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Gill Cairns: Staying connected, part 2

Gill Cairns: Staying connected, part 2

A few months ago, as Covid-19 was making its way around the world, I wrote here about the emergence of online competitions. Most countries were in lockdown and I, and my fellow ‘CLASPies’, had just competed in the world’s first live online competition. It was organised by the National Piping […]

Willie Donaldson: What are we waiting for?

Willie Donaldson: What are we waiting for?

There has been a call in recent years for change in the long-standing arrangements in the big piobaireachd competitions; that the Piobaireachd Society should stop naming its own settings as the preferred ones, or stop setting the annual tunes at all, allowing the performers free choice in which tunes they […]

John Mulhearn: Let piping flourish

John Mulhearn: Let piping flourish

Place is important in music, and understanding the place that one is from, bides in, or looks to for inspiration, is a central part of traditional music in particular. It is with this in mind that I am going to ask for your help. But first, bear with me while […]

Simon McKerrell: Why we should abolish the Set Tunes

Simon McKerrell: Why we should abolish the Set Tunes

In his far-reaching blog posted on this site last week, Stuart Letford questioned whether the Set Tunes should continue to be set solely by the Piobaireachd Society’s Music Committee. I suggest it is time to actually abolish the Set Tunes altogether. I have spoken on this topic before. Indeed, this […]

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 […]