Alastair McInness stands under the stage light while performing in the open hornpipe competition.
Alastair McInness stands under the stage light while performing in the open hornpipe competition.

Piping hot opening at Maclean

HAIRS stood on necks and goose bumps were raised when the region’s best pipers heralded the start to Highland Gathering celebrations last night.

People packed the Maclean Civic Hall – the central venue for the open piping competition – to hear the stirring drones of Scotland’s national instrument, the great highland bagpipe.

Lower Clarence Scottish Association secretary Bob MacPherson described the 60 participating pipers as the ‘top’ from New South Wales and Queensland.

A panel of 15 judges adjudicated the around 150 tunes played. One judge, Malcolm McRae, is considered a leading authority on the Piobaireachd – the classic bagpipe music style.

Mr MacPherson said the pipers were not only judged on getting their notes right.

“They had to deliver how they felt the music, as well as get it correct,” he said.

The contest, which was held across five venues in Maclean, is usually held outdoors at the showground on Good Friday afternoon, however, a change of dates this year spurred a change of venue.

The highlight of today’s Gathering is the massed band display at 4.45pm.



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