2021 ‘majors’ / Atholl Highlanders CD / Michael Grey / Kyle Warren

Blast from the past. Shotts at the 2009 Scottish Pipe Band Championships, Dumbarton. ©JohnSlavin@designfolk.com/Bagpipe.news

The RSPBA has announced the dates for next year’s major pipe band championships. They are as follows:

  • British Championships – May 22 at St James Playing Fields, Paisley, Scotland.
  • United Kingdom Championships – June 12 at Lurgan Park, Lurgan, Northern Ireland.
  • European Championships – June 26 at Bught Park, Inverness, Scotland.
  • Scottish Championships – July 31 at Levengrove Park, Dumbarton, Scotland.
  • World Championships – August 13/15 on Glasgow Green, Glasgow, Scotland.

The announcement of these dates will surely give the pipe band world something to look forward to.

We hear the Pipes and Drums of the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s last remaining private regiment, are rehearsing ahead of a planned recording. The resulting CD will be available for sale in the shop at Blair Castle, the regiment’s headquarters and spiritual home of the Duke of Atholl.

With a pipe corps that includes the likes of Ian Duncan (Pipe Major), Gary West, Stevie Small and Stuart Samson along with Gold Medallists Dougie Murray, Jack Taylor and Bill Wotherspoon, the recording is bound to feature piping of a high standard.

The Atholl Highlanders marching past Blair Castle in May 2016 (Photo: CPR Photography).

Blair Castle, the venue for the annual Glenfiddich Piping Championships, is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic but will reopen on July 15.

More online piping activity. Michael Grey is to conduct a workshop on June 24. The Canadian composer will be discuss the 2/4 March and offer melodic and rhythmic tips. Details soon.

Kyle Warren, who returned to Scotland last summer, is bringing out his second collection in August featuring his own compositions and arrangements.

The crowdfunded book, as yet untitled, was to have been launched at this year’s Piping Live! festival. It will be available from August 1.

Kyle released his first collection a decade ago, around the time he won the 2010 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Of The Year.

Kyle spent five years in Australia teaching pipes at Scotch College near Melbourne. He is an ex-Pipe Major of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland.