Since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society has engaged a number of our top pipers to record a short series of concerts at home. These recordings, either audio or video, will be available here for free, and showcase some of the best in Northumbrian piping from the comfort of each piper’s home.
The first series features three of our top long-standing pipers: Adrian Schofield, Chris Ormston and Dave Shaw.
Episode Three: Chris Ormston
The final episode in our first series of concerts from home features the incredible talent of Tyneside piper and composer Chris Ormston.
Chris has been a musician from an early age. He was given his first set of pipes on his 15th birthday and nine months later won the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society Junior Class. Within three years he had won every Open competition in the county.
Early in his piping career he acquired a taste for the classic repertoire of the pipes with its associated ‘detached’ fingering style and he has continued to hone his understanding of that approach ever since. In particular, he has held an interest in the music of the Clough Family of Newsham, who were at the forefront of the piping scene for 200 years from the late 18th Century.
Episode Two: Dave Shaw
The second in our series of ‘at home’ concerts comes from a highly respected player and maker of small pipes.
Dave’s interest in the pipes began in the late 1970s when he swapped a concertina for a derelict old set, which he set about restoring using what was to hand. He was a member of seminal folk band Red Shift, replacing original piper Paul Roberts, alongside Pete Coe, John Adams and George Faux.
Dave’s pipes have a characteristic full, reedy tone – ideal for session playing.
Episode One: Adrian Schofield
The first in our series of ‘at home’ concerts is an audio only recording and comes from a stalwart of the Northumbrian piping world since the 1980s.
Adrian has performed on stage, radio and television in the United Kingdom and abroad, either solo or with Pauline Cato and the late Colin Ross. He has played at many festivals, including the prestigious Lorient Folk Festival in Brittany. In 1991 he released one of the greatest albums of solo Northumbrian piping ever, ‘Jane of Biddlestone’ He is an honorary member of the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society and was researcher for the ‘The Border Minstrel’, a book on the life and music of Billy Pigg.
Tunes: 1. John Anderson my jo/Skye Crofters/The Swallow’s Tail 2. Hexham Races/The Howlet and the Weasel 3. Keening in the Wind/Unknown/Unknown 4. Anne Winstanley’s Lament (ADS) 5. The Old Drove Road/Roxburgh Castle 6. Dargai 7. Joe Hutton’s March/The Foxglove