Now a novice piper!

The 2014 LBPS Annual competition was held once again in the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. Here Anne Duncan describes her experience attending for the first time.

At the teaching weekend I attended in Bridge of Allan it was suggested to me that I stood a very good chance of winning the novice class at the annual competition as there was rarely more than one entrant! As I am teaching myself to play the pipes I need regular feedback on progress, so this seemed a good plan. To ensure that I would turn up at the event I sent an entry form to Judy who assured me of lots of support at the competition. Not having competed in anything since a primary school sack race this was alien territory to me and very daunting. I knew I could play my version of the tunes at home but performing in front of all these experts was another matter. On arrival I recognised lots of folk from the teaching weekend, all friendly and quietly supportive. First up were 'Seasoned Pipers' including David Hannay who played the tune I had practised - his own composition Sorbie Tower, and mine did not sound like his. Maybe a 'time to go home' moment? However, my long suffering husband would probably have objected so I stayed put. My class of one came all too soon and I focused as best I could. The effects of stress on pipers are well explained in More Power to Your Elbow and the sound from my pipes was not as it usually is. However, I persevered despite the impromptu variations to my tunes and received warm applause from the audience. At the break David Hannay came over and offered to play Sorbie Tower through for me so now I can work on playing it more as the composer intended. As at the teaching weekend everyone was exceptionally encouraging and tolerant of my early efforts at piping. Entrants to the other classes showed what I can aspire to, maybe I'll even print a fresh set of pipes one day! Hearing innovative performances from Callum and Donald interspersed with historical tunes and new compositions has again given me much to think about.  At the end of an enjoyable and stimulating day I was presented with a trophy as undisputed winner. A succinct note on my performance has as hoped given me my next areas to work on. The diversity of traditions, styles and techniques on show was fascinating and it is great that all can work under the LBPS banner to promote this branch of piping.
[Ed. Anne also wrote us a report on her time at the Teaching Weekend; see p. 49 ]


NOVICE Judge: Stewart Gaudin
1st    ANNE DUNCAN    Sorbie Tower/Ae fond kiss

INTERMEDIATE Judge: Gary West                        5 entries
1st    ANDREW MACINTYRE    An thou wert my ain thing/Come kiss         with me come clap with me/Roxburgh Castle
2nd    CAROLYN FRANCIS    Yordas/Turning Point/Trip to the lakes
3rd    IAN BROWN    The Last Cradle song/Richard the Rogue/Highland Two-step
SEASONED PIPERS Judge: Stewart Gaudin                 3 entries
1st     ALLAN STURROCK     Angus G Macleod/Lady Madelina Sinclair/The Margaree Reel    
2nd    HENRY AITCHIESON     Kelvingrove/Murrays Favey
3rd    DAVID HANNAY    Scobie Tower/Kirkdale House  

 PIPE AND SONG Judge: Judy Barker                         3 entries
1st    PETE STEWART    The Bonny Yew Tree [O’Neil]    
2nd    DONALD LINDSAY    Ye Banks and Braes   
3rd    ALLAN STURROCK    Aberdonians Fare Ye eel  

 OPEN SOLO FOR SCOTTISH SMALLPIPES Judge: Gary West        6 entries
1st    CALLUM ARMSTRONG    Prelude/Little Wee Winking Thing    
2nd    STEWART GAUDIN    Duncan Gray/The Highland Watch’s Farewell to Ireland/Lady Cassilli’s lament/Kenmuir’s Up and awa, Wullie
3rd    PETE STEWART    The Twa Corbies/There was a Wedding in the West/Hacky Honey

THE OVERSEAS PERFORMANCE CLASS                2 entries
1st    GEOFF JONES    The Piper’s Beard/Meggie Cameron/ The Reel of Stumpy
2nd    BOB CAMERON    Blizzard of 78/Sebargo Lassies    

1st    ANDREW MACINTYRE & GEORGE ROBERTSON            Tweedside/Fairly shot of her    
2nd    IAN BROWN & JILL NIVEN    All the way to Newcastle/A Mile above Carlisle/The Burning of the Pipers Hut
3rd    PETE STEWART & CAROLYN FRANCIS  The New Way to Bowden

NEW COMPOSITION     Judge: Hamish Moore        6 entries
1st    CALLUM ARMSTRONG    Cutty Sark    
2nd equal    PETE STEWART -    The Pencaitland Bridge Hornpipe
    PETE DUGGAN    Lang Nichts an cauld Wind  
DUET FOR PIPER AND SINGER Judge: Judy Barker            2 entries
1st equal PETE STEWART & SADIE MASKERY    Johnny Lad
    JOHN BUSHBY & CAROLINE BUSHBY    The Carls o' Dysart

DUET FOR PIPES     Judge: Hamish Moore         2 entries
        How the Camel Got its Hump/  Polka d’Aveyronne
        Lament for Duncan Macrae of Kintailk  /March of King of Larorso/Lament (var 3)

OPEN SOLO LOWLAND AND BORDER PIPES Judge: Hamish Moore     3 entries
1st    ROBERT LOW    i
2nd    JOHN BUSHBY    Bouree/Mazurka de Comptoir/Munierra Carolina
3rd    PETE STEWART    Crudds and Whey/Saw ye not my Meggy/The wood of Fyvie

THE MARTIN LOWE TROPHY    Awarded by the Judges only for the greatest contribution to the performance of Lowland and Border music on the day of the competition