Sponsorship & Award Feedback

The following feedback was received from those who received a sponsorship award from the Trust.  If you’re interested in sponsorship, please find out how to get funded.  Our sub-group carefully considers all submissions.

The Junior Pipe Major Donald MacLeod MBE Memorial Competition

All of the competitors with both Susan and Fiona Macleod.

The Junior Pipe Major Donald MacLeod MBE Memorial Competition was held at the Cala Inn, Stornoway, on Thursday 4th April. A fine day of piping by eight junior pipers all from the Western Isles. The Lewis & Harris Piping Society said ‘We are proud of the fantastic eight from today’s Junior Pipe Major Donald MacLeod MBE Memorial Competition 2024’.

The adjudicators for this competition were Ian Duncan and Iain MacCrimmond.

Here are the results:

Ceòl Mòr

  • 1st Eilidh MacDonald
  • 2nd Innes Begg
  • 3rd Seamus MacKay

March, Strathspey and Reel

  • 1st Seamus MacKay
  • 2nd Eilidh MacDonald
  • 3rd Michael MacLellan

Hornpipe & Jig

  • 1st Eilidh MacDonald
  • 2nd Innes Begg
  • 3rd Mìcheal MacLellan

Overall Winner of 2024 is Eilidh MacDonald.

Overall winner Eilidh MacDonald, pictured here with Susan MacLeod, one of Pipe Major Donald MacLeod MBE’s daughters, who presented the prizes.

Many thanks to our sponsors, McCallum Bagpipes Ltd, Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust and Woody’s Express Parcels.  Photos with thanks from SandiePhotos in Stornoway.

Year of Award:2024

Katie Robertson

Thanks to the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust, I have been able to continue tuition with Dan Nevans. Piping is my life and gets me through all the challenges I face on a daily basis. Dan’s guidance has been invaluable in my progression as a musician.

After I got the flu in December 2022, I was faced with more health problems than my preexisting complex chronic pain, arthritis and other chronic health conditions. Throughout 2023 I developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms that by September caused me to be unable to eat anything and be fed solely with a feeding tube. I spent 6 weeks in hospital unable to play the pipes or do much else, and just recently I spent another week after getting even worse again in December. My future has so many uncertainties and I’m reaching the bottom of the treatment barrel.

The one thing that has made me stay positive is my piping. Music is more than a hobby to me, it’s my best medicine. Although I haven’t been able to play the bagpipes as much as I would like and have taken breaks that have felt like eternities, I’ve been able to continue lessons online with Dan. Even if it’s just digital pipes or the practice chanter, as long as I continue to play I have one constant glimmer of hope in my life.

Improvement is so important for me. I may be limited in what I can do and that’s outwith my control, but I can manage to play and I will hone it to perfection – no matter how long that journey takes or what’s ahead of me. I have come on leaps and bounds since I started tuition with Dan, achieving infinitely more than I ever could have imagined. Some of my highlights include playing in the Usher Hall twice, once with the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and again with The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. I also will never forget the night I got to play with my inspirations Ross Ainslie and Tim Edey in Dunning, or when I recorded some Gordon Duncan tunes with Ross at Tpot Studio a few weeks later. In August I attended the legendary festival Piping Live!, playing in a range of styles from leading the Big Band to Pipe Idol and then a couple of sessions.

Gordon’s music is hugely influential in my piping. I’m so glad to be able to play his tunes and remember his legacy. I hope to write more of my own music in the near future too. Thank you so much GDMT for making this possible.

Submitted by:Katie Robertson
Year of Award:2023

Trail West – Live Act of the Year

Trail West

In 2023 the GDMT sponsored the “Live Act of the Year” at the 21st MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, and the worthy winners were Trail West. Trail West started as a four piece ceilidh band about ten years ago and have grown to become a formidable live band.

Year of Award:2023

Isle of Arran Music School

The Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust has been a huge part of the Arran Music School journey so far. Not only have there support financially been a huge benefit to the charity but so has the their advice. Their help was great for our first ever pipe band concert which we have organised this year where we received help from the Trust to run the concert.

Gordon Duncan has been a huge influence to the music school himself with a lot of our inspiration of tunes we play and set we pick are based off him and his legacy.

We thank everyone at the trust for their continued support at the music school.

Submitted by:Tam Barnes
Year of Award:2023

Hands Up for Trad 2023

A thank you for sponsorship of the Scots Trad Music Awards 2023.

Trad Awards

Year of Award:2023