Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society visit Perth for showcase concert


The Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society (LBPS) will hold its annual conference in Perth next month. Members and non-members are welcome.

It will be the first time the 40-year-old piping organisation has held such an event outwith the central belt or the Scottish Borders. The date of the event is Saturday, October 8.

The LBPS intends to mark the occasion with a concert featuring some of the leading musicians in the bellows piping scene of today.

LBPS Convenor, Stuart Letford (pictured), said: “We’re very much looking forward to coming to Perth. Perth’s geographical location has meant it’s long had an interesting cultural mix, and it sometimes still has the feel of a frontier town about it. The fantastic music produced from this area has long been known so it’s not before time that we held our annual conference here.”

The organisation’s daytime conference – the ‘collogue’ – takes place at the Royal George Hotel in George Street, overlooking the old bridge of Perth and the River Tay, a stone’s throw from the North Inch.

The conference features four presentations:

  • 25 Years Since Dixon – Matt Seattle, who discovered and published the Dixon manuscript in 1997, discusses the ongoing importance of the manuscript. The manuscript is housed in Perth AK Bell Library but will be on display at the conference.
  • The Town Pipers of Perth – Chairman, Stuart Letford delves into various sources for information on the town’s civic piper and uncovers many snippets of information on some of these individuals, information that brings them to life rather than have them be simply records of names. Dating from King James V’s reign and taking us through to the early 19th century, this is a fascinating look at Perth’s pipers and the context in which they lived. (With musical illustrations.)
  • What, why and how? – Lindsay Davidson discusses teaching methods and rationale, why we teach ‘piping, and what that means for the future of our repertoire and instrument.
  • Perthshire’s rich musical legacy – Well known fiddler, Pete Clark chats to Stuart Letford about the area’s music, from the Atholl Collection to Niel Gow, from Daniel Dow to Gordon Duncan.
• Brìghde Chaimbeul.

The LBPS will mark its first time in Perth with an evening concert featuring some leading names: Finlay MacVicar (RCS student), Kyle Howie (Vale of Atholl and Spirit of Scotland), Pete Clark with Iain MacInnes, the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band, and Fin Moore with Brìghde Chaimbeul.

A regular feature of the Piping Live! festival, the LBPS hasn’t put on its own concert since 2010’s show held at in Lennoxlove House in East Lothian.

The revivial of Scotland’s bellows-blown bagpipes – and its music – is solely down to the work of the LBPS. The organisation was founded in Glasgow in 1983 and held its first official meeting at the College of Piping.

In the medieval period, Perth was at one time Scotland’s capital, and it was awarded city status only in 2012.