"Migrating Music: Songs inspired by the Scottish Diaspora."

  On Friday evening, April 5th at 6 in the evening, a public concert/lecture was held at the First Presbyterian Church on 5th Ave. between 11th and 12th Streets. The concert was organized by the Nationals Museums of Scotland and was followed by a wine tasting thanks to Ben Nevis Distillery.

  Hugh Cheape played the smaller chamber pipes, far more suitable to enclosed spaces than the Highland pipes, while Paul Jordan played fiddle.

  The concert was well attended and definitely enjoyed by all. Mr. Cheape set each tune in its historical context and discussed variations in the titles. The music dealt largely with music that dealt with the departure of Scots to other parts of the world, specifically the Americas. After a well-documented discussion of each of the tunes, Mr. Cheape and Mr. Jordan set about playing the tunes. Their playing was technically skillful and beautifully artistic. The information on each piece was fascinating. One can only hope that these two artists will compile a larger selection, and complete with narration, produce a CD.


Scottish Power Pipe Band Performance at Washington Irving High School

  On Thursday April 4th, nearly 1,000 people gathered at Washington Irving High School to see the Scottish Power Pipe Band; the Monaghan Pipe Band of NYC; Phil Cunningham and his group along with special guest, pipe soloist Duncan Fraser performed a benefit concert for the widows and children of New York Police and Fire Departments. The performance was spectacular with the audience frequently giving the performers a well deserved standing ovation.

  The Monaghan Pipe Band was introduced as the premiere pipe band in New York City; the Scottish Power Pipe Band as the premiere pipe band in the world. It is easy to see why they have been given this title. The musicians played deftly through music with rapid rhythmic changes and complex syncopations that made it clear why their reputations are well deserved.

  The Monaghan Pipe Band, with Pipe Major John J. Wassman and Pipe Sergeant Peter Skae, Lead Drummer Gordon Bell and Tenor Line Captain Rob Cirincione played first performing 3/4, 6/8, and 2/4 marches and a medley of songs.

  ScottishPower Pipe band with Pipe Major Roddy MacLeod, Drum Sergeant John Scullion and Pipe Sergeant Rory Grossart then took over the stage and performed a dazzling array of reels, hornpipes, airs and jigs. Pipe Major MacLeod gave a brief introduction to each set.

  In addition to the two pipe bands, the audience was treated to a great performance by composer-performer Phil Cunningham. Like the others, Cunningham is an award winning musician and was made MBE for his services to Scottish music. Cunningham had organized a band of Foss Peterson, Davie Paton, Malcolm Scott and Jim Walker for this occasion.

  Gordon Duncan was a special guest - in every sense of the word! An incredible piper, his was one of the most spellbinding performances imaginable. His technique is miraculous. Despite his breakneck speed, his every note is clear and perfectly defined. His interpretations are excellent. He has some CDs currently on the market and we urge you to run, not walk to the nearest CD store and get some for yourselves and your friends. This is a performer not to be missed!

  Two students, Andrew Gibbs and James Beaumont, both ophthalmologists, performed a beautiful set on the smaller pipes. They coaxed beautifully phrased melodic lines out of their pipes and were a fine demonstration of the range and power of pipes in general.

  For those who were there, it was a performance to remember. For those who weren't - too bad! You better learn to get your priorities organized! It was a spectacular performance that you will regret having missed!

Click here for a slide show of the performance.