Blog

Stuart Letford: The new piping normal

Stuart Letford: The new piping normal

“We will not succeed in navigating the complex environment of the future by peering relentlessly into a rear view mirror. To do so, we would be out of our minds.” – Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds (Capstone, 2001). Like most of you, I have now spent eight weeks self-isolating. […]

Gill Cairns: Staying connected

Gill Cairns: Staying connected

On the last Saturday in February I played in the Archie Kenneth Quaich in Edinburgh, Scotland. Had I known this would be the last ‘traditional’ competition in Scotland for the foreseeable future I might have hugged my friends a little longer. I would certainly have tried to spend just a […]

Dan Nevans: the spirit of rock ‘n roll

Dan Nevans: the spirit of rock ‘n roll

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Don’t start reading this blog yet. Go to Spotify and bang on this playlist here. No shuffling. Play as it is from end to end. At a volume that will get you an ASBO (that’s an Anti-Social Behaviour Order for those not familair with Scotland’s crime legislation). […]

Stuart Letford: Working from home

Stuart Letford: Working from home

Thousands of people are being encouraged to work from home for the first time due to the Coronavirus outbreak. For many of us, though, it’s just like any other week. There has been a trend in recent years for more of us to work from home and there are innumerable […]

Stuart Letford: Take a leaf out of my book

Stuart Letford: Take a leaf out of my book

“Libraries gave us power” – A Design For Life, 1996, Manic Street Preachers. Today is the 23rd World Book Day. It’s a day designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading. It will be marked in over 100 countries and unlike some of these types of marketing […]

Chris Earl: Teaching is essential in a changing world

Chris Earl: Teaching is essential in a changing world

By Chris Earl, President of Pipe Bands Australia Pipe Bands Australia (PBA) this year celebrates its Diamond Jubilee – six decades since six state associations decided to form a federation that would in time transition to the national association we have today. The journey to that momentous meeting in 1960 […]

Donald Lindsay – piping on another planet, part 1

Donald Lindsay – piping on another planet, part 1

Last August, I arrived with my family on Ascension Island. Ascension is a small island, roughly the size of Benbecula, sitting alone in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. Its nearest neighbour, St Helena, is about 800 miles away to the south east while the coasts of Brazil and […]

Murray Henderson: ceòl mòr journey and destination

Murray Henderson: ceòl mòr journey and destination

I’d like to explore the different approaches to learning ‘appropriate’ material when starting out on the road to achieving a better understanding of Piobaireachd, our classical music. Of course, it applies to light music as well. In any endeavour, anyone wishing to reach the heights (whatever level that may be […]

Dr. Angus MacDonald: 200 years … yet pipers still play parrot-fashion

Dr. Angus MacDonald: 200 years … yet pipers still play parrot-fashion

Dr. Angus MacDonald 2020 marks 200 years since Donald MacDonald produced his first volume of piobaireachd in staff notation. This is the oldest comprehensive written record of ceòl mòr by a piper. A pioneering work, he tackled the difficult problem of committing intricate piobaireachd embellishments to staff notation. He was […]

Alisdair McLaren: Ten years after

Alisdair McLaren: Ten years after

It’s been a quite a decade. I took over as Director of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland (NYPBoS) in 2009 shortly after moving to Scotland from Australia. Ten years later, I’m looking forward at marking that decade with an NYPBoS concert on February 8 in Edinburgh at the […]