Piping Live! 2021 all set / Giovanni Giulianini / PM John McLellan DCM anniversary /

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Iain Speirs competing in the 2020 online Silver Chanter earlier tonight.
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Piping Live! kicks off with a weekend of piping from the Highland tradition and the Lowland tradition.

Piping Live! 2021 kicks off this Saturday with the prestigious Silver Chanter invitational solo piping competition/recital at the National Piping Centre’s headquarters in McPhater Street in Glasgow city centre. It is one of a number of events this year that are able to have a limited physical audience inside the venue.

This will be the 55th annual Silver Chanter competition and the six pipers who will each play a tune associated with the MacCrimmon pipers of Skye are: Stuart Liddell (the 2020 winner), Finlay Johnston, Glenn Brown, Callum Beaumont, Angus MacColl and Iain Speirs.

The National Piping Centre wishes to remind those who intend to come to this concert that it is a black tie/formal event and therefore the wearing of appropriate attire is expected.

The concerts that are able to have a physical audience are all ticketed and they will be seated and socially distanced. Tickets for both online and in-person shows start at £5, up to £17.50, while online festival passes are now available for £65.

Sunday sees students on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Traditional Music – Piping Degree course put on a “showcase concert”. The students are Alastair MacLean, Bradley Parker, Isla Stout, Kenneth MacFarlane and Calum Brown.

Walter Scott.

Sunday evening sees what promises to be a fascinating concert put on by the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society (LBPS). This venerable Scottish cultural organisation is now in its 40 years and can boast that it singlehandedly revived Scotland’s bellows and Lowland piping tradition in this time.

This year’s show – ‘More Power to Your Elbow’ – centres around the 250th anniversary of the birth of novelist and poet, Walter Scott, “the man who invented Scotland.” Curated by the LBPS President Gary West, the show includes musical contributions from Gary, Anna Massie, Annie Grace, Dougie Pincock, Fraser Fifield, Finlay MacDonald and Stuart Letford.

Learn @ Live begins next Monday with two masterclases, one by Willie McCallum (playing an MSR) and one by Callum Beaumont (Piobaireachd Performance ). Callum has stepped in to lead this masterclass in place of Roddy MacLeod MBE who has had to withdraw due to unforeseen circumstances.

• For the complete line up and to purchase tickets.


Giovanni Giulianini, a friend of the National Piping Centre and a member of its Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers (CLASP), was involved in an accident whilst at home in Italy and has sustained a bad injury to his right arm.

We understand that Giovanni had returned home for a short holiday and was swimming in the ocean when a boat struck him. He is receiving surgery on his arm.

Giovanni recently moved to Scotland to work here and to further his piping. He was the overall winner of the Grade 1 contest in the CLASP’s recent ‘virtual highland games.

We wish Giovanni a speedy recovery.


Duggy Day, a distant relation of Pipe Major John McLellan DCM, is marking the 146th anniversary of McLellan’s birth by compiling a tribute playlist on the website he created that is devoted to the famous Dunoon, Argyll piper.  

The anniversary falls this Sunday.

Duggy says he would like to approach town officials in Dunoon to make the first week in August an annual event in the town, in the build up to the Cowal Highland Gathering.

McLellan is buried in the cemetery in Dunoon.