Competitors: 5 Things a Solo Piping Judge Wants to Say to You

June 27, 2014 on 7:49 pm by Michael Grey | In Solo Piping, Tips | No Comments

For those few in the world who trot their piping wares in earshot of a judge for prize-winning consideration, here are five (mostly) tongue-in-cheek things a solo piping judge is thinking as you come forward to play – and as you set off to perform (and remember – I’m broad-brushing to make points).
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Mary Aitken

June 16, 2014 on 6:21 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Random Thoughts, Video | No Comments

One of my favourite two-parted jigs is that named, “Mary Aitken”. It’s a tricky little finger challenge first published in 1936 in John Wilson’s outstanding first book of music. Written by Malcolm R MacPherson (son of “Mrs MacPherson of Inveran” and Angus), a piper more famous for his playing than his composing, the tune is named for a champion Highland dancer of the day: Mary Aitken of Aberdeen.
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Spring

May 4, 2014 on 6:07 pm by Michael Grey | In Delightful Data of the Day, Photographs, Random Thoughts | Comments Off

After the longest, coldest, most miserable winter I can ever remember I’m finding myself overcome with child-like awe at the slightest sight or sniff of green. Stop and smell the roses they say? The weakest hint of a sprouting dandelion has me weak at the knees and stopped in my tracks.
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Win a T-shirt [ooooooh]: Vintage Old School Pipe Band Photo

April 30, 2014 on 8:11 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Pipe Bands, Random Thoughts, Solo Piping, Stories | 5 Comments

Here’s a photo I just stumbled on. This photo was taken in Glasgow – by me – in a flat that I can assure you faced the infamous Rottenrow. Lots of well-kent, yet mostly fresh, young faces.
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A Spring Test for Summer Pipe Band Success

March 23, 2014 on 4:19 pm by Michael Grey | In Pipe Bands, Tips | Comments Off

From my experience there are three things that mark a band in the off-season; three things that are markers of excellence and predictors of a good season ahead. Three simple words usually tell the tale:
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What’s in a name?

March 9, 2014 on 6:08 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Random Thoughts, Stories, Whinges | 4 Comments

Me and my Grey kin – at least they with the gray Grey name – have spent our life times correcting people and playing the tut-tutting primary school teacher with government workers, call centre agents and any number of pizza and Chinese food delivery order-takers – and anyone else who tried to spell our name: “that’s Grey, with an ‘e’ we’ll say: G-r-e-y”.
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Memory: Smiling Alone in the Lamplight

February 28, 2014 on 8:41 pm by Michael Grey | In Delightful Data of the Day, Random Thoughts | Comments Off

At their kitchen table the other day, talking with my mum and dad, the subject of our earliest memories came up.
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The Australian Ladies

February 17, 2014 on 7:40 pm by Michael Grey | In Delightful Data of the Day, Photographs, Pipe Bands, Stories | Comments Off

Here’s a neat old picture: a postcard from 1926. Here we have “The Australian Ladies”. The inspiration for William Fergusson’s great pipe tune.
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Sheepskin Bagpipe Bags

January 31, 2014 on 8:35 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Pipe Bands, Random Thoughts | Comments Off

Firm under the arm.
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If a Car Stalls in the Forest …

December 29, 2013 on 7:35 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Random Thoughts | Comments Off

I took this odd photo this past week. I was a little startled [a word easier to write than say; does anyone say "startled" anymore?] to stumble on this while trudging in the woods not far from where I live.
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