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.

Bobby Allen

Bobby Allen

I would like to provide you with some feedback on the year 2020 and how the award from ‘The Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust’, has helped me and made a difference in advancing my piping career.

The year 2020 was not what I was hoping for in piping. I think everyone’s plans became scuppered. Although, my year still managed to be eventful and successful, it was different from the last few years, and I had to become much more adaptable. For example, with Zoom lessons and online piping competitions. Furthermore, I was fortunate enough to become ‘The under 18 yrs, overall champion’ in the annual ‘Shotts Piping Competition‘ and the ‘South West Scotland‘ annual piping competition. I also played some choices of my own compositions in these competitions which I wrote in 2020. In addition to this I have had four of my tunes published in a special feature as ‘Piper of the Moment’ by ‘Modern Piping Magazine’ Lincoln Hilton.

I also had the opportunity to play my pipes for my local community, old folks homes, raising funds for charity and for the NHS at appropriate times.

Finally, with all my efforts, study and support from, ‘The Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust’ I have been offered a place on the four years honours course in bagpipes at the ‘Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’ in Glasgow 2021.

Yours with great thanks,
Bobby Allen

Submitted by:Bobby Allen
Year of Award:2020

Vale of Atholl Pipers Association

The Vale has been the recipient of numerous Grants from the GDMT for which which we are extremely grateful. What makes it even more special is the great link between the Vale and Gordon. We had the great privilege of playing with him as he evolved as a World Class Piper, and playing in our ranks on many great occasions.

The latest Funding grant was used to buy Digital Chanters to allow us to continue to teach on line and within the Covid Restrictions.

We appreciate the great support.

Year of Award:2020

Buchan Pipe Band

Buchan Pipe Band celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. To commemorate the occasion, and as part of its vision for the future, the band started a development band. Providing education in all aspects of pipe band musicianship and the potential for progression to the highest levels, the band draws players, young and old, from throughout the NE and Moray.

The committee are grateful to the Gordon Duncan Memorial trust for the awarding of a grant in February 2020 to assist with early funding. The award was used to provide individually tailored learning materials and tuition for each discipline.

We would be pleased to provide more information on a return to group practice.

Submitted by:Bill Grant
Year of Award:2020

Dundee City Pipe Band

I am delighted to be sharing a good news story about Dundee City Pipe Band which was featured in todays Courier about Dundee City Pipe Band


We got a wee mention in the Glasgow Herald yesterday, following the presentation of the award on Sunday in Kilmarnock at the Scottish Schools Pipes & Drums Trust Competition of the Eilidh Macleod Endeavour Award.

Attached images are of the band, and a very special young lady Shelby Smith along with Pipe Major Bryson and her Dad Scott who is mentioned in the press release and who nominated the band for the award.

During our acceptance speech, we were privileged to acknowledge the funding support received from the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust and we would like to thank you again for your continued support which has had such a positive impact on the band.

Submitted by:Lorna Strachan
Year of Award:2019

PM Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition

This competition was first held in Stornoway In April 1994. It was organised by the Lewis and Harris Piping Society to commemorate the life and work of one of the 20th century’s most famous pipers. Donald MacLeod was born in Stornoway in 1916 and died in Glasgow in 1982 aged 66. He spent a large part of his life in the Army, and his escapades in the Second World War are well documented in Military History.

He was a world class player, and won all the top awards, some many times over, including eight clasps to the Gold Medal for Piobaireachd at the Northern Meetings in Inverness. He was an expert and highly respected teacher, and his services as a tutor were much in demand all over the world. But it was as a composer that Donald MacLeod created his own legacy. His compositions cover the whole range of pipe music, and show a remarkable inventiveness and originality. Wherever pipes are played in the world, Donald MacLeod tunes will be heard.

For the initial competition in 1994 , the committee of the LHPS decided to invite eight of the best pipers of the day to Stornoway , and play a selection of MacLeod’s tunes, and some of their own choice, in front of an expert bench. The competition was so successful that it became an annual event, and nearly three decades on is now a highly regarded prestigious event in the piping calendar in Scotland.

The committee have been fortunate in attracting sponsorship from a variety of organisations, and private individuals, over the years, to enable them to continue to hold the competition in Donald MacLeod’s home town of Stornoway, where it should be held.

Since 2012 the Gordon Duncan Trust have made a very significant annual donation to the funds for the Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition, and the committee are deeply appreciative of the Trust’s support.

The next competition will be held in The Caladh Hotel Stornoway on Friday 3rd April 2020, and we look forward to welcoming Ian and Chris Duncan once again.

The 2019 winners
The 2019 winner, Finlay Johnson and the runner up, Stuart Liddell at the Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition, held in Stornoway, run by the Lewis & Harris Piping Society
Submitted by:Dr John Smith, Chairman , Lewis and Harris Piping Society.
Year of Award:2019