A fundraising evening for the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust will take place on friday at The National Piping Centre in McPhater Street, Glasgow.

Next year, the National Piping Centre marks its 25th anniversary. Among other initiatives planned to commemorate the milestone is the publication of a collection of original pipe music.

The organisation is inviting all students, former and current, over the past 25 years to contribute to the project.

Tunes should be submitted for consideration in either pdf or jpeg format. Submissions should also include a brief note on when you were a student, who your teacher was, and any other relevant information. The email address to send submissions to is tunebook@thepipingcentre.co.uk

The National Piping Centre was founded in Glasgow, Scotland in 1996.

We received a good response to our ‘Famous pipers’ post last week about the legendary Duncan Johnstone. A few readers reminded us of the tune Stuart Finlayson of Auckland, New Zealand wrote in memory of his former teacher and mentor. Stuart’s tune, below, was first published in the April 2000 Piping Times. Click on the image to enlarge it in another window.

The original article itself contained a couple of inaccuracies regarding Duncan’s parents and we’re grateful to those who pointed them out. In particular, Michael Grey, the well known Canadian piper and composer, who tells us his grandmother came from the small village of Torlum in southwest Benbecula. This is also where Duncan’s father, Alexander, came from. Duncan’s mother, Catherine MacMillan, hailed from Barra.

The original article had this the other way round (the author is not stated and remains unknown).

Michael goes on to say that Duncan Johnstone was actually his ‘step uncle’. Duncan’s father, Alexander, is the father of Michael’s Aunt Kathy who was adopted by his grandmother, Maggie and her husband, Robert Grey.

We thank Michael for this fascinating information.

The prolific Scottish piping composer, Iain Bell from Dumfriess-shire, has written this tune to mark the retirement of his friend, Ian Burrows. As we reported on October 14, Ian has been the from the RSPBANI’s Project Officer for eight years. (Click on image to enlarge).

Ian Burrows pictured in 2016 playing Ian Bell’s tune for Private Richard Maybin. Ian is playing Maybin’s pipes in the photo.

Iain tells us: “In 2016, on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, Ian played my slow air, Private Richard Maybin at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, England after it was judged the best entry in a competition organised by the RSPBA(NI) and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

“Ian has done great work for the promotion of piping and drumming in Northern Ireland. He loves a good going tune and also plays smallpipes with the likes of Willie Drennan and others in the Ulster-Scots folk scene.

“This 12/8 jig is a wee tribute from me to him for all the work he’s done over there, particularly with the youngsters.”

The RSPBA(NI) is currently trying to find a replacement for Ian. The post is initially on a Fixed Term contract for 12 months which may be extended depending on available funding.

Applications are invited by 15:00 today. Details can be found on the website.

Private Richard Maybin is included in Iain’s excellent collection, ‘From Scots Borderer to Ulster Scot’, which can be bought here.

Reader, Angus Grant of Mount Vernon, Glasgow writes regarding our posts about the pipes refurbished recently by Blue MacMurchie of West Lothian, Scotland. “What a great story! To think those pipes were last played at the time a bullet took the piper’s last breath! The pipes ‘died’ a split second after he did when they both hit the ground. Amazing.

“Re. the pipe maker. I had never heard of McCulloch but I soon found him listed in Jeannie Campbell’s book. Anyway, it remined me of this Donald Drone cartoon from the January 1996 Piping Times. Hope you like it. We all need a bit of cheering these days, don’t we?”