The Bruce 700 – A new large scale composition by Allan MacDonald

Don’t miss the premier performance of Allan MacDonald’s large scale composition, “The Bruce 700” at the Albert Halls, Stirling on Thursday June 26.

The composition, which has been commissioned by Stirling Council and is funded by Creative Scotland and Stirling Council, follows MacDonald’s acclaimed tribute to William Wallace whose performance at the Tolbooth in 2005 marked the 700th anniversary of Wallace’s death. Its cast features leading Scottish musicians … fiddler Aidan O’Rourke, of the group Lau, fiddler Lori Watson, Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes, Scots singer Rod Paterson, saxophonists Dick Lee and Fraser Fifield, cellists Neil Johnstone and Christine Hanson, fiddler Innes Watson and bassist Duncan Lyall both of the Treacherous Orchestra, harpist Mary Macmaster and percussionists Don Hay and Allan MacDonald Jnr, alongside MacDonald’s brothers, Angus (pipes) and Iain (flute).

Local musicians, piper Craig Muirhead, from Bannockburn, who studied with MacDonald at the National Piping Centre, and fiddler Siobhan Anderson will feature, as will Stirling and District Schools’ Pipe Band led by Chris Gibb and the Tolbooth’s trad group, which meets weekly as part of the venue’s ongoing education work. The ensemble will be conducted by cellist Neil Johstone, who has arranged and orchestrated the new work.

MacDonald, who won a Herald Angel for his pibroch series of concerts at Edinburgh International Festival in 2004, has performed at every major piping event in the world and is in constant demand internationally as a composer, musical director, piper, singer, workshop leader, and lecturer on Gaelic music. His music for Bruce 700 is composed for pipes, strings, brass and percussion and reflects the elements and emotions of the battle and its history. It incorporates themes from the time, most relevantly Scots Wha Hae, with Robert Burns’s lyrics imagining Robert the Bruce’s stirring address to his army before the battle.

Tickets for the concert are available from The Albert Halls on 01786 473544 or at


Click to download flyer


Full list of performers:

Allan MacDonald – pipes, vocals, Dr Angus MacDonald – pipes

Iain MacDonald – whistle, Neil Johnstone – conductor, cello

Christine Hanson – cello, Craig Muirhead – pipes, Chris Gibb – pipes

Aidan O’Rourke – fiddle, Lori Watson – fiddle, Innes Watson – fiddle

Siobhan Anderson – fiddle, Fraser Fifield – sax, Dick Lee – sax

Griogair Labhraidh – pipes, vocals, Kathleen MacInnes – vocals

Rod Paterson – vocals, Mary Macmaster – Harp, Duncan Lyall – Double bass

Donald Hay – percussion, Allan MacDonald jnr – percussion

Davy Ross – drums, Thomas Zoller – pipes, Masaki Kato – pipes


Tolbooth Trad Band:

Eilidh Allen, Katy Allen, Neil Sutcliffe, Thomas Bradley, Ossian Green – fiddle

John Ferrie – cello, Lewis Walker – percussion


Stirling & District Schools Pipe Band with James Henderson – pipes

Led by Chris Gibb (pipes) and Davie Ross (drums)

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