The Oban Times, 10 February 1923
Edinburgh Piping Competitions
In the “Oban Times” of December 22 there appeared a brief report of a piping competition held in Edinburgh by the Piobaireachd Society. The competition was of unusual interest since it is the first piobaireachd competition organized for amateurs by the Piobaireachd Society. It is to be hoped that the competition may now be an annual one, for it is an indisputable fact that genuine amateur piping competitions are too few and far between.
It is understood that the competition was held largely owing to the efforts of Mr. Somerled MacDonald and Mr. Seton Gordon. Each player was requested to hand in a list of three piobaireachdan to the judges (Pipe-Major Wm. Ross, Pipe-Major Geo. McLennan, and Pipe- Major John MacDonald, Inverness), and some of the playing was quite good, though each player had a certain amount of trouble with his pipes, due perhaps to the dry atmosphere of the hall.
It is probable that under more favourable conditions the playing could be considerably improved on a future occasion. One of the best of the competitors, Mr. Somerled MacDonald, had an unfortunate breakdown just when he was apparently well set for his tune, “The Groat.” Amongst the tunes played were “The Lament for Mary MacLeod,” “Glengarry’s Lament,” “The Lament for the Castle of Duneveg,” and “The Groat.”
That the competition was a popular one amongst pipers was shown by the well-known players who were present. Amongst them were Lieut. I. McLennan of the Edinburgh Police (father of Pipe-Major George McLennan, Pipe-Major Reid (the most successful piobaireachd player last season at Oban and Inverness), Pipe-Major Duff, Capt. C.M. Usher (Gordon Highlanders), and many others.
After the close of the competition the judges were good enough to play a selection of their favourite airs, to the great enjoyment of the onlookers and amateur competitors alike.