The Oban Times, 14 May 1921
Pipe Major John Grant
The Highland Society of London’s medal was some little time ago awarded to Pipe Major John Grant, 24 Comely Bank Street, Edinburgh, for his work in the interests of piobaireachd, and his services to piping during the great war 1914-1918. The Highland Society of London gives a medal for piobaireachd playing every year at Oban and Inverness, but they have recently instituted a new medal as an award for objects, which from time to time they wish to foster, and Pipe Major Grant was the first to receive its special award.
Pipe Major Grant is author of “the Royal Collection of Piobaireachd,” “Piobaireachd; Its Origin and Construction,” and joint author of “The Pipes of War.” He is presently engaged on another work, “Tutor and book of instruction in piping,” primarily meant for those who have not the opportunity of personal instruction.
He was appointed an Instructor of Piping during the war for the Army. He received his early training under the late Pipe Major Ronald McKenzie, Seaforth Highlanders, and piper to his grace, the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, Gordon Castle, Lochabers, and can trace his tuition back to the great MacCrimmon school.
As a member of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Seaforth Highlanders Pipe Band Pipe Major Grant won the championship gold medal for piping, open to the band, with a membership of thirty-two pipers. He was piper to Captain Home Drummond Moray, of Abercairney, Crieff, for a period of three years.
For about twenty-five years Pipe Major Grant has devoted much time to the study of bagpipe music, and almost exclusively to piobaireachd, the classical music of the Highland bagpipe. As a composer of piobaireachd his efforts have been crowned with success, in that his first composition was accepted by his late Majesty King Edward VII, and another “Royal Salute” has been accepted by His Most Excellent Majesty King George V. He is also the composer of “The Piobaireachd Society Salute,” which is a most beautiful tune.
“Piobaireachd: Its Origin and Construction,” is a valuable work, which deals extensively with the art of piobaireachd, and piping in general. It has been much appreciated by pipers all over the world:–India, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Egypt, America, France, Belgium, and even the far away Fiji Islands. This work has been accepted by His Majesty the King, the War Office, the Royal School of Music, Knellar Hall, Twickenham, and many others.
Pipe Major Grant is an efficient and successful Instructor of Piping, and conducts “The War Memorial School of Piping,” in which many young boys are taught piping, in theory and practice, free of charge, under the patronage of Mr. W.G, Burn Murdoch, J.S., Arthur Lodge, Edinburgh. Each boy is taught to understand thoroughly, piping, in all its stages, and after a period of instruction, is examined by examiners, and it qualified receives a certificate of efficiency.
The certificates are specially drawn by Mr. W. G. Burn Murdoch in Celtic art design, and being the first certificates ever presented to young pipers, they are very much appreciated by the recipients.
The manner of instruction is here based on a scientific and fixed system, and out of the numerous pupils taught by Pipe Major Grant, he has got now a full band of twelve young pipers, all of his own tuition.