Forgot I had these pix from the pre-Xmas jaunt to Bologna. First shows some of the students; second, same sitting their PDQB theory papers and the third is of our host Pietro getting a kiss from his wife Simonneta after his induction into the Lions at a ceremony in Florence we were invited to.
Now that the annual bash is over time to turn thoughts to the summer. Torquil up in Oban sent this:
‘Maybe something for your blog. The AG is always held on the 4th Thurs of Aug and the piping the Wednesday the day before. As the first is a Thursday there will be five Thursdays in August next year I believe that this will mean that the AG and Cowal may be a week apart! Topical just now as the AG
website is open for entries. Regards to all. Nollaig Chridheil is Bhliadhna math ur. Torquil.’ Interesting T and will probably be a welcome breather between these two events. How long can Cowal hold on to its band championship status, is one whisper doing the rounds just now.
One of the more splendid cards received over N Year was this from Brittany:
The Bretons are so very good at photographing their dramatic seascapes, and the bombarde and binou koz in the foreground set things off perfectly.
Chris Cloete from S Africa: ‘Thought I’d forward you a little song I wrote about a piper, who having strayed away from playing piobaireachd has a dream which reunites him with the music, after a trip through history… http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Thanks to all those who left kind messages on the Hogmanay post.
Jeannie Campbell has sent this photograph from the 1940s. It’s of a ball held by Fianna nan Alba (probably got that wrong), a nationalist group Seumas MacNeill belonged to. You can spot him in the back row.
Entries for Comann na Mara composing contest closed now. Hard to believe the response we’ve had. Clearly the urge to compose is as strong as ever among pipers worldwide. Thanks to all those who took part. I am sure there will be one or two gems among the dozens of tunes. More in the Feb PT.
Someone on Facebook was asking what was all the fuss about funding for piping in the Dec PT. No fuss, just facts. Here’s the story again word for word. It covers awards for two years, 2011 and 2012: ‘The Scottish government’s arts funding organisation, Creative Scotland, has issued the following information on successful and unsuccessful grant applications from piping bodies since 2010. Creative Scotland funds a number of piping applications both through its investment programmes and the Awards for All scheme.
The Piping Centre, Glasgow, towards ‘the study and promotion of the great Highland bagpipe. To encourage and inspire study and performance of Scotland’s national instrument’: £87,781
World Bagpipe Innovation Fund ‘digital content’: £15,000
Glasgow International Piping Festival: £10,000
Glasgow International Piping Festival ‘One Step Further’: £29,950
Piping Arts Ltd, Aberdeenshire ‘Gordon Highlanders heritage project’: £4,800
Peterhead PB for instruments and equipment: £10,000
Kilmarnock Pipe Band to mark their 80th anniversary: £7,995
Dumfries and Galloway Council for support of local pipe bands: £6,000.
Finzean (Aberdeenshire) Piping Society to purchase necessary equipment: £1,500
RSPBA Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway for a learning workshop of children: £1,500
Stromness (Orkney) Pipe Band to take members to the European Championships in Belfast: £3,588
Bicentenary Pipe Band Championships to ‘organise and hold the annual pipe band championships for the tenth anniversary: £9,700
Glasgow International Piping Festival ‘Awards for All’: £10,000
Glasgow International Piping Festival ‘Awards for All’: £25,950
Ceolas Festival, Uist: £29,000
St Ronan’s Piping Society, to organise a 10th anniversary event which includes a solo piping and drumming event for under 18s: £5,560
Comrie & Dist Piping Association: £3,600
Stromness RBL PB: £4,368
The Piping Centre towards ‘the cost of inspiring the composition of new music, enhancement of performance and delivery of education work’: £95,020
Rothesay PB to engage young people and develop touring programmes: £29,770
Piping Centre, National Youth Pipe Band, Creative Scotland: £30,000
Glasgow International Piping Festival from Creative Scotland: £5,000
Mauchline & District PB: £3,750
Glasgow International Piping Festival from Awards for All: £5,000
Piping Centre, National Youth Pipe Band, Awards for All: £30,000
Rothesay and District, Awards for All: £7,852
Cockenzie & Port Seton Royal British Legion P&D: £10,000
Kirkcaldy High school: £10,000
Perth & District PB: £6,500
Stirling & Dist. schools PB: £3,805
Strathendrick PB: £5,000
Royal Burgh of Stirling PB: £6,200
‘Refused applications (excludes refusals under the ‘Awards for All’ scheme):
Aberdeenshire Council who asked for £30,000 towards developing the Aberdeenshire Youth Pipes and Drums initiative.
Glasgow International Piping Festival who asked for £10,000 towards the cost of programming especially the opening night aimed at a ‘young, vibrant audience’.
‘Creative Scotland has come under fire recently from leading Scottish writers, artists, playwrights and musicians. Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, a keen supporter of piping who attended the 2012 World Pipe Band Championships and the Worlds Week concert by Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia PB, has called for the body to improve.
‘Chairman of Creative Scotland is Sir Sandy Crombie, former Group Chief Executive of pensions giant Standard Life. He is Vice Chairman of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland which with the Piping Centre delivers degree courses in piping and traditional music.
‘Another board member who will be known to pipers and who will have an important say in all bagpipe related funding applications is Gary West. Gary presents the BBC’s popular ‘Pipeline’ radio show. The figures show that over the past two years by far the biggest winners in the subsidy stakes are the Piping Centre based at McPhater Street, Glasgow. The Centre received £182,801 in public funding, their Piping Live Festival £80,900 and their National Youth Pipe Band £60,000.’