Mackenzie Caledonian Pipe Band hosts inaugural solo recital with Willie McCallum


By Davie Hunter

The Woodlands Hotel in Broughty Ferry was the venue last night, April 26, 2024, as Mackenzie Caledonian Pipe Band proudly hosted the first of their new recital series. Aimed at bolstering and championing pipe bands in Dundee and its environs, this inaugural event was a resounding success, drawing piping aficionados and enthusiasts alike.

The highlight of the evening was the captivating performance by nine-time Glenfiddich Piping Champion, Willie McCallum. Joined by local pipers Lachlan Rennie and Angus Robson, Willie’s mastery of the instrument was on full display, leaving the audience spellbound from start to finish.

•Lachlan Rennie, Willie McCallum and Angus Robson.

Lachlan Rennie set the tone for the evening with a heartfelt rendition of For Paul, a slow air penned by Annabel Charlton of the Pitlochry & Blair Atholl Pipe Band, paying tribute to the late RSPBA Director Paul McAndrew, a cherished member and friend of the Mackenzie Caledonian Pipe Band. Rennie’s repertoire spanned traditional tunes, including the lesser-known yet spirited The Mackenzie Caledonian Pipe Band and classics like The Trees of North Uist and The Braemar Gathering. His performance culminated in a medley of strathspeys and reels, showcasing his prowess as a rising star in the piping world.

Willie McCallum took the stage with his signature flair, opening with Duncan Johnston’s Farewell to Nigg and captivating the audience with renditions of Loch Maree and Loch MacLeod by Donald MacLeod. Willie’s flawless execution and deep connection to the music were evident throughout his performance, leaving no doubt as to why he remains one of the foremost professional solo players today.

Angus Robson rounded off the evening’s performances with a dynamic set, featuring a mix of marches, airs, jigs and hornpipes, including the well-loved Atholl Highlanders and selections by the late Gordon Duncan.

The Mackenzie Caledonian Pipe Band extends their heartfelt thanks to all attendees and performers for making the evening a memorable one. A questionnaire will be distributed to ticket holders via the band’s website for feedback on the event. For those who purchased tickets at the door and wish to participate, please contact us via private message on Facebook to receive a copy of the questionnaire.