Tributes paid to young Scottish piper / Donaldson book published


Tributes have been paid to a young Scottish piper who has died aged 17.

Warren Graham, from the Ayrshire town of Kilmarnock, died on Tuesday. He was well known in the area for his musical talents.

A spokesman for Kilmarnock Pipe Band wrote on its social media page: “The band have [sic] been absolutely devastated by the loss of Oor Warren, The Killie Piper.

“He was one of those special people you meet in life, who had no idea how much of an impact he made on everyone around him. He was super smart and always had a funny quip or cheeky comment to roast the Pipe Major, bringing joy and laughter to us all.

“He was a big supporter of Scottish independence, Scots leid [language] and Kilmarnock Football Club, but he was never happier than when playing his bagpipes, and was rarely seen without them.

“The world is a darker place to be missing such an amazing young man and our band will never be the same without him. He was and always will be Ayrshire’s Finest. Rest easy buddy, we’ll never forget you.”

Warren was part the East Ayrshire Pipe Band Academy (EPIC). A spokesman released a statement via its social media: “Warren joined EPIC as a trainee instructor last term and was showing great potential as a teacher, as well as being a huge source of inspiration for our young people.

“We were immensely proud of him and the students all really enjoyed his lessons. He will be sorely missed and his loss keenly felt by us all.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up by a family friend to help pay for funeral costs.

A long-awaited new edition of Willie Donaldson’s best selling book, Pipers – A Guide to the Players and Music of the Highland Bagpipe, will be published next week (February 3). Publisher, Birlinn delayed publication twice due to the pandemic.

The book was first published in 2005 in paperback. Leading competition piper, Willie McCallum appeared on the cover of the first edition. The new edition, also in paperback, features a painting of an 18th century piper playing a two-droned instrument.

The book is available from Birlinn, priced £12.99.

Donaldson is the author of several prize-winning books including The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society 1750-1950 and Jacobite Song: Political Myth and National Identity. He lectures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.