New tune marks Crieff’s 150 years / Midgley first overseas CPA President / Piper Lark


A new tune has been composed to mark the 150th year of Crieff Highland Gathering. The event would have taken place last Sunday but like every other global pipe band event this year, fell victim to the ‘lockdown’ caused by the coronavirus.

The tune is a 3/4 march and its composer, local piper Mark Stewart, has kindly allowed us to publish the tune here:

Solo piping competitions ceased at Crieff Highland Gathering a few years ago but a pipe band competition is still held.

It was announced last December that Crieff would be awarded £1 million to establish the Crieff International Highland Centre.

The money is part of the Tay Cities Region Deal, a scheme whereby the UK and Scottish governments provide funding for four projects in Tayside. The money will go towards the construction of a new, purpose-built building at the site of Crieff Highland Gathering.

Derek Midgley with the Dunvegan Medal in 2016. Photo: Skye Media

Derek Midgley of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, USA, has been elected as the first non-UK President of the Competing Pipers’ Association (CPA).

Derek’s elevation came at the CPA’s Annual General Meeting – held using videoconference software – on Sunday, August 16.

Glenn Brown stepped down as President following the completion of his three-year term.

Callum Beaumont remains as Vice-President and Ross Miller as Secretary. Jonathan Greenlees stepped down as Treasurer after five years in the role and is replaced by Steven Leask.

South West Scotland Piping and Drumming Academy has announced details of its annual competition. As elsewhere, it will be held online and there is no entry fee for this year.

Entires will close on Monday, September 14. To enter, email Entrants will then be advised on how to submit their video submissions. 

Further to our post last Friday about The Black Watch in Burma during the Second World War, the “Piper Lark” mentioned in the story has now been identified.

William Lark, whose nickname in the regiment was Brother, was born in Manchester. He had connections with Dundee, and, in fact, later lived there as a church minister. As all veterans of the Burma campaign testified, the conditions in the jungle were horrendous.

Bill died around a decade ago. Our thanks go to Alistair Duthie for unearthing this information.

Bill ‘Brother’ Lark (centre) with former Black Watch comrades, Wattie Graham and Jim McNeilty in 1998.

• We stated the year of the skirmish related in the story as 1945. It was, in fact, 1944. Our thanks go to Iain Burns of Williamsburg, Virginia for pointing this out.. 

Renfrewshire Council has still to fill a post for a part-time pipe band Drumming Instructor.

The position has been advertised twice already, with interviews taking place in July.

The closing date is August 28.  The details can be found HERE.