Piobaireachd Club Archive Oct 2001 — May 2004

After the previous reports were copied into single posts. If we get time, we may do the same to this page, but in the interest of time moving to a new webserver, simply copying this archive for now.

2003/2004 Meeting Reports:
Oct 24 – Dec 12 – Feb 27 – May 7

2002/2003 Meeting Reports:
Oct 25 – Dec 6 – March 28

2001/2002 Meeting reports :
Oct 14 – Dec 7 – April 26 – Mar 22

Piobaireachd Club Meeting Report – May 7, 2004(As always, thanks to Ron for this:)We met at the home of Mary and Bob McIlwaine, always the good hosts. A gentle rain fell as George Taylor, Mary MacKinnon and I left south Surrey but the sky cleared as we neared our destination in Vancouver. An omen of a great evening of ceol mor?
As it happened, that is just what it was – a great evening of the great music. A veritable parade of champions! The winners of grades 3, 2, 1 and the Open came to play the tunes that won them prizes at the 72nd B.C. Pipers’ Annual Gathering, 2004.
Calum Mathers, winner of the grade 3 piobaireachd, played Lament for the Departure of King James II, often referred to as Suibhal Sheumais (the departed James). James II of Britain and VII of Scotland was forced into exile in 1688.
Tyrone Heade, winner of grade 2, followed with Mackenzie of Applecross’s Salute, a tune composed in the mid-1700’s.
Up stepped the winner of grade I, Micah Babinski with The Groat, sometimes called The Drunken Groat (An Grota Misgeach). Although shrouded by uncertainties, the tune may have been composed by Iain Odhar MacCrimmon in the 1560’s to celebrate the christening of William, older brother of the great Rory Mor MacLeod. William died young.
Alan Bevan, winner of the Open, played Mary’s Praise, another tune attributed to two different composers. One school suggesting it was composed by the family piper to McLachlan and Colin Cameron saying it was composed by Padruig Og MacCrimmon. Whatever, a splendid tune! Alan warmed up with the ground of Beloved Scotland.
Incidentally, it was on February 1, 1991, that Alan Bevan was the Junior Piper-of-the-Month. On that occasion, he played the very first tune played at the Club – Lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar.
Alex Galloway played the ground of Field of Gold and then launched into that noble tune, Lord Lovat’s Lament.
Edward McIlwaine closed with the majestic MacLeod of MacLeod’s Lament, a favorite of the late P/M James Watt.
Tog orm mo phiob ‘is theid mi dhaichaidh,
My pipe hand me, and home I’ll go,
‘S duilich leam fhein, mo leir mar thacair;
This sad event fills me with woe;
Tog orm mo phiob ‘s mi air mo chradh,
My pipe hand me, my heart is sore,
Mu Ruaridh Mor, mu Ruaridh Mor.
My Rory Mor, my Rory Mor.

The next meeting will probably be in October. Contact Ron Sutherland at 604-988-0479, email ronald_sutherland@sfu.ca or, Ron MacLeod at 604-538-5709, email:jrmacleod@telus.net

The next meeting of the Piobaireachd Club will feature a PARADE OF CHAMPIONS. Winners at the Grade 3, 2, 1, and Open levels will be playing tunes that won top prizes at the recent BC Pipers’ Annual Gathering.
WHEN: Friday, May 7th, 2004
WHERE: Bob & Mary McIlwaine’s, 3587 West 32nd Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. (half block east of Dunbar St)
TIME: 7:30 P.M.
Calum Mathers – Lament for the Departure of King James.
Tyrone Heade – MacKenzie of Applecross’ Salute
Micah Babinski – The Groat
Alan Bevan – Mary’s Praise

Feel free to bring your pipe and blow up a storm.
For information: Ron Sutherland at 604-988-0479, ronald_sutherland@sfu.ca
Ron MacLeod, 604-538-5709, jrmacleod@telus.net

February 27th Meeting report:

The gentle winter seemed to be particularly kindly the evening of Friday, February 27, 2004. A large turnout of members came to the home of Eileen and Ron Sutherland to meet an honoured guest. Malcolm MacRae came from Scotland to Vancouver to preside at an Adjudicator’s Seminar. The Club was fortunate indeed to have him as guest speaker and as Piper-of-the-Month.
Malcolm is past President and currently Honorary Secretary of the Piobaireachd Society’s Music Committee. During his early years in Scotland, Malcolm “paid his dues”, as the saying has it, by winning virtually every major award during his competitive career. He is a noted scholar on the subject of piobaireachd. Malcolm is soon leaving Scotland to return to his native land, Australia. While he will leave the home of piobaireachd, it is abundantly clear that piobaireachd will never leave him.

Malcom spoke briefly and answered a number of questions. On style, that point of much disputation, he said some things that resonate in my mind and which I will paraphrase as best I can. Style is a factor of the passion that a player brings to the music; in other words, a very personal response to the music being played. Great teachers of piobaireachd did and do teach different styles over their lifetimes and this should not surprise anyone. Teachers are not static instruments – they grow and mature and meld their life experience into the playing of the music. Also, a teacher will take into account the propensity of a pupil, given demonstrated strengths and capabilities. John MacDonald of Inverness taught different styles to prize pupils, the Balmoral Bobs, Brown and Nicol. The great Cameron teachers were known to do likewise and, in doing so, stimulated much argument as to which player had the “correct” style. The late Donald MacLeod would start his pupils on the chanter and keep them there until they had the tune locked in their heads; from that point on, style was ultimately the pupil’s to shape if the talent was there.

Style as an issue matters little except as an issue for debate. What does matter is whether a tune is played well and played with a passion that honours the soul of the music.

At the masters level, there is room for personal style. Think Heifitz and Menuhin on the violin, brilliant virtuosos who had different styles, each of which honoured the music they played and carried it to uncommon heights.

As to the music of the evening, Malcolm MacRae played Colin MacRae of Inverinate’s Lament, a variation on the theme of Duncan MacRae of Kintail’s Lament. Jori Chisholm followed with Earl of Seaforth’s Salute. Alan Bevan then gave us Mary’s Praise. Jack Lee closed off the evening with Lament for Robert Reid. Indeed, a classical evening of masterly playing!

For information contact Ron Sutherland at 604-988-0479, emailronald_sutherland@sfu.ca or, Ron MacLeod at 604-538-5709, email:jrmacleod@telus.net

From a Feb 10th email:

The next meeting of the Piobaireachd Club will take advantage of a visit to the area by Malcolm MacRae of Inverness, Scotland. He has agreed to play at the upcoming meeting but just what tune is unknown at this time. It’s a long time between blows. Malcolm last played before the Club on April 7, 1993.

WHEN: Friday, February 27, 2004
TIME: 7:30 P.M.
PLACE: Ron & Eileen Sutherland’s home
ADDRESS: 4169 Lions Avenue, North Vancouver, B.C.

Come and enjoy. Bring your pipe and ‘gie us a blaw’.

Dec 12, 2003 Meeting report:

Greetings, here is my report on the meeting of last Friday. regards to all, the other Ron

It seems that lately the weather gods conspire to arrange for clearing the skies just before a piobaireachd meeting. And what a meeting it was on Friday, December 12th! Once again Randy and Lynn Bullis opened their Tsawwassen home to a parade of  young pipers and guests in what is becoming a traditional pre-Christmas party. Between the playing of tunes one could hear the groaning of the dining-room table, so heavily laden it was with goodies for every taste. Again I repeat myself as I do every year, but I just have to acknowledge the splendid oatcakes and scones.

The list of young players was long. Many have played at the December meeting over several years. What one notices is growth and achievement. Physically, some of them have grown several inches since last year and it is interesting to see that they matched physical growth with progress in the playing of the great music. Only one, the youngest, played the ground only. For some, it was a struggle to complete a tune but that they did so is admirable.
Chris Low played the ground of Lament for Sir James MacDonald of the Isles. Sir James was 9th Chief of the MacDonalds of Sleat, Skye, who died in 1678.

John Lee followed with Munro’s Salute, Alistair Lee with The Little Spree, Scott Needham with Lady D’Oyly’s Salute, Kyle Banta with The Little Spree, Colin Lee with The Desperate Battle, Will Nichols with The Battle of Auldearn #1, Shane Smith with MacGregor’s Salute, Micah Babinski with Tulloch Ard, Andrew Lee with In Praise of Morag, Liz Dunsire with MacLeod’s Controversy. Iain Bullis played Too Long in this Condition to complete the youth presentations.

Jori Chisholm closed the meeting with an exceedingly fine rendition of Mary’s Praise. There are at least two school’s of thought about the composer. One view has it as a MacLachlan piobaireachd composed by Colin Cameron. Another opinion has it as a Padruig Og MacCrimmon tune composed in appreciation of Lady Mary Macdonald’s gift of a sporran moloch [a hairy sporran].

As to the tune In Praise of Morag, there is a heather myth that it is Jacobite tune. Bonnie Prince Charlie used Morag as a code name while hiding out in the Highland and Western Islands after losing at Culloden. Apparently, that notable piper and teacher of the early 1900’s, MacDougall Gillies, phrased and accented the first and later variations to represent the galloping of a horse as the Prince escaped the field of Culloden.

Lady D’Oyly, whose maiden name was Eliza Ross, was a niece of James MacLeod, Laird of Raasay. She was an accomplished musician. Eliza took young Angus MacKay under her wing and taught him music theory. It is, I believe, fair to suggest that, indirectly, Eliza had a tremenduous impact on the survival of ceol mor as we know it today.

For information contact Ron Sutherland at 604-988-0479, emailronald_sutherland@sfu.ca or, Ron MacLeod at 604-538-5709, email:jrmacleod@telus.net

From a November 18th email:

Greetings, the next meeting of the Piobaireachd Club is the annual Young Pipers Night. Come and listen to the youngsters. The experience will bring a glow to your heart.

The adult Piper-of-the-Month will be Jori Chisholm.

WHERE: The home of Randy & Lynn Bullis
ADDRESS: 5670 Goldenrod Crescent, Tsawwassen.
WHEN: 7:30 P.M. Friday, December 12, 2003.
CONTACT: Ron Sutherland at 604-988-0479 or Ronald_Sutherland@sfu.ca
Ron MacLeod at 604-538-5709 or jrmacleod@telus.net

How to get there – take Highway 17 that goes towards the BC Ferries. Turn right onto 56th street [the main street into Tsawwassen] and proceed to the light at 6th avenue and turn left onto 6th avenue, proceed a short block [dead-end street], turn left and left again onto Goldenrod Crescent. If you forget which is your left when you get to Goldenrod Crescent, just keep going around and you will arrive at 5670.

regards, the other Ron

Subject: Friday October 24th Meetng Report
To: Piob List jrmacleod@telus.net
Gentlemen, my reading on the evening for what it is worth, regards, Ron

Piobaireachd Club

A soft autumn evening and the glorious sound of well-played ceol mhor! No
words can be put on the beauty of the music when the pipe, the player and
the song come together as a unity.

The first Club meeting of the season was more than just another gathering at
the home of Ron and Eileen Sutherland. As good fortune would have it for
those present, there was a Œhappening that took place. When Jack Lee took
up his pipe to play the Lament for the Children, it was as if time had
reverted and we were walking with Padruig Mor MacCrimmon down the sad, slow
path to Kilmuir Church lamenting the loss of the children. But tragedy is
not the end of the tale, for out of this profound sadness came a miracle.
The child that was spared was Padruig Og, a musical genius in his own right.

Andrew Lee set the evening of music in motion with a fine rendition of The
Desperate Battle.

Alex Galloway’s playing of Lord Lovat’s Lament was a particularly good
interpretation of this tune. One can only marvel that such great music was
composed to honour a gentleman who turned his loyalties oftner than a weaver
turns his spindle.

Ed McIlwaine played Lady Anapool’s Lament, a tune that Bridget MacKenzie
attributes to Iain Dall MacKay. The story is that ŒAnapool’ is a corruption
of ŒArnaboll), the latter being an estate once owned by Marion Munro who
married a cousin of Donald Duaghal Mackay. As mentioned previously, the
MacKay and Munro families intermarried over many generations.

Jack Lee played The Pride of Barra in the MacArthur/MacGregor style. Ed
McIlwaine followed with MacDonalds are Simple.

The next meeting will be in December at the home of Randy and Lynn Bullis.
This will be a continuation of an evening dedicated each year to young
pipers. It is always an evening that brings joy to the heart as we observe
the progress made year over year.

For information contact Ron Sutherland at 604-988-0479, email
ronald_sutherland@sfu.ca or, Ron MacLeod at 604-538-5709, email:

From an October 15th, 2003 email:

The next meeting of the Piobaireachd Club will be at the home of Ron & Eileen Sutherland.

JACK LEE will play The Pride of Barra in the MacArthur setting.
Andrew Lee will play The Desperate Battle
Ed McIlwaine will play Lady Anapool’s Lament
Others will join in as the spirit moves them.

Date: Friday, October 24th
Time: 7:30 PM
Address: 4169 Lions Avenue, North Vancouver, B.C.

March 28, 2003 Piobaireachd Club Meeting.

Greetings…I missed a great evening, never to be retrieved! Thanks to Colin MacRae for program notes….regards to all, the other Ron

The Club meeting was held at the home of Bob and Mary McIlwaine. A good turnout was on hand to enjoy the great music in an atmosphere of relaxed hospitality.

Edward McIlwaine got the program off with a rendition of “Sir Ewin Cameron of Lochiel’s Salute”. Other than the title of this piobaireachd, he is generally referred to in the English as Ewen rather than Ewin, in the Gaelic as Eoghan Dubh. It seems that the tune was inspired by a memorable event in Sir Ewen’s life. At the close of the 17th century civil war, he was engaged in a skirmish with troops from what is now Fort William. Three hundred English soldiers had been sent to ravage Lochiel’s lands. With a much smaller party of kinsmen, Lochiel and his warriors cut the invaders to pieces. In the route that followed, a big strong English officer hid behind a bush and jumped Lochiel when the opportunity arose. Although Lochiel was smaller, he was nimbler than his stronger opponent and managed to trip the sword out of the man’s hand. The two of them wrestled on the ground with his bigger foe seeming to gain an advantage. Lochiel was able to grab his foe by the collar and pull him into a position where Lochiel took the man’s throat in his teeth, bit hard and quite through, killing his opponent. In doing so, he brought away a mouthful of flesh and blood. He was later to remark that “this was the sweetest bite he ever had in his lifetime.”

Jack Lee followed with “The Pride of Barra” in the MacArthur setting. The Gaelic name of the tune is translated as MacNeil of Barra’s March. There is a confusion as another tune also carries that name. To distinguish between the two, Campbell of Kilberry ascribed the name “Pride of Barra” to one. Both tunes celebrate Black Roderick MacNeil who fought with the Viscount of Dundee at the Battle of Killiecrankie, 1689. There is a thought that the second tune, the so-called March, may have been intended as a Lament for the noted warrior,18th Chief of Clan MacNeil.

Alex Galloway played “The Field of Gold” by Donald MacLeod. Colin Lee followed with “Lament for Donald of Laggan”, a man who was over one hundred years of age when he died. Andrew Lee played that lyrical masterpiece “Lament for Mary MacLeod.”

John Sutherland, late of San Francisco, stepped up with “Too Long in This Condition”. Ed McIlwaine closed the meeting playing the ground and 1st variation of “The Massacre of Glencoe”.

The date of the next meeting will be revealed in the fullness of time. Call Ron Sutherland at 988-0479 or Ron MacLeod at 538-5709 for information.

From a Ron Macleod email (March 5):

Greetings…the next meeting of the Piobairachd Club is soon upon us. Hope to see a good turn-out..regards, the other Ron

WHEN: Friday, March 28th. 

TIME: 7:30 P.M.

WHERE: Bob and Mary McIlwaine’s, 3587 West 32nd Avenue [1/2 block east of            Dunbar]


Edward McIlwaine will play: Sir Ewin Cameron of Lochiel’s Salute
and, The MacDonald’s Are Simple

Jack Lee will play: The Pride of Barra [from the MacArthur/MacGregor Ms]

December 6, 2002.
(From Ron Macleod)

The meeting of the Club at the home of Lynn and Randy Bullis in Tsawwassen
has followed a happy pattern over the years. This is the meeting where
youngsters come out in force to blow their own pipe, so to speak. For some,
it is the first time playing at the Club. For others it is a continuation of
a practice they have followed over several years. For the adults, the joy is
in observing some children progress from raw beginners to talented

Lynn and Randy are wonderful hosts for this very special Club meeting. Not
only is the hospitality warm and welcoming, but also, the spread of food and
goodies is awesome. Besides, Lynn continues to honour the guests with
oatcakes  and who could ask for more than that?

On this occasion there were eleven young players, some of whom played the
ground only, some the ground and a variation and others who played a
complete tune. It was interesting to note that, unlike some adults, the
young pipers who played through closed the circle with a replaying of the
first line in the ancient Gaelic manner.

John Lee in his first performance at the Club, led off with the ground of
The Old Woman’s Lullaby, followed by other first-timers, Megan Angelvedt
playing the ground of MacGregor’s Salute, Collin Kortschak playing the
ground and 1st variation of Caber F�idh gu Bradh and Ryan Angelvedt playing
the ground and 1st variation of Munro’s Salute.

Ben Parsonson then gave a fine rendition of The Glen is Mine. Will Nichols,
who comes from Alaska, played Too Long in This Condition. Will and Ben are
fine examples of dedication to learning the art of ceol mor. Their progress
since last year raises expectations for the future.

Colin Lee played that wonderful tune that John MacDonald of Inverness
surprisingly referred to as the greatest of laments, The Little Spree. He
was followed by brother Andrew Lee with The Desperate Battle of the Birds.
As someone said to Andrew, it won’t be all that long before your father
takes a back seat to you!

Micah Babinski stepped up with MacGregor’s Salute. Micah, a pupil of Jori
Chisholm, came from Seattle to play at this very special meeting of the
Club. Jori can be proud of his pupil.
Liz Dunsire, the youngest of the Dunsire sisters, is showing remarkably good
progress. She played I Am Proud TO Play The Pipe  and it showed in her
playing. Iain Bullis closed off the youth parade with an excellent rendition
of Too Long in This Condition.
Jack Lee gave an introduction to his tune, Lady Margaret MacDonald’s Salute.
Jack described the three-stage transformation of piobaireachd from its oral
origins in the period 1500-1800, to the appearance of written music in the
late 18th and early 19th century and subsequently the organization of the
music by the Piobaireachd Society that commenced early in the 20th century.
He touched on the resurrection of old manuscripts from the early 1800s,
using the 1824 MacArthur/MacGregor manuscript of about 30 tunes as his
example. This manuscript has a paucity of detail and modern-day pipers were
for long stymied in interpreting the author’s intentions. It took the
dedicated work of many experts over a period of 20 years to unravel the
mystery. Jack paid tribute to the late Seumas MacNeil whose commitment got
the project under way. People like Andrew Wright and others at the College
of Piping have since completed the translation of the MacArthur/MacGregor
manuscript. What has emerged is a reflection of how the music was played 200
years ago. Lady Margaret’s Salute came out as a joyous paean of praise, a
fitting tribute to a beautiful, noble lady, beloved by the local populace of
Skye and much admired by the English lexicographer Samuel Johnson for her
intelligence and wit.

Jori Chisholm closed the evening with The Finger Lock, a tune attributed by
some to Ranald MacAilean Og of Morar, he of the Red Speckled Bull and The

The date of the next meeting will announced in the fullness of time. Call
Ron Sutherland at 988-0479 or Ron MacLeod at 538-5709 for information.

The next meeting of the Piobaireachd Club will be at the home of Lynn and Randy Bullis. The evening will feature young pipers as has become a December tradition at the Bullis home.

In addition, JACK LEE will play Lady Margaret MacDonald’s Salute playing the newly re-released setting from the MacArthur-MacGregor Manuscripts. JORRI CHISHOLM will play the Finger Lock.

Date: Friday, December 6th
Time: 7:30 PM sharp
Address: 5670 Goldenrod Crescent, Tsawwassen
Phone: 604-943-1987

October 25, 2002. (from Ron MacLeod)

The eleventh year of the Club got off to a fine musical start at the home of
Ron & Eileen Sutherland. This is where it all began one wet November evening
in 1990. Gathered around the table that evening were Jack Lee, Peter
Aumonier, Duncan Fraser, Ron Sutherland and Ron MacLeod. The idea of a
Piobaireachd Club was discussed and agreed to. The purpose of the Club would
be to promote the playing of the great music in a relaxed setting for the
enjoyment of players and their audience. Most particularly, the Club would
create opportunity for young players to perform in a venue other than a

Has the Club lived up to its purpose? A resounding YES. One of the great
delights over the years has been to hear the many youngsters blowing away
with a right good will and then to follow them as they hone their skills. A
young Alan Bevan played Lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar to open the
first Club session on February 1st, 1991. Alan is now a proud new father and
respected practitioner of the art of ceol m�r.

Over the intervening years 107 different ceol m�r have been played in 264
performances. The Battle of Auldearn is a favoured tune, having been played
8 times, followed by Lament for the Viscount Dundee and The King�s Taxes [7
times] and Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon [5 times]. Among the well-known
guest players were Malcolm MacRae, Angus MaColl and Andrew Wright of
Scotland, and, John MacKenzie of Australia.

The evening got off to an excellent start with performances by two young
players. Liz Dunsire played a tune heard for the first time at the Club, The
Blind Piper�s Obstinacy. Little is known about the origin of this tune that
some ascribe to Iain Dall MacKay. If the composer was Iain Dall, it may have
been inspired by the youthful incident in which he was driven by envious
fellow learners at Borreraig to take a 20 foot leap off a rock. Fortunately,
he was unharmed and lived to compose much great music over a very long life.

Andrew Lee followed with The Piper�s Warning to his Master. The origin of
this tune is also lost in the mists of time. It may well be, as some
suggest, a salute that commemorates an incident that occurred during the
siege of Dunyveg in 1749. If so, Alasdair MacColla, he of Auldearn, would
have been involved and it may well be that it is a Macdonald tune.

Alan Bevan played a John Ban Mackenzie tune, Mrs. Smith�s Salute. The lady
is shrouded in mystery. It is known that she was a Highland lady who moved
to Taymouth, the haunt of John Ban. It is also known that this handsome,
strapping piper was a noted ladies man. All that can be said is that Mrs.
Smith must have been very special to have such a fine tune dedicated to her.

Jack Lee played the Earl of Seaforth�s Salute. His rendition was poetic and
inspiring. One could hear the composer, Finlay Dubh MacRae, pleading with
his master Earl William to come home from his exile in Spain, to cross the
seas in his birlinn and take his rightful place in the life of his clan.

Ed McIllwaine closed the evening with Glengarry�s March, a tune thought to
be linked to the burning of the church of Chille Chriosd in 1603.

The date of the next meeting will be December 6th at the home of Randy &
Lynn Bullis. Call Ron Sutherland at 988-0479 or Ron MacLeod at 538-5709 for

Next Meeting: Date: Friday, October 25th
Time: 7:30 P.M.

The first meeting of this the 11th season of the Club, will beat the home of Ron & Eileen Sutherland, 4169 Lions Avenue, North Vancouver

Piper-of-the-Month: Alan Bevan who will play Mrs. Smith’s Salute, a tune
composed by John ban Mackenzie.

Also featured will be pipers Andrew Lee and Elizabeth Dunsire.

Report of Piobaireachd Club Meeting, April 26:
(From Ron Macleod)

April 26, 2002.
Ron & Eileen Sutherland hosted the final Club meeting for this season. As usual the host and hostess spoiled the members with wonderful hospitality.

This was an evening dedicated to winners of ceol mor competitions at the 70th Annual Gathering of the B.C. Pipers’ Association in March. As is usually the case, others brought along their pipe and played a tune.

Andrew Lee won the Grade I competition at the Annual Gathering with Mackay’s Banner [Bratach Bhan Chloin Aoidh]. This is a tune that celebrates a banner that is thought to have been flown by Ian Aberach and his MacKay clansmen at the Battle of Drum na Coup just south of the Kyle of Tongue in 1433. In this battle the invading Sutherland force was decimated and the fleeing survivors were harried for miles across moor and mountain. The banner is now in the care and custody of the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh. The inscription on the banner is Biodh treun-Biodh treun, that is, Be Valiant, Be Valiant. One might imagine that Piper Kenneth Mackay of Tongue would have been motivated by his ancient clan motto when he stepped outside the square at the Battle of Waterloo to inspire his comrades with the piobaireachd Cogadh no Sidh.

Marco Caturegli of Seattle stepped up next to play Clan Campbell’s Gathering, the tune that won him the Grade II competition at the Gathering.

Jori Chisholm was next on tap, playing the MacDougall’s Gathering, his winning tune in the Open Piobaireachd competition.

Onto the floor stepped Seth Walker who gave a fine rendition of Hiharin Dro o Dro, one of the musical nameless tunes.

Bob McIlwaine played Lament for Mary MacLeod, a tune thought to have been composed by Padruig Og MacCrimmon. The peerless Skye poetess, known among her country folk as M�iri Nighean Alastair Ruaidh, was one of the first to break with Ossianic tradition and write in the modern Gaelic bardic style.

Jack Lee closed the meeting with Munro’s Salute, a tune composed by the blind piper, Iain dall Mackay of Gairloch. Iain Dall was related by marriage to Munro of Foulis Castle, Ferrondonald. Iain’s patron in the years 1697-1720 was Sir Robert Munro, 23rd Chief who, like Iain Dall, was blind. It is thought that many of Iain Dall’s 24 piobaireachd were composed under Munro’s patronage. Unfortunately, only a dozen of Iain Dall’s piobaireachd have been preserved. The tune is a classic salute that pays a compliment to one who is both a Chief and patron.

This meeting concludes the current season of the piobaireachd Club. The date of the next meeting will be announced in the fullness of time. Call Ron Sutherland at 988-0479 or Ron MacLeod at 538-5709 for information.

Greetings…the maestro has spoken. The next meeting of the Club will be:
When: 7:30 Friday, April 26th

Where: Ron Sutherland’s home, 4169 Lions Avenue, North Vancouver

Who: three of the winners at the recent Annual Gathering of the BC Pipers’
will be featured.
Marco Caturegli, grade two winner will play Clan Campbell’s Gathering
Andrew Lee, grade one winner will play MacKay’s Banner
Jori Chisholm, winner of the Cairn will play MacDougall’s Gathering.
No doubt others will play a tune or two.

Come out to the final meeting of this season.

Regards to all…the other Ron

Report of Piobaireachd Club Meeting, March 22nd:
(From Ron Macleod)

March 22, 2002.
Edward McIlwaine hosted the Piobaireachd Club in his parents� absence.
Despite many being away over the Œspring break�, the turnout was
surprisingly good. Host Ed did his parents proud and all who attended are
thankful for that.

Club members in attendance were the beneficiaries of the desire of young
pipers to test tunes submitted for the competitions at the upcoming Annual
Gathering. Tyrone Heade got the evening off to a great start with Angus
Mackay of Gairloch�s fine tune, Mackenzie of Applecross� Salute.

Ed McIlwaine followed with MacCrimmon�s Sweetheart. The inspiration for this
tune is bound up in a web of heather myths. It is known that some MacCrimmon
pipers referred to their pipe as their Œsweetheart� and it may well be that
this fine piobaireachd is a tribute to that particular love of their lives.

Drew Dodge, a pupil of Tyrone Heade, stepped up to play The Battle of
Auldearn #1. It is impossible to listen to this exultant tune without seeing
in ones imagination the wild, ferocious charge of Alasdair MacCholla and his
Macdonald clansmen that routed Sir John Hurry�s troops on the misty field of

Alex Galloway took the opportunity to warm up with a goodly part of the
Battle of the Pass of Crieff before moving into his piece for the evening,
MacLeod of Raasay�s Salute.

Emerson Dodge, younger brother to Drew, first took up the pipe three years
ago. He presented the gathering with Lament for the Old Sword. This ancient
tune is thought to have its roots in the Fion na Gael, a race of mighty
warriors bound by a code of honour founded on bravery and justice. Their
bard was Ossian dall, an deigh nam fiann [blind Ossian, the last of the
Fiann]. Ossian�s brother was Oscar, a giant of a man renowned for the
immense size of his claymore and his ability to wield it in battle with
deadly effect. Through various successions, Oscar�s sword passed through the
hands of the Lords of the Isles and finally wound up in the possession of
the Kings of Scotland only to be lost at the battle of Flodden Field. The
piobaireachd itself is a unique melody that might well be played as a song
of praise in memory of a time and place where myth and fact mingle in
stories fashioned out of our ancient Gaelic heritage.
Ed McIlwaine again stepped to the fore and played The Bicker, sometimes
referred to as Coggie. A bicker is a bucket-shaped traditional drinking
vessel with upright handles. A coggie, on the other hand, has downturned
curved handles. To a piper it would matter little whether the drink was in a
bicker or a coggie, just so long as one could not see the bottom.

Ed closed the evening with majestic MacLeod of MacLeod�s Lament. The motto
of the B.C. Pipers� is drawn from a poem commemorating the death of Sir
Ruairidh Mhor MacLeod:

“Tog orm mo phiob Œis theid mi dhaichaidh,
Hand me my pipe, and home I�ll go,
ŒS duilich leam fhein, mo leir mar thachair;
This sad event fills me with woe”

The date of the next meeting will be announced in the fullness of time. Call
Ron Sutherland at 988-0479 or Ron MacLeod at 538-5709 for information.

Dec 7, 2001 – From Ron Macleod:

Greetings…here is my report on last night’s meeting..regards, the other Ron

Lynn and Randy Bullis, for the fifth year, opened their home to what has come to be ”Young Piper’s Night”. And what an evening it was! Nine young lads, one young lass and three professionals piped the roof off the house. Lynn, in her own inimitable style of hospitality, put a veritable treasure of delectables on the table. She always remembers the oatcakes. What a great evening to be a part of!

Colin Lee started the evening off with Munro’s Salute. Then came Ben Parsonsonwith The Glen is Mine followed by Alexander Gail playing Glengarry’s Lament. Blair Stewart played Munro’s Salute and brother Evan came next with Too Long in this Condition. Andrew Lee then stepped up with I Got a Kiss of the King’s Hand. Marco Caturegli, our Mexican friend via Seattle where he is attending University, played Tulloch Ard. Elizabeth Dunsire played MacGregor’s Salute. Seth Walker gave us MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart. Iain Bullis ended the youth parade with The Company’s Lament.

To repeat what said of last year’s youth evening, what a joy and delight to see young lads and lasses carrying the torch of ce�l mor into the future.

Of the tunes played I will only comment on two. First, The Glen is Mine. See yourself as young Iain MacPhadruig MacCrimmon, piper to the Earl of Seaforth, tramping through Glen Shiel on a fine day. The world is your oyster. What could be more exhilarating? The tune reflects a ‘joy of living’ that young Alex was able to portray so musically.

Second, The Company’s Lament. This tune that may have been composed by Joseph MacDonald who wrote the Treatise, ‘A Compleat Theory of the Scots Highland Bagpipe’ circa 1770/73. This was at a time prior to the dissolution of the great MacCrimmon school of piping at Boreraig. The tune [untitled] is one of two ‘marches’ [spaisdearach in the Gaelic] included in his Treatise. The tune is meant to be played ‘while walking about’ and not as a ‘march’ as we know it today. It was probably written before he went to India to join the East India Company. His inspiration for the tune is unknown.

Then came Jori Chisholm, Piper-of-the-Month, who gave a fine rendition of that wild MacGregor tune, The Rout of Glen Fruin. The tune was said to have been written by Donald Mor MacGregor after a battle fought in 1602. A band of MacGregors with some Camerons and MacIans of Glencoe ambushed and routed a larger force of Colquhouns, Buchanans and burgesses of Dumbarton searching for MacGregors under a Royal warrant. The MacGregors pursued the losers with great slaughter, sacking Luss and the Lennox and threatening Dumbarton. King James VI issued an order that the very name of MacGregor should be proscribed and the clan hunted down. This order was not officially lifted until 1795. There is a suggestion that the names Black, White, Green and Brown, common throughout the Highlands, derive from this period when MacGregors were hounded, murdered, their lands despoiled and their children nameless under the King’s harsh edict.

Alex Galloway gave us the ground and variations of the Pass of Crieff. Ed McIlwaine closed the meeting with the majestic MacLeod of MacLeod’s Lament.

The date of the next meeting will be announced in the fullness of time. Call Ron Sutherland at 988-0479 or Ron MacLeod at 538-5709 for information.

Oct 14, 2001 – From Ron Macleod:

Greetings…here is a report on a grand evening of piobaireachd last Friday.

Did you know that on November 23, 2001 the Piobaireachd Club will be celebrating its 10th anniversary? I will try to get a commemorative article in the next issue of the B.C. Pipers’ Newsletter.

To all the senior pipers out there who intend to contribute a tune in the next year, please play at least one piobaireachd that has never been heard at a Club meeting. Think of this as your personal contribution to the Club.

Regards to all, Ron

October 12, 2001.

Thanks to the generous hospitality of Ron and Eileen Sutherland, the Club convened at their home in North Vancouver for another grand evening of piobaireachd.
Jack Lee came to play but before he could blow up his bag, members of the Club recognized his rare double win at Oban with a hearty round of applause. This was followed by the reading of a glowing tribute that Peter Aumonier had e-mailed to the Club. In his tribute, Peter reflected on Jack’s remarkable history in piping, underscoring triumph piled on triumph both as a solo piper and a bandsman. Most particularly and most insightfully, Peter remarked on the qualities of Jack, the man. To quote Peter, “You’ve been a tremendous ambassador, a leader and a wonderful role model for young players. At a time in history when our world seems all too small, you share your gift of music with anyone who wants to listen. It is rare when all the elements of talent, work ethic, passion and humility come together. I’ve always believed ‘Greatness should be celebrated’. Today we celebrate yours”.

Jack took up his pipe and gave a remarkable performance. First, he played Craigellachie, the tune he played to win the Senior Piobaireachd at Oban. He followed immediately with Lament for Donald Ban MacCrimmon, truly a musical creation that ranks among the world’s great compositions. Donald Ban was the only man killed in a minor night skirmish that came to be known as The Rout of Moy [1745]. To paraphrase Jack’s comment, Donald Ban gave his life and his brother created a memorial that any piper would die for. Donald Ban’s sweetheart is said to have composed a poem, MacCrimmon’s Lament, shortly after his death. The first verse, translated from the Gaelic, goes like this:

“Round Cuillin’s peak the mist is sailing,
The Banshee croons her note of wailing;
Wild blue eye with sorrow are streaming
For him that shall never return, MacCrimmon.
No more, no more, no more forever,
In war or peace shall return MacCrimmon.”

Another piobaireachd linked to Donald Ban’s death is the Pretty Dirk. This dirk was owned by his father but because Donald was the family member accompanying his Chief to war against the Jacobites, he was given the dirk to carry while in service. It was probably dropped when he was killed or when his body was removed from the field in the dark of night. It was recovered by the leader of the Jacobites, Fraser of Gorthleck.

Alan Bevan was welcomed back to the Club after his too long sojourn in the far-distant, cold, dark east. Alan played The End of the Great Bridge. One heather myth suggests that his tune commemorates what was probably the first skirmish between Jacobites and Royalists in 1745. The site was in the area of the High Bridge over the River Spean near Fort William. It was a skirmish won through ruse and bold strategy by Macdonald of Keppoch. He and his clansmen were joined during the fray by Camerons. Among the trophies taken was a white gelding horse that was presented by Lochiel to Prince Charles Edward Stuart when the Prince raised his Standard at Glenfinnan.

Kelly [Watts] Fuller followed with a fine rendition of The Massacre of Glencoe. Tyrone Heade closed the evening with The King’s Taxes. The music of this tune reflects the painful squeals of the poor Highlander as he is forced for the first time ever to pay his taxes in coin of the realm rather than by donating traditional services.

The next meeting will be at the Tsawwassen home of Randy and Lynn Bullis on Friday December 7th. The evening is dedicated to young pipers, ranging in experience from beginners to Grade 1 level. Jori Chisholm, who did so well in competitions overseas this year, will be the senior piper of the evening.

Call Ron Sutherland at 988-0479 or Ron MacLeod at 538-5709 for information.