The WMC (Willie McCallum) Bannatyne pipe bag is, without question, the best pipe bag I have played since departing from sheepskin 30 years ago. The thickness of the hide/synthetic material gives a great feel under the arm, very reminiscent of a good sheepskin bag. The shape of the bag allows for a great deal of forearm freedom. A great deal of thought has gone into the shape and design of this bag. I have found it to be extremely efficient and easy to maintain a constant pitch while playing. The moisture system has a unique addition….what they call an “Air Pressure Control” mechanism/piece of material. Initially, I was suspicious of its claim. I tried it without this material and then tried it with the material….INSTANT SUCCESS!
I’m not sure of the physics associated with its use, but it truly works. The canister system and the gel beads which it uses allow for a much longer playing time between drying. So, all in all, the many concerns we all have in finding the “ultimate” pipe bag seem to have been addressed in the WMC Bannatyne pipe bag.
Bob Worrall is one of North America’s leading teachers, adjudicators and performers. Prior to retiring from competitive piping in 1983, Bob won the North American Professional Championship an unprecedented seven times, and held the Ontario Championship Supreme title for 12 of his 13 years in professional competition. In 1977, he was winner of both the March and the Strathspey/Reel events at the Northern Meeting in Inverness, Scotland.
Bob is highly sought after as a teacher, both for bagpipe workshops and private tuition, and he presents recitals throughout North America and elsewhere. All of this has taken him, in recent years, to 35 states in the U.S., coast to coast in Canada, to Uruguay, Brittany, South Africa and Scotland.
Bob has judged at the the World Pipe Band Championships on more than a dozen occasions, and in 2006, he became the colour commentator for BBC’s televised coverage of the Worlds. He now regularly judges top events in the UK including the Argyllshire Gathering, Glenfiddich Championship and Bratach Gorm.
Bob’s compositions appear in several contemporary piping collections. He has published The International Collection of Highland Bagpipe Music, Books 1 and 2. Publication of a third book is planned. He has recorded “The Classical Bagpipe”, was included on the Lismor recording, “An Evening of Champions”, and is featured, along with Willie McCallum, in Volume 1 of The Piping Centre’s 1997 recording series.
After touring with the stage band for the dance production “Immrama”, he has been performing with the group “Scantily Plaid”. This venture has helped highlight his skills, not only as a Highland piper, but also as a performer on the Scottish small pipes and reel pipes. The group released its title album in 2001, and has performed in South America, France, Scotland, Canada and the U.S. in recent years.
Back in Ontario, Bob has chaired the Music Board for the Pipers’ and Pipe Band Society of Ontario and coordinates the annual George Sherriff Memorial Invitational Competition, which showcases North America’s top amateur pipers.