kilts, tartan & trews

FULL INFORMATION HERE

www.thepipingcentre.co.uk/

Scotland’s Solo Piping Judges Association introduces strict conflict guidelines

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When it comes to policies, guidelines and rules for judging and solo piping competitions in general, Scotland perhaps paradoxically lags most of the rest the piping world with no grading system, no judging accreditation process, and a tradition of pipers with questionable backgrounds often assessing competitions, rarely having to account for their decisions.

The newly formed Solo Piping Judges Association, announced only in December 2014, appears to be trying to right at least some of that laxness with the introduction of more stringent policies and guidelines for judges, mainly designed to combat conflict of interest, perceived or real.

Judges on the SPJA’s approved list, “Should not accept an assignment when it is known in advance that pupils or relatives will be competing. If judging a pupil or a relative occurs, interest must be declared to fellow judges. Judging should then take place as normal.”

According to a statement, “The main change here is that judging should take place as normal after conflict of interest has been declared. It also recognises that it is not always possible to avoid conflict of interest, and that judges are confident that a fair judgement is made in such situations.”

When asked what penalties would ensue if a judge knowingly flaunted the conflict guidelines, SPJA Secretary Jack Taylor said, “The ultimate sanction would be removal from the list, but every effort would be made for a more positive resolution than that.”

The organization also issued new definitions for its two essential categories of adjudicators. A “Senior Judge” is defined as, “Most likely to have competed successfully at the highest level with continuity over an extended period of years, able to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the music, and with experience of judging. Eligible to judge any level of competition, but to judge with experienced judges at major competitions in the first year of acceptance.

An “Approved Judge,” according to the SPJA’s statement, will be “Those knowledgeable and experienced and having had notable success in competition, amateur or professional, but not necessarily at the highest level. Eligible to judge at any level . . .

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Piping Instructor Vacancy – The National Piping Centre

The National Piping Centre is now recruiting for a full time piping teacher.

The successful applicant will be required to teach students of all ages and abilities and to take a full part in the varied activities and developmental work of the Centre. Occasional travel abroad in order to teach in workshops and summer schools will also be a requisite part of this job. The ability to perform in public to a high standard is a desirable attribute for this post.

Appointments at The National piping Centre will be subject to satisfactory clearance through the Disclosure Scotland Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme. The National Piping Centre will arrange and pay for an application to be made.

A job description can be found below or can be requested from Clare Lynas, Email: clynas@thepipingcentre.co.uk – Tel: 0141 353 0220.

To apply, please submit a Curriculum Vitae to rmacleod@thepipingcentre.co.uk or send it by mail to Roddy MacLeod, Principal, The National Piping Centre, 30-34 McPhater St, Cowcaddens, Glasgow, G4 0HW.

The closing date for applications is 31st January 2015.

  • Piping Teacher Job Description

www.thepipingcentre.co.uk/

From the Archives: Scots of the Antarctic

Published: January 18, 2015

From the Archives: Scots of the Antarctic Published: January 18, 2015

We revisit Iain MacInnes’s November 2001 feature on the extraordinary Gilbert Kerr

Subscriber Only. Read more » | Comments(0)

THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
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Archives »

UPCOMING EVENTS January 31, 2015More Ceol Mor! Piobaireachd WorkshopMoss Park Armoury, Toronto

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Working on the weakest parts of your game will bring your overall standard up,whereas working on the good parts will only make them better but there will always be weak points.
Barry Wilson, L-D ScottishPower

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Highland piping events noticeably absent at 2015 Celtic Connections

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CelticConnections_logo_2014The 2015 edition of the annual Celtic Connections kicked off on January 15, but for the first time in many years the festival is without two major events that put the focus on the Highland pipes.

The usual Piping Concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Gordon Duncan Memorial Piping Recital are both absent from this year’s lineup. The concert in the past has featured the likes of Field Marshal Montgomery, the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band and, last year, the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, and was seen as a much-needed dose of pipe banding in the bleak Scottish midwinter.

According to sources, the Gordon Duncan Memorial will likely return in 2016, but no reason was given for its absence in 2015.

There are other events that feature the Highland pipes, perhaps most notably homage to the late Pipe-Major Donald MacLeod MBE on January 17th at the Mitchell Theatre. “Crossing the Minch – The Music of Pipe Major Donald MacLeod MBE” will go on with the aforementioned National Youth Pipe Band and pipers Calum MacCrimmon, John Wilson, John Mulhearn, James Duncan Mackenzie and Rona Lightfoot all contributing.

Highland piper Finlay MacDonald and the ScottishPower Pipe Band helped kick off the 20th anniversary Celtic Connection festival in 2014.

MacLeod was recently ranked #2 in pipes|drums 20 Greatest Pipers in History project, an extensive rating of Highland pipers, now deceased, born after 1750.

Renowned Highland piper and composer Allan MacDonald will showcase “The Bruce 700,” his composition commissioned by Stirling Council to mark 700 years since the Battle of Bannockburn on January 28th at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with 50 other musicians on pipes, strings, brass, vocals and percussion.

More Highland piping at the 17-day festival:

  • “Nae Regrets,” a deconstruction of the late Martyn Bennett’s GRIT – January 15
  • Breabach, January 22
  • Finlay MacDonald & Chris Stout, January 24
  • “Wired to the World,” Mike McGoldrick and the Treacherous Orchestra, January 24
  • Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson, January 25
  • “New Voices,” Ross Ainslie, January 25
  • Barluath, January 30

Celtic Connections runs from January 15th to February 1st at venues across Glasgow, including the National Piping Centre.

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