The latest member of the Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP) to be profiled is young Rebecca Paterson from Scotland.
• Where are you from and how did you get into piping?
I am from Strachur, a village in Argyll, Scotland. I was taught firstly by my Dad as he plays the pipes. He bought me my first chanter when I was five-years-old and taught me the the basics. I then moved onto lessons at school with Craig Campbell, and I am being taught by Margaret Dunn currently.
• Favourite piece of music?
I really like contemporary Scottish traditional music, and my favourite band is Rura. I especially like the track Forged on the band’s third album, In Praise of Home.
• Who has been the biggest influence on your piping?
My biggest influence on my piping definitely has to be my Dad, he has supported me since I was young and took me to many competitions and has always been there to help me when I needed it!
• What’s the most memorable performance you’ve heard, solo piper or pipe band?
The most memorable performance I’ve heard was Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band at its Impact concert in 2016 at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. The band’s musicality and ability to produce such a great tone with so many pipers completely blew me away and has stuck in my head since.
• How do you relax and do you have other interests and hobbies?
I usually play my chanter/pipes to relax, I find when I am absorbed in playing I completely forget about everything else that is around me. I also do a lot of running and cycling in my free time and enjoy being in the fresh air.
• Do you recall the first competition you competed in?
The first competition I competed in was back home in Strachur at the local primary school. I played the first part of the tune, I See Mull and left the room crying halfway through the first line – you’ll be glad to know I can get further into tunes than the first line now!
• How has the pandemic affected your piping?
I have found it has effected how regularly I play my pipes. I often felt I wasn’t motivated to practice but since I started taking online lessons with Margret Dunn of the National Piping Centre, I have been practicing much more regularly and learning more new tunes. I have certainly missed the social side of the competitions and seeing everyone regularly, and can’t wait until we can safely see everyone again.
• Was piping something you wanted to do from an early age?
Piping is something I have always wanted to do as I grew up around my family piping and was excited to be able to join in. My Dad and his five siblings all played, so there was always a set of pipes somewhere nearby!
• Favourite piobaireachd?
Catherine’s Lament is my favourite piobaireachd at the moment. I like it because of the way it progresses through the variations which gradually add to the intensity of the story. I have been playing this tune for five years now and still enjoy playing it every time.
• Do you have a set practice routine you could share with readers?
I don’t have a set practice routine because I work shifts but I try and fit in as much as I can where possible. I work on technique regularly from the Jim McGillivray book [Rhythmic Fingerwork] and practice competition repertoire on chanter and pipes.
* Thank you, Rebecca!