Lochaber Piping Society is running an online junior piping competition for two age groups, 14 & Under and Age 15-18.

There will be no ceòl mòr and MSR categories, however, only medley categories. The judges are Connor Sinclair and John Dew.

The closing date for video submissions to be received by the organisers is March 20.

Further information can be found HERE.

Click HERE to enter.

Meanwhile, further afield, this time in Colorado, USA, another online competition is taking entries. This competition, however, is geared mainly towards those who primarily compete in pipe bands.

A spokesman for organisers, Piper Now, told Bagpipe.News: “There have been online solo events that have been a great support for soloists to date. We are adding to the opportunity for those that live in a place where COVID restrictions would allow them to record with three people and compete in a setting other than solo. We are hopeful that it will be a fun event for the piping and drumming community.

“Our competition is for Grade 3 and 4 standard players. The requirement is for a medley of between three and five minutes in duration and must include two pipers and one snare drummer.”

Entries should be received by May 18 with the results announced one week later.

Full details and a registration form can be found HERE.

After our post on Tuesday about the pubication of Evan Macrae’s memoirs, a former pupil of his shared with us her fond memories of her former teacher. Moira Robertson (née Morrison), who won the Silver Medal in 1990, was a pupil of Evan’s in the 1980s and 90s. She still plays regularly and is, in fact, the Pipe Major of Lochaber Pipe Band. Here is her small tribute:

By Moira Robertson (née Morrison)

Evan MacRae was one of the most influential figures of piping in Lochaber and he bestowed upon the area a massive legacy in terms of its piping heritage. My own introduction to Evan, like countless others, was through the Lochaber Schools Piping Tuition programme in the 1970s and 80s.

Evan had taken on the job as piping tutor to the Lochaber schools and it was a job he excelled in. He had a fantastic way of teaching pupils of all ages and abilities. Everyone was given the same opportunities and nothing was ever a bother to Evan.

Moira and brother, Donald with Evan.

Evan possessed a fantastic knowledge and history of piping and was always keen to share that with us. Under Evan’s teaching, Lochaber pipers enjoyed considerable success on the junior solo circuit. There wouldn’t be a week go by when there wasn’t a contingent of us away at competitions stretching anywhere from Invergordon to St Andrews and all points between.

It was testament to Evan that his pupils would always come away with prizes indeed many a time the call would go out when we arrived at competitions, “Oh no here comes the Lochaber contingent, we’ll get nothing today”. It was further testament to Evan that he would always give up his weekends to be with his pupils at these competitions.

Evan receives gifts from some of his pupils on his retirement.

The other great involvement for Evan was his time with the Lochaber Schools Pipe Band which he tutored alongside the late Alec MacDonald, another great stalwart of piping in Lochaber. At one point the band could muster 32 pipers in its ranks with many legendary trips away to play at Games, civic events in Dudley [in England] and even passing out parades at the Scottish Police College in Tulliallan near Stirling.

Evan’s time and generosity also extended to those of us who continued on to the senior ranks of solo piping, many a day would be spent at Piping Lessons in his house on Glenkingie Street in the village of Caol just outside Fort William.

SW Ross Piping Society’s junior 1986 competition. Left to right: Susan Menzies, Iain N. MacFadyen and Moira Morrison.

Evan’s success with his teaching continued in the senior ranks as well with Alison Campbell being placed in the Silver Medal in Inverness and my own success winning the Silver Medal at the Northern Meeting in 1990, an achievement that I will always be indebted to the patience, dedication and tutoring of Pipe Major Evan MacRae.

Lochaber Schools Pipe Band with Evan on the far left and Alex MacDonald on the far right.