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Updated 04/26/2013

 


Dunblane
Charlie Glendinning
 

Dunblane (Gaelic: Dn Bhlthain) is a small town north of Stirling in the Stirling council area in Scotland.  Its main landmark is Dunblane Cathedral.  Dunblane Cathedral is the larger of the two Church of Scotland parish churches serving the small town of Dunblane.  It contains the graves of Margaret Drummond, a mistress of King James IV of Scotland and her two sisters.

The name Dunblane means 'fort of Blane'. This early saint (Old Irish Bln) flourished probably in the late 6th century. His main seat was Kingarth on the Isle of Bute. He or his followers may have founded a church at Dunblane, or the cult of Bln may have come there with settlers from what is now Argyll in later centuries. The earliest evidence for Christianity on the site are two cross-slabs of the 10th to 11th centuries preserved in the cathedral. Incorporated into the later medieval building, but originally free-standing, is an 11th-century bell-tower, whose height was increased in the 15th century. The nave and aisleless choir are 13th century. Dunblane did not have a rich or extensive medieval diocese (37 parishes), and the cathedral is relatively modest in scale, but its refined architecture is much admired, as is its setting overlooking the valley of the River Allan. After the Reformation, the nave was abandoned and soon became roofless and used for burials.

Charlie Glendinning wrote this stunningly beautiful tune after 16 children and their teacher were slain by a gunman on March 13, 1996, in Dunblane, Scotland. Reflecting on his composition, Glendinning said, "The tragedy was like an icy blast of winter returning to kill every flowering bud of spring."

Charlie Glendinning started on the piano at three and switched a few years later to the violin which he studied seriously through high school. He played with the American Light Opera Company, The Annapolis Symphony, and as a high school senior, won the National School Orchestra Award. At that time, he began playing the bagpipes. Over his 30-year piping career he played with what is now the City of Washington Pipe Band, serving as Pipe Major for a time but mostly Pipe Sergeant.