Friday March 25th, 2011
A thank you to Bob and Mary McIlwaine who hosted a fine night of piobaireachd playing.
The first piper of the night was John Lee playing “Lady Margaret MacDonald’s Salute”. John won the C grade piobaireachd at the Cowal Highland Games playing this tune. Lady MacDonald was the second wife of Alexander MacDonald of Sleat and a daughter of the Earl of Eglington. During the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 she provided funds to Prince Charles after his defeat at Culloden. She was also able to recruit the help of Kingsburgh and his wife, Flora MacDonald in aiding the Bonnie Prince escape Scotland unscathed. The tune was possibly composed by Angus MacArthur (the last hereditary piper to MacDonald of the Isles) so it is fitting that John Lee played the tune from the MacArthur – MacGregor manuscript.
Next piper to play was Kyle Banta with “MacIntosh’s Banner”. Gregory MacDonald followed with “The Highland Society of Scotland’s Salute”. This was Greg’s first time playing at the club and also the first time this tune has been played at the club. Also making his debut was Jordan Kohn. Jordan played “Lament for the Old Sword”. The sword in question is thought to have been one from a race of warriors known as the Fion na Gael (sometime around 200 A.D. to 300 A.D.). One of these warriors, Oscar, was a giant of a man renowned for his ability to wield a huge sword in battle. Legend has it that Oscar’s sword eventually passed on to the Lords of the Isles and thence to the Kings of Scotland but was lost at the Battle of Flodden Field.
Alex Galloway played the “Earl of Seaforth’s Salute”. Uilleam Dubh (Black William) MacKenzie (the 5th Earl of Seaforth) went into exile in Spain after the battles of Sherriffmuir, 1715 and Glenshiel, 1719. The composer and piper to the Earl was Finlay Dubh MacRae. The tune cries out to William to come home to his people.
Jack Lee congratulated Ron MacLeod and Ron Sutherland for being awarded the Mary MacKinnon service plaque by the BC Pipers Association for their numerous voluntary contributions.
Jack played Ron MacLeod’s favorite tune – “MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute”. Ron’s parents emigrated from Raasay.
Edward McIlwaine closed the evening with the grand piobaireachd “Lament for the Earl of Antrim”. This tune is in honour of the first Earl, Ranald MacDonnell, who died in 1636. It is uncertain if the composer was Donald Mor MacCrimmon or his son Padruig.
Stay tuned for some updates of the upcoming BC Pipers Annual gathering, the summer highland games and of course the next club meeting sometime in the fall.
The next club meeting will be announced in the new year.