|Composer's Corner I Cameron McPherson Bell|
Place of Residence: Tuross Head, New South Wales, Australia.
Primary Instrument played: 1910 Silver and Ivory Lawries
Type of Bagpipes own and use: Full Silver Dunbar's, Full Silver Dunfions, 1948 Starcks, John Walsh Shuttle Pipes, Bellows Smallpipes in A by Mr Bill Hart, Sydney, Australia.
Hobbies: I play Electric Guitar, Tin Whistle, I like Fishing, Boating, Malt Whisky, Teaching Bagpipes, Assisting lower grade Bands to improve themselves, Studying Piobaireachd and composing Pipe Tunes.
Bio: After leaving school in 1976 I joined the New South Wales Police Force and served as a Police Officer for 23 years prior to my medical discharge in January 2000, after sustaining a serious back injury whilst on duty, this was owing to a Motor Vehicle Collision and I have had to undergo two operations on my back as a result of the collision. I had been with the Police Dog Unit for 7 years prior to being medically discharged.
I studied piping under J A (Sandy) Young, ex Scots Guards after early tuition from my father and mother. I was also a competent Highland Dancer. I joined the New South Wales Police Pipe Band in 1980, promoted to Pipe Corporal in 1984 then Pipe Major in 1988. A position I held until 1993-94. I then joined the 2/17th Battalion Royal New South Wales Regiment as a guest player. In 1998 I joined the City of Bankstown R & SL Community Club Pipes and Drums and during my time with this Band we won 2 Australian Pipe Band Championships in 3 years. After moving away from Sydney in 2002 I re-located to the far south coast of New South Wales. and due to the long distance from Sydney, I then resigned from this Band and have now joined the Burns Club Pipe Band, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. (Grade 2).
Since my medical retirement from the New South Wales Police I now own a small business named Professional Bagpipe Services that sell Bagpipes, Accessories,etc. I have composed many Pipe tunes over the years and a book is in progress at the present time. My tunes are starting to gather interest and a reel that I composed for The Scottish Power Pipe Band was published in the Piping Centre's quarterly magazine and was also included in Scottish Power's repertiore at the Lorient Interceltic Festival in 2001, something that I am extremely proud of.
July 2005 - I now back playing as a guest player with the New South Wales Police Pipe Band
Occupation: Retired Police Officer and Owner of Professional Bagpipe Services.
Tartan: MacMillan - Muted.
Ripples in the Stone
- Jig 25th July
It was composed this year after I played at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo held in Sydney, Australia (February 05) with the New South Wales Police Pipe Band. During the rehearsals there were alot of strong winds blowing and the replica Edinburgh Castle that was built had some parts covered in canvas and painted to look like the original stone of Edinburgh Castle. The strong winds made it look like there were "Ripples in the Stone" so I decided to compose this jig.
At Rothesay With Strathclyde Police - Jig 25th July
This is the most recent tune I have composed. In August 2002 whilst in Scotland for the Worlds, I ended up speaking with P/M James Wark of Strathclyde Police where he invited me and arranged for me to travel with the Band by bus to the Highland Games at Rothesay where the Band was competing.that day.
This was a great trip, weather was warm and sunny, and the Band won that day. Great bunch of guys. After I arrived home I composed this tune and didn't have a name for it, so I was corresponding with Jim Wark and he was the one that came up with the name of the tune. So here it is!
Angus J. MacLellan-Double Gold Medalist - March
The 1st tune was composed for Angus J MacLellan. I was introduced to Angus by my good friend Mr Henry Murdo, Dunfion Bagpipes. I previously had conversations with Angus over the phone and also corresponding by email and then when I was in Scotland 2002 for the World Championships Angus was kind enough to invite me over to his house where I undertook lessons in Piobaireachd from him, so this tune was composed for him for going out of his way to make me welcome whilst I was there.
Keer's n' Beers - Jig
Here is a jig I composed for a good friend of mine Andrew Keers of Sydney, Australia, who is Pipe Corporal with the City of Bankstown R & SL Community Club Pipes and Drums (Grade 2 Australian Champions) ( my previous Band). The reason of this title was because Andrew has a very keen taste for an Aussie Beer called VB- Victorian Bitter and consumes large quantities of it.
Simon Fraser University Pipe Band's Welcome to Australia - March
This was composed for P/M Terry Lee and the members of the SFU Pipe Band, Canada during their tour of Australia in 2001 when they performed their historic first ever Pipe Band Concert at the Sydney Opera House and also won the Australian Championships that year.
I framed this tune and presented it to P/M Terry Lee and P/Sgt Jack Lee after their fabulous concert in the Sydney Opera House.
Scottish Power Pipe Band - Reel
During my trip to Scotland in August 2000 , Gordon Walker kindly arranged for me to attend a Scottish Power practice and introduced me to P/M Roddy MacLeod and the Band. It was a great night that I thoroughly enjoyed and they looked after me extremely well. When I returned home to Australia I decided to compose this reel to say "Thank You" to the Band.
This tune was published in the Piping Centre's "Notes" magazine and it was also included in Scottish Power's repertoire for the Lorient Interceltic Festival in 2001 which I am extremely proud of.
Dunfion - March
This one was composed for my good friends Henry, Irene and Keir Murdo. Henry is the owner and mastercraftsman for Dunfion Bagpipes, Isle of Arran, Scotland. I first met Henry and his family in 2000 on Arran and my first impression was that Henry is an absolute gentleman and makes a beautiful crafted and sounding bagpipe. So I presented Henry with this tune to acknowledge his fine work crafting bagpipes.
Celtworks - Hornpipe
Here is a hornpipe I composed when Michael Grey was with the shop Celtworks in Canada.
I had many dealings with Michael and Celtworks so I decided to compose this hornpipe.
Silverworks - March
This tune, "Silverworks" was composed for my friend David Marshall of David Marshall Silverworks, Ontario Canada. David is a fine craftsman and makes truly beautiful mounts for Bagpipes, so I thought he deserved to have a tune composed in his honour.
Tara's Lullaby - Slow Air
This tune was composed for my beautiful goddaughter, Tara Grace Yeo. I first played this tune at her christening.
All Barred Up - Hornpipe
This tune came about after the Band I was a member of in 2000, (The City of Bankstown R & SL Community Club Pipes & Drums) won the Australian Championships by a record margin of 22 points. I will leave the interpretation of the name of the tune entirely up to whoever reads it.
Sydney Harbour - March
I came across this 2/4 march in an old manuscript that was given to me many years ago. The music is all handwritten in ink and is very hard to see due the fading of the ink in parts.This tune was composed by Farquar Ewen Finlayson with the date shown as 6/4/1914. I have recently found out that Farquar Finlayson was regarding as THE master piper here in Australia back then He was also the composer of another tune named Leaving Lochalsh. which I have seen published before. I have re-written this tune after studying the manuscript and have tried to keep it in its most original form.