Glas­gow Let­ter

The Oban Times - - Letters - ROBERT ROBERT­SON robert.d.robert­son@hot­

Pip­ing Live!

THE AN­NUAL Pip­ing Live! fes­ti­val is in full flow this week in Glas­gow.

High­lights in­clude recitals, com­pe­ti­tions, whisky tast­ing and ‘Pipe Idol’, a four-heat com­pe­ti­tion for un­der-21s that runs through­out the week.

As al­ways, the week cul­mi­nates on Satur­day (Au­gust 13) with the World Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships when more than 200 bands cov­erge on the city from across the world to com­pete for the crown.

This year’s ‘Af­ter Worlds Shindig’ will take place on Satur­day night in the O2 ABC and will fea­ture the fa­mous Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Rona Lightfoot at 80

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to Rona Lightfoot whose 80th birth­day is be­ing cel­e­brated by Glas­gow Uist and Barra As­so­ci­a­tion at Pip­ing Live! this week­end.

To­mor­row (Au­gust 12), at 8pm, in the Na­tional Pip­ing Cen­tre, there will be a tra­di­tional cèilidh to mark the mile­stone. Rona was a trail­blazer for fe­male pipers in the early 1970s and is fre­quently cred­ited with be­ing the first woman to com­pete at the North­ern Meet­ing and in the Brat­ach Gorm.

She is one of Gaelic Scot­land’s great­est char­ac­ters and finest tra­di­tion bear­ers - not just in pip­ing but in song, can­taireachd and sto­ry­telling.

Per­form­ers in­clude Dr An­gus MacDon­ald, Sineag Mac­In­tyre, An­gus Nicol­son, Kath­leen MacInnes, Roddy MacLeod and Mairi MacInnes with and more to be an­nounced.

There will also be a spe­cial ap­pear­ance from the guest of hon­our her­self. Tick­ets are £10 for adults, £ 8.50 for con­ces­sions, and can be booked on­line at www.the­bag­

A claim to fame

I’VE BEEN singing at Don­ald ‘Ma­root’ Macleod’s ‘Care for a Cei- lidh’ evenings for a few years now and en­joy writ­ing about them in The Oban Times.

They are won­der­ful events in which Donnie vol­un­tar­ily or­gan­ises Gaelic singers or mu­si­cians to go into care homes all over Glas­gow and be­yond and put on a west high­land style ceilidh for res­i­dents.

Last Sun­day, I sang at a ceilidh in Ersk­ine home for vet­er­ans and en­joyed a con­ver­sa­tion which en­cap­su­lates the joy the scheme brings to those in care and to the per­form­ers.

I sang a se­lec­tion of Andy Ste­wart White Heather Club songs. One lady raised her hand and told me her hus­band, whose hand she was hold­ing be­side her, had once danced in the White Heather Club.

He had been play­ing with a pipe band when one of the dancers had taken ill and he had stepped in at the last minute. It was a lovely story, which brought a smile to his face as she re­called it, and a happy co­in­ci­dence I had sung those songs.

Wed­ding cel­e­bra­tion

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to Stu­art Mur­ray, youngest son of Neil and Cather­ine, and Oon­agh Collins from Porta­ferry, North­ern Ire­land, who mar­ried re­cently and cel­e­brated in Òran Mòr.

All the best to the happy cou­ple for the fu­ture.

Pub scene

Is­lay Inn: Fri­day Au­gust 12: The Keel­ies. Satur­day Au­gust 13: Part­ing Glass. Wed­nes­day Au­gust 17: Quiz Night.

Park Bar: Fri­day Au­gust 12: Deoch ‘n’ Dorus. Satur­day Au­gust 13: Dun Mor. Sun­day Au­gust 14: Pip­ing Day from 2pm.

Glas­gow has been filled by the skirl of the pipes this week dur­ing the an­nual Pip­ing Live! fes­ti­val.

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