A return to one-to-one piping lessons and band practices may be on the cards soon in Scotland. They are expected to be included in the Scottish Government’s updates to its coronavirus levels system this week. Band practices are also likely to be allowed indoors – in reduced numbers – as most of Scotland moves to Level 2.

Bagpipe.News understands that one-to-one instrument lessons — including bagpipes, wind and brass — have been discussed by the Scottish Government as being allowed in Level 2. “Ensembles” are likely to be allowed indoors.

Restrictions on meeting outdoors will ease and allow up to eight adults from eight different households to meet. When meeting outdoors, children under 12 years of age do not need to be counted in either the total number of people or the household limit.

Concert halls and music venues are among the places that can open this week – with restrictions – as can outdoor performing arts activities.

Restrictions were lifted in most of Scotland yesterday except in Moray and the city of Glasgow. Most of the country’s islands have moved straight to Level 1.

The Pipers’ Tryst atop Hope Street.

With Glasgow remaining in Level 3, the popular – and award-winning – Pipers’ Tryst restaurant in the city centre will maintain current restrictions for a fortnight. Alcohol, therefore, cannot be served inside the restaurant for the time being. It is thought this may be the case un tili the end of this month.

Click here for the latest information and opening hours.

The restaurant, bar and hotel is the hospitality part of the National Piping Centre.

The number of Covid infections continues to rise in the city, with weekly case rates for the week ending May 14 higher than 100 per 100,000 people. (The number of weekly cases per 100,000 people is a key indicator for the Government). No COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the last 48 hours in Scotland.

The rate in neighbouring East Renfrewshire is 86.9, well above the Level 2 threshold. However, that council area has been moved to Level 2 restrictions.

The Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) has launched a march composition contest to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of the organisation in 2022. The contest is being held in partnership with Jim McGillivray’s bagpipe music archive, PipeTunes.ca, which has donated the prize money for first prize in the 2/4 march category. Mr. McGillivray’s  is also chairman of the PPBSO’s Music Committee.

PPBSO logo

The competition has to strands: a 2/4 march (four parts), open to worldwide entries and a 4/4 march (two parts), open to PPBSO members. The tune titles submitted must include reference to the 75th anniversary.

“The competition is a great opportunity to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the PPBSO,” said Chris Dodson, PPBSO vice-president. “In addition to the prizes for the top three entries in each category, the winning 4/4 march will be issued as a set tune to be performed by the massed bands at PPBSO games in 2022. This really makes the tune and its composer a feature element of how we celebrate this milestone.”

Cash prizes of $1,000, $250 and $200 ($CAD) will be awarded to the top three selections. The top three selections in the 4/4 march category will have their 2022 PPBSO membership prepaid, and the winner will also receive a full-size practice chanter donated by McCallum Bagpipes.

Bill Livingstone and Bob Worrall.

There is no entry fee, and no cap on the number of entries. Pipers are encouraged to enter both categories, but only one entry per category will be accepted. Entries must be received by Sunday, July 18, 2021. Respected Ontario pipers, Bill Livingstone and Bob Worrall, will jointly judge all entries. Copyright will remain with composers.

The winning tunes will be announced as part of the results announcement at the conclusion of the virtual Fergus Highland Games on August 14.

Full details can be found here.

Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum reopens tomorrow (Wednesday, 19th). It will be open Mondays to Saturdays, from 9.30am to 5.00pm.

The museum is located in Northumberland, England and first opened its doors in 1987. It contains a large collection of historic bagpipes, particularly historic Northumbrian smallpipes and Border pipes,

The museum, pictufed below, is also the venue for the regular meetings of the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society.