Piping Legend Celebrated in Exciting New Musical Work by The Big Music Society

The music of the late great piper, Pipe Major Donald Macleod MBE, from the Isle of Lewis will be showcased during this year’s Blas Festival in Crossing the Minch; a project dreamt up by The Big Music Society, led by world class pipers Calum MacCrimmon (Breabach and Tryst) and John Mulhearn (Tryst). Crossing the Minch will commemorate the outstanding music of Donald Macleod, who was arguably the most influential piper and composer of the 20th century.

The two-night tour, which will visit An Lanntair in Stornoway on 7th September and Ullapool Village Hall on 8th September, will wow audiences with a unique showcase of Donald Macleod’s music featuring special guests including James Duncan Mackenzie (Breabach), Innes White (Assynt), Fiona MacAskill (Kinnaris Quintet) and the Glenfinnan Cèilidh Band. With a concert performance in the first half and a cèilidh dance in the second half, bringing your dancing shoes is highly recommended!

Calum MacCrimmon, The Big Music Society, commented: “Never before has one figure’s music been more resonant and influential on the Scottish traditional scene than that of Pipe Major Donald Macleod. It has been a real treat bringing together some of today’s leading players from Lewis, Skye and the Highlands to perform this legendary man’s back catalogue in one special show.”

Alix Aburn, the granddaughter of another 20th century piping legend, John Burgess MBE, and one of the Blas Festival’s Youth Ambassadors working with the festival to celebrate the Year of Young People 2018, said: “Although he died in 1982 young pipers and players of other instruments are very mindful of the legacy of Pipe Major Donald Macleod.  His tunes are still played regularly by young players and it is fitting that Blas will mark the great composer’s work in Crossing the Minch, the title of one of his best-loved tunes.”


7th September @ An Lanntair, Stornoway

8th September @ Ullapool Village Hall