The LBPS Collogue and AGM

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the LBPS!


The LBPS Collogue and AGM was held on 16th September 2023 in the Burgh Halls in Linlithgow, West Lothian. 

We had a memorable 40th-Anniversary Collogue last month in Linlithgow, a town that played a pivotal role in the early years of the Society. We had congratulatory messages from founder members Mike Rowan and Gordon Mooney; and Jeannie Campbell, another long-term stalwart, spoke about those early years.
The format of Jeannie’s presentation was in an ‘interview’-style with Convenor, Stuart Letford. It was observed by a few attendees that we should consider repeating this format at next year’s Collogue and for it to include a key figure in the middle years of the LBPS’ history. Watch this space ….
The day itself ran almost blemish-free were it not for the IT gremlins that affected Bruce Hitchings’ presentation. Bruce dialled in from his US home in Arizona and his subject was the harmonic nature of the bagpipe. This is a ‘big’ subject and one that can at times be above most people's heads, but Bruce did well in conveying this to those present.
The Committee’s grateful thanks go to Jeannie, Bruce and to Judy Barker, Matt Seattle and Pete Stewart for their excellent presentations. 

Photo by Pete Stewart

Colin Melville, winner of the LBPS 40th anniversary composing competition, receives his winning cheque from Stuart Letford.

Collogue tune sessionPhoto by Pete Stewart.

Collogue participants playing Colin Melville's tune The Lowland & Border Pipers' Society.


The agenda for the day was as follows:

  • 10.30 Convenor’s Welcome plus a mass playing of Colin Melville’s tune for the LBPS.
  • 10.45 The Early Years of the LBPS (including the history of College of Piping) – Jeannie Campbell in conversation with LBPS Convenor, Stuart Letford.
  • 11.30 Devising Harmonies – Matt Seattle on his approach to devising ingenious harmonies.
  • 12.30 Singing Whilst Piping – Judy Barker has long been acknowledged as a skilled exponent of singing whilst accompanying herself on smallpipes. She explains how she does it – and offers tips on how we could, too.
  • AGM
  • 14.15 The David Young mss – Pete Stewart explains why we need to know more about these often-overlooked manuscripts and why the LBPS is considering publishing them in book form next year.
  • 14.45 The Harmonic Nature of the Bagpipe – Bruce Hitchings MBE BEM is an authority on the harmonic dynamics of bagpipes and explains this often complicated subject to us. 
  • 15.30 Session for all: The set tunes for a mass session in the afternoon are: The Linlithgow March / Lord Randal and The Twa Corbies / Tail Toddle / The Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society / Chevy Chase / Belle Bergère (a French Valse) / Happy We’ve Been A’thegither.

The scores for the tunes that everyone played are available here.