In 2013 Neil and Allan MacDonald were commissioned by Stirling Council to write a new work to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. The project was jointly funded by Creative Scotland & Stirling Council

The resulting work, entitle The Bruce 700, was premiered in June 2014 and recieved a second performance at the world renowned Celtic Connections festival in January 2015.

The piece is scored for vocals, highland pipes, small pipes, whistle, saxophones, string orchestra, harp & percussion along with massed pipes & drums and gaelic choir.

Some of Scotlands finest musicians took part in the 2 performances including gaelic singers Kathleen MacInnes, Griogair Labhruidh, Scots singer Rod Paterson, all 3 MacDonald Brothers from Glenuig - Allan, Iain & Dr. Angus, Craig Muirhead, Angus MacKenzie & Chris Gibb on pipes, Masaki Kato & Thomas Zöller on small pipes, Mary MacMaster on harp, Dick Lee & Fraser Fifield on Saxophones and a string orchestra including Lori Watson, Innes Watson, Aidan O'Rourke, Patsy Reid, Lauren McCall and /duncan Lyall amongst others. The ensemble was conducted and directed from the cello by Neil Johnstone.

Stirling & District Schools pipe band were led by Chris Gibb & Davie Ross and the resulting recording was completed with additional vocals provided by a massed gaelic choir from the Isle of Lewis.

In April 2016 the project was successful in receiving funding from Creative Scotland, along with other funders, to enable a performance and CD launch in Hofheim, near Frankfurt, Germany.  

"the composed work of Allan MacDonald and Neil Johnstone rings with affection, honour and a love for story telling through the medium of music." - Ian D Hall, Liverpool Sound & Vision.

"an ambitious, stirring work, involving pipe band, fiddle ensemble, singers, percussionists and a core of traditional, jazz and classical musicians, and one that MacDonald and his co-composer, arranger and orchestrator, cellist Neil Johnstone marshal with considerable narrative skill"  - Rob Adams, The Herald.

 
Allan MacDonald

Allan MacDonald

Neil Johnstone

Neil Johnstone

Kathleen MacInnes

Kathleen MacInnes

Griogar Labhruidh

Griogar Labhruidh

Rod Paterson

Rod Paterson

Iain MacDonald

Iain MacDonald

Mary MacMaster

Mary MacMaster

Solo Pipers

Solo Pipers

Dick Lee

Dick Lee

Donald Hay

Donald Hay

Thomas Zöller & Chris Gibb

Thomas Zöller & Chris Gibb

Kathleen, Allan & Thomas

Kathleen, Allan & Thomas

Kathleen & Allan

Kathleen & Allan

Kathleen, Rod, Griogair & Allan

Kathleen, Rod, Griogair & Allan

Full ensemble

Full ensemble

The Bruce 700

The Bruce 700

Allan MacDonald

Allan MacDonald

Neil Johnstone

Neil Johnstone

Kathleen MacInnes

Kathleen MacInnes

Griogar Labhruidh

Griogar Labhruidh

Rod Paterson

Rod Paterson

Iain MacDonald

Iain MacDonald

Mary MacMaster

Mary MacMaster

Solo Pipers

Solo Pipers

Dick Lee

Dick Lee

Donald Hay

Donald Hay

Thomas Zöller & Chris Gibb

Thomas Zöller & Chris Gibb

Kathleen, Allan & Thomas

Kathleen, Allan & Thomas

Kathleen & Allan

Kathleen & Allan

Kathleen, Rod, Griogair & Allan

Kathleen, Rod, Griogair & Allan

Full ensemble

Full ensemble

The Bruce 700

The Bruce 700

photos © Sean Purser

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Willowcroft

52 Balallan

Isle of Lewis

HS2 9PT

willowcroft52@btinternet.com

Phone: 01851 830796

Mobile: 07867 720445

© 2016 by Willowcroft Music.

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