Blair Atholl piping concert

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A small village in Perthshire, Scotland will host TWO consecutive piping events at the end of this October.

A “grand concert of piping” is planned for Blair Atholl on Friday, October 25. The venue is the small village hall which sits diagonally across from the imposing wall and entrance gates at the bottom of Blair Castle’s long driveway. The recital is the brainchild of Hamish Moore, the well known Scottish pipemaker.

The following day, the 26th, sees the 46th Glenfiddich Piping Championship. Since it was established in 1974, the Glenfddich has been held at Blair Castle.

Both events are separate from each other.

The artists participating on the Friday night concert are Dr. Angus MacDonald and Stuart Liddell (on Highland pipes), Angus Nicolson and Fin Moore (on reel pipes) and Brighde Chaimbeul and Gary West (on smallpipes). Fin will be accompanied by Sarah Hoy on fiddle.

Hamish Moore.
Hamish Moore.

Moore told Bagpipe.News: “This promises to be a memorable concert featuring a wealth of world class piping talent and the village hall in Blair Atholl is an ideal venue. Tapping your feet and enjoying yourself are essential.”

The concert begins at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 and will be available via Eventbrite shortly or from Mr Moore directly: hamishmoore@outlook.com

Meanwhile, Mr Moore’s “fellowship of pipers”, Càirdeas nam Piobairean, will be returning to Italy where its traditional song, music and dance school will be held in the Tuscan hill-town of Barga from August 31-September 7.

Mr Moore said: “In 2008 I spent a year there as artist-in-residence in 2008 and that September organised a successful concert in the town’s theatre there in September. The Edinburgh choir, Sangstreen came over for that. My first school in Barga was in 2010. There was a lapse for a few years and then I resurrected it four years ago.

Jimmy Hutchison and Erika Cragg with the new tweed they devised for the Tuscan town of Barga.
Jimmy Hutchison and Erika Cragg with the new tweed they devised for the Tuscan town of Barga.

“It’s a week-long school in this beautiful hill-town which is a fantastic place to learn and share Scots and Gaelic music in a beautiful hill town.”

The piping instructors are Gary West, Anna Murray and Mr Moore. Further details can be found at http://hamishmoore.org/bargascot/

A new tweed has been created for the school. Jimmy Hutchison and Erika Cragg of Fife company, Newburgh Hand Loom Weavers, will present the hand-woven tweed to the town during the school. Mr Moore said a “waulking” of the tweed is planned to take place in the town square.

Waulking is the technique of finishing a newly-woven tweed by soaking it and thumping it rhythmically to shrink and soften it. This is usually done by hand. Songs – òrain luaidh in Gaelic – accompany the process and serve to maintain the rhythm and to lighten the work.