NPS Saturday meeting 21st December 2013
The NPS Christmas Saturday meet was very well attended this year and as usual, its focus was on younger pipers.
Richard Johnstone brought along some members of his his youth pipes and harps group and they did a spot which included slow and more challenging tunes, Lads of Alnwick included. All were played beautifully, showing off how pipes and harp strings blend so well together.
Later, young Open competition winner Tristan Selden played us two solos and a duet of Rothbury Hills with his friend Ben.
There was also a Best Christmas Pipes Bag Cover competition, judged by Fiona Johnstone and won by Dorothy Craggs. All attendees had a thoroughly enjoyable and sociable time, with the Bagpiper's Carol not forgotten and shared festive snacks and refreshments in the interval.
Article and photos thanks to M Davison
NPS Saturday meeting 16th November 2013
Our NPS Cleveland Branch kindly came up to Morpeth to lead this session, Margaret Moyes the Cleveland Chairperson leading the playing. Colin Ross and Julia Say offered a tune in memory of Jim Richmond who passed away recently, a respected former Secretary of the Society.
Brian Fisher offered a demonstration of some of his pipes he has developed over the years. Brian uses CNC machining, and has invested in modern tooling to develop his sets. He has evaluated a number of materials, for example synthetic wood vs Blackwood, and PVC. His own early David Burleigh set is a test bed for his development - now only the drone stock is original !
Some key features he has developed include stitching-free belows using internal PVC formers and milled receiving slots to connect the leather to the paddles - surely this must appeal to many a sore-fingered pipemaker ?
Pistonless drone ends - no internal parts just external brass sleeves on modern sealing foam (not cork). Anyone who has picked up a drone end off the floor will see the benefit of that.
Parts, where possible, screw together avoiding the thread and wax parting issue, his keys are one piece CNC machined with concentric circular springs avoiding the leaf spring and rivet design.
Brian then demonstrated his PVC pipes and gave us a duet with Tim. He has kindly donated some of the keyless sets to the Cleveland branch for starters.
We thank our Cleveland branch for comming to lead and play in the session and to Brian for demonstrating his pipes to us.
NPS Annual Competitions 19th October
Some results and pictures can be seen here
NPS Annual Concert 2013 at St Mary's Church
Gateshead Council Heritage Centre.
An enjoyable varied evening was had by all with all seats filled ! This was set in the interesting surroundings of St Mary's church, a great venue. St Mary's is beautiful historical church building on the Gateshead side of the Tyne Bridge, right next to the Sage Gateshead .see here for more details
(Event photos by kind permission of "Gracie Grey" from her piping Facebook group).
Ednie, our host and fellow committee member, who together with NPS Chairman Andrew acted as Masters of Ceremony for the evening.
The evening started with a number of tunes played by the younger generation of the Lawrenson Family, all of them skilled pipers, this ended with some tunes from north of the border - they are Scots after all -very fitting.
Matt Dean and Fiana Ni Chonaill world class flute and harp players added a bit of non-pipe music to the evening (we never knew the harp was so complex to play and tune).
Chris Ormston then played a small number of tunes on his Border pipes, before entertaining with his own smallpipe compositions and other tunes including his 'Fathers and Sons' in memory of the Hartley Pit disaster.
We were then treated to 'around the world in a hand full of tunes' to quote Andrew, by the expert pipes and fiddle skills of the Andy and Margaret Watchhorn. Then followed a Swedish set using Swedish bagpipes as shown (switchable drones while playing and a single-sided chanter reed) with Margaret playing the complex Nyckelharpa - certainly something you don't see every day in the UK.
Chris Ormston joined them for a final few tunes, finishing the evening nicely.
NPS would like to thank all the hosts, organisers and the performers, all of whom made this a very successful well attended event, thanks to their hard work and effort.
Northumbrian Pipers at the Alwinton Show where they supported the Fell Search and Rescue Services.
Windy Gyle Band goes down a storm in Whitby
Northumbrian Pipe Group Windy Gyle performed to packed Audiences at the Whitby Folk Festival 2013
Alice Burn giving impressive solos to the crowd. Report from Anthony can be found here.
Piping Legacy to Newcastle University Officer Training Corps
As part of a legacy from the late Viscount Ridley, a set of Northumbrian pipes was commissioned and delivered from Philip Gruar - pipemaker, to the Newcastle University Officers Training Corps for use in formal events. More information can be found here
Pipers' Day and AGM 2013
Friday 2nd August NPS AGM 2013
The Society held its 2013 AGM in the Chantry Morpeth presided over by Rt Hon Baroness Joyce Quin of Gateshead. The NPS Committee elections, accounts as a charity, and all agenda items discussed and approved. Thanks were given to all retiring members for their assistance over many years of service. This was of course followed by a traditional Chantry play around and tea.
Saturday 3rd August
Pipers Day Newbiggin on Sea
Tuition and help was provided at the Sailing Club venue with positive comments received for a very full day - thanks to those who organised it.
Sunday 4th August 2013
Annual Northumbrian Pipers' Gathering at Wallington Hall
Over 50 Pipers attended the Pipers' Gathering at Wallington Hall, which this year took place in the Courtyard, some pipers travelling from some distance. The weather was kind to us so the cover of the house was not needed this year. Visitors seemed impressed by the sound and tunes of the pipes in truly Northumbrian setting, and applauded at every pause. What better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon?
Society Financial Accounts and Statements for year ending 2013 released
Please see here