History of the Lochaber Gathering


It was during the second  battle of Inverlochy in 1645 that warriors of both sides were roused  and sustained by the martial strains of the piob mhor.  Doubtless the ancient anthems of Gaelic Lochaber, such as piobaireachd Dhomhaill Dhuibh, would have been used to full effect on that eventful morning.  Endowed with such a rich piping inheritance  it is only proper that we strive to echo this with an annual gathering of pipers.


It is unclear when the Lochaber Gathering originated, but its beginnings go back to the dawn of competion among pipers.  It is known however, that as far back as 1816, the event was recorded in the annals of the Highland Society of London.  What is safe to say that it has earned the esteem of pipers and ranked in piping lore as a premier event in its time.  John MacDonald stated in 1949 “At principal Highland Gatherings of Scotland, amongst them the Braemar Gathering, The Lochaber Gathering…”  The G.S. MacLennan  tune “Lochaber Gathering”  also testfies to that.  Our aim today is to restore and maintain the standards of those halcyon days and make it a pleasurable occasion for audience and competitors alike. We intend the Gathering to be a fitting celebration of the music of present pipers and of those who entertained previous generations with their compositions.