Diary: tune for Finlay Johnston/Grampian Police

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Glenfiddich champion, Finlay Johnston has been left ‘reeling’ after colleague, John Mulhearn exercised his creative juices and came up with this stomping tune for him.

John can be seen and heard playing his newly-composed four-part gem, entitled Finlay Johnston, Champion Piper, below.

John and Finlay are instructors at The National Piping Centre (NPC). Said John: “Finlay and I have known each other since we were kids competing in the juniors together. We then worked together at the College of Piping after leaving school and are now colleagues at the NPC.

“Needless to say, I’m really chuffed for him with his remarkable success at the Glenfiddich last month!”

Here is a video of John playing the tune:

John is a prolific composer and last year released an album, Pipes, which featured all his own compositions. He is a member of the band, Tryst, which is playing at Boghall & Bathgate’s pipe band concert at the 2020 Celtic Connections festival.


Hopes are fading that Grampian Police Pipe Band will be back competing next season. A spokesman said: “It was our hope to have the band back out in the competing arena for 2020 but sadly we fell short in our quest to recruit side drummers. We will get together again in the new year and consider our options then.”

The northeast Scotland Grade 2 band didn’t compete this year after several pipers – including former Pipe Major, Pamela Whyte, who joined Buchan Peterson – left to join other bands in the region.

There had been hopes that with the expected addition of several players from the now-defunct Grade 1 Vale of Atholl, the band would make a strong return to competition.

Grampian Police Pipe Band was founded in 1907 as the Aberdeen City Police Pipe Band, and is one of the world’s oldest civilian bands.

Grampian Police in1992.