Piping society’s delight as ease of restrictions finally allow recital

Pipe Major Roddy Macleod MBE. NO F23 Roddy Macleod
Pipe Major Roddy Macleod MBE. NO F23 Roddy Macleod

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A long-awaited piping recital by Pipe Major Roddy Macleod MBE, planned by Lewis and Harris Piping Society in conjunction with Kinloch Historical Society, will go ahead on Friday June 24 in the community hub in Balallan.

The society said it was delighted to announce the new date for the recital, originally planned for 2020 but postponed twice due to Covid.

A new book of pipe tunes composed by the late Pipe Major Alex Maciver of Laxay will be launched at the event. PM Macleod has reviewed the book in advance of the joint recital and launch, where it will be on sale.

As well as featuring PM Maciver’s tunes, the book features personal stories of the impact he had.

Society chairman Dr John Smith said: ‘We are delighted the world is getting back to some semblance of normality and this recital can finally go ahead. It is entirely appropriate for it to be held in Balallan as both Roddy Macleod and Alex Maciver have strong Lochs connections.

‘Alex Maciver was a seminal influence on young pipers in Glasgow 50 years ago, where he served as pipe major of the 214 Boys Brigade and taught many youngsters to play the pipes, some of whom subsequently achieved considerable fame.

‘We are delighted that his compositions, many of which reflect his connections with the island in their titles, have been put together in a book published by Kinloch Historical Society.

‘The quality of the tunes is emphasised in Roddy Macleod’s review of the book and there is no-one better to play a selection of these tunes than Roddy Macleod himself, one of the best pipers in the world.’

Reviewing The Pipe Tunes of Pipe Major Alex M Maciver, PM Roddy Macleod said: ‘It is a pleasure for me to write this review of the pipe music collection of Pipe Major Alex Maciver.

The late PM Alex MacIver. NO F47 Alex MacIver
The late PM Alex MacIver.
NO F47 Alex MacIver

‘He was a man I had a great respect for. I was privileged to get to know him quite well when I became a Glasgow Lewis and Harris Association piper in the early 1980s, an organisation which Alex became Honorary President of in 1989.

‘Inevitably Alex’s pipe music is strongly influenced by his Hebridean background and unsurprisingly many of the tune titles in the book reflect his love of the place and its landscape.

‘Alex’s skill as a composer is demonstrated by the fact that the 32 tunes in this collection cover every category of Ceol Beag. Starting with the Slow Airs, Achmore Loch is the standout for me with the beautiful melody doing justice to the place.

‘I am so pleased to see this collection published and believe it will be enjoyed by pipers from all parts of the globe who will now have the opportunity to discover Alex’s music.

‘I have enjoyed learning several of these tunes which I didn’t previously know and will be including them in my repertoire.’


Pipe Major Roddy Macleod MBE.

NO F23 Roddy Macleod


Extra pic:

The late Pipe Major Alex Maciver.

NO F37 Alex MacIver