Volume IX Number 3 - March, 2002


Didn't make it to the Boat - again (why is that every year I don't make it?)! But Black Part did and took third in the Kitchenpiping with his Mariachis! Steve Megarity, the winner, called 'Parto Nuevo y los Compadres de Scotia' the "funniest thing he''d ever seen...." Colin Armstrong was second. There was some serious mixup regarding sets resulting in LAPD's disqualification. Kudos to Scott MacDonald for sticking to the rules! He gets ouR February 2002 'Skull and Crossed Drones Award.'

On a depressing note, the Modesto Games organisers have decided to NOT have competition this year, which leaves Gary Speed's KP extravaganza out in the cold. Let's hope he finds a venue for this summer. ALSO the Balmoral School has decamped from Oakland and will be at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park this June 16-21; instructors will be John Wilson, Jack Lee, Jimmy MacColl, and George Balderose.



It should be drawn to everyone's attention, particularly the other professional pipers, that there will be a professional Hornpipe & Jig Contest at Sacramento. This contest has been sponsored by Cuillinn Craft, and the House of Bagpipes, as well as from an unnamed source. My personal thanks to Mr. Lynn Miller, and Mr. Iain Sherwood for their sponsorship and support of this contest.  Every piper within the WUSPBA should keep in mind that these two fine gentlemen should receive some consideration when it comes time to purchase additional piping supplies. It should also be drawn to everyone's attention that there has been a professional Piobaireachd Contest scheduled at the Costa Mesa gathering and games. Last year's contest was cancelled due to not enough entries.  So come on all you Pro-Pipers, get those entries in!  It has been some time since we've heard Mr. Whitelaw, who always delivers a superb tune. And lets hear a tune from Jeff Hendersen, Ken Sutherland, Nigel Forrest, Forrest Decker, Aaron Shaw, and Glen Thompson; all great Piobaireachd players as well. As for myself; I'll perform, God willing and my reeds stay dry!

Alas, Monterey has cancelled all professional piping events this year. This contest has long been well attended and enjoyed by many.  A true pity to see it fall away in favor of hiring "gimmick groups" rather than fostering true Highland arts. But if it's "gimmicks" you want, why not have a Kitchen Piping Contest? These are always a great crowd pleaser, and also enjoyed by the performers. Then you would at least be sponsoring an emerging Highland art form.  I have a few more "gimmicks" to spring at these contests in the future. And no there is no truth to the rummor that even with Cirque De Soleil next to the Queen Mary next year that Ol' Black Part will appear playing his pipes suspended from a rope! You'll all have to figure out some other way to hang me!!  Black Part !!!!!

(Black Part will be heading to Scotland for the Piobaireachd Society AGM this weekend; we look forward to his report from Bridge of Allan next month - Ed.)