‘Pipers’ new edition / PPBSO contests going online for 2020

Willie Donaldson, right, and the cover of his soon-to-be published new edition ‘Pipers’ book.

A new edition of Willie Donaldson’s book, Pipers will be published in July. The book was first published in Great Britain in 2005 by Birlinn, the Edinburgh-based publishing company that’s also behind the new edition.

The book – its full title is Pipers: A Guide to the Players and Music of the Highland Bagpipe – is a fascinating and highly readable account of the pipers who have made the great highland bagpipe the embodied epic we enjoy today – who they were, how they did it, and why.

A graduate of Aberdeen University, Donaldson worked for 25 years with the Open University before taking up a post of visiting lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. However, he is no mere academic historian. As a student he studied ceòl mòr under Bob Nicol (and possibly under Bob Brown) and was Pipe Sergeant then Pipe Major of the Aberdeen University OTC Pipe Band. At that time, the band included the likes of Jack Taylor, Bill Wotherspoon, Ian Duncan and Angus Clarke in its ranks.

* Bagpipe.News will carry a review of the book in due course.

PPBSO logo

Two more competitions for pipers and drummers are adapting to restrictions placed as a result of Covid-19 by going online for 2020. The Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) is running two competitions for amateurs online this month. PPBSO members can enter for free but non-members will need to pay a $10 entry fee.

A spokesman said: ” Performances must be video recorded and uploaded to YouTube and PPBSO rules on dress and deportment [i.e. highland dress must be worn] will be upheld.”

The deadline for submitting video performances will be by end of day EDT on June 14. Videos will be judged over the weekend of June 20. For more information visit the PPBSO website.

Subsequent competitions are planned to take place in July and August that will accommodate professional competitors and include piobaireachd events.

In the Canadian province, the PPBSO’s initiative follows that of Peel Regional Police Pipe Band’s current online competition series.

The PPBSO is also planning a new webinar series featuring prominent pipers and drummers from around the world. The first is scheduled on Thursday June 11 and features Andrea Boyd in conversation with Finlay MacDonald, the new Director of Piping at the National Piping Centre and Artistic Director of Piping Live!

This talk is open to all pipers around the world, not just PPBSO members, so head over to their eventbrite and book your free space now for this fascinating talk. Register Here