Bagpipe Society Logo
Promoting the Bagpipe Revival since 1986

The Bagpipe Society

Grace Notes

This is a celebratory year for The Bagpipe Society – it’s 30 years old! Further inside, Ian Clabburn, the Chairman, gives details of just one of the ways this event is going to be marked. With this anniversary in mind, it is particularly poignant that we received the sad news that the Society’s co-founder, Dave VanDoorn, died recently. It was Dave who first started producing a regular newsletter which, over time, morphed into Chanter. Having read some of the reminiscences from those that knew him, it was certainly my loss for not having met him as I think I would have found him great company. But I do know him from some of his cartoons which were published in James Merryweather’s Tune Book (an essential purchase for someone new to the pipes), three of which are reproduced in this edition.

This year’s Blowout promises to be another fine event and aims to celebrate our landmark birthday. (Details enclosed.) It’s a warm and welcoming event and if there are any members new to the Society, or new to pipes, then it really is a non-threatening environment. Please join us for our celebrations!

By the time this edition of Chanter hits the doormats I should just have returned from the International Bagpipe Organisation’s Conference in Glasgow. No doubt there will be a report on the conference in a future edition of Chanter but the list of papers looks fascinating and seems to cover a wide range of bagpiping traditions and cultures. Pipes from England, Scotland, Poland, Bulgaria, Malta, Ukraine, Portugal, Italy and France all get a look in. I think one of the aspects that has helped The Bagpipe Society’s longevity is its acceptance of any type of bagpipe, however and wherever they’re played! And this edition of Chanter exemplifies this: France, Crete, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic all make an appearance. Whilst it is great to have a whistle-stop world tour in Chanter, it would also be good to be able to feature some more in-depth explorations of English piping and tunes. So, please feel free to get in touch with me if you have anything you would like to contribute towards future editions – whatever the bagpipe or wherever it comes from!