Editorial – The Scottish Banner Says….

August 2020 (Vol. 44, Number 02)

Gracing our front cover: The next generation celebrating the sound of Scotland at the New Zealand Pipe Band Championships. Photo: Susanna Buckton.

The Banner Says…

The Power of Pipe Bands

The world we live in today is a vastly different place than the one we all knew just a few short months ago.

In August, traditionally, pipe bands and their fans should be descending on Glasgow for some of the world’s top piping events such as the World Pipe Band Championships and Piping Live! This is of course in addition to all the missed pipe band concerts, competitions, practices and performances that should have also taken place these past few months across the world.

I am not part of a pipe band but as someone who knows people in bands and has watched the pipe
band community for decades, I know what an incredible fraternity it is. The spirit of the pipe band movement is clearly an incredibly special one. It is a global brotherhood and sisterhood that is quite unique.

Joining a pipe band is an instant in with a great network of people of varying backgrounds, ages and interests. It offers members some unique experiences such as attending a wide range of community and international events, be a part of joyous and solum occasions and for many includes life-long involvement and friendships.

Homage to the pipe band community

Across the worldwide Scottish community during the Covid-19 pandemic I have seen some great outside the box initiatives take place, and the pipe band community has certainly been at the forefront of this. Depending on where you live your restrictions may have been, or still be, extremely strict and whilst physical practices may have not been taking place, the music has never stopped.

Online practices, competitions and musical creations are taking place across the world and connecting players and pipe band fans with each other in a whole new way.

With this issue we hope to pay homage to the pipe band community and whilst we have never tried to be a piping publication, we are firmly a publication of pipe band fans and
supporters. It is the music that joins us all, whether you are playing a lament, or watching a band play your favourite piping tune, a shared love of pipe bands is created by both the
player and the audience.

In this issue

An example of the resilience of the pipe band movement can be found in this issue as a variety of piping organisations and leaders have shared with us how they are not only engaging with their members and colleagues, but finding ways to move through a ‘corona world’ and working towards when we can next all gather as before.

This month we also speak to Tyler Fry, a champion drummer who has made a career out of his love and clear passion for pipe bands. From a young age he was enthralled by pipe bands and joined his local band in Canada as soon as he could. Today Tyler has his own successful drumstick business, conducts workshops and livestream hosts at events across the world. Tyler is an example how joining a pipe band can change your life, open your world and create incredible opportunities.

On August 29, 1930, the last inhabitants of St Kilda, on the western edge of Scotland, were evacuated. Years of hardship and hunger had caused many to leave over many years and the remaining inhabitants requested to leave, ending over 4,000 years of human habitation.

The once powerful Roman Empire cast its net across Europe to conquer new lands and gain power. There is quite a bit of historical evidence of Roman occupation across Britain,
but how far did they make it into Scotland? In Roman times, there was no such country as Scotland, instead it was a wild region called Caledonia. The Romans may have left Caledonia, but they did leave behind some amazing historical evidence of their visit and today people can still literally step in the same spots the Romans once did.

Many things to many people

Pipe bands are of course a symbol of Scotland and Scottish culture, but they are truly a global cultural movement with bands across the world. Being part of a band prepares members for many aspects of life and quite simply for some becomes a lifestyle.

Pipe bands are also a constant part of the community for so many. We count on pipe bands at parades, services, celebrations and whether it be a lone busker or massed bands, the pipes and drums stir something inside so many people.

This is the power of pipe bands. The power to connect so many across the world in a unique celebration of music. The power of a local and global network of friendship. The power of a lifelong passion. The power of our heritage. The power of enjoyment.
The power of performance. The power of emotion. The power of collaboration.                  Pipe bands can be these and so many things to many people, and surely that is
their power.

Has being in a pipe band been important for you or do you have a love of pipe bands?       Do you have you any comments from the content in this month’s edition? Share your story with us by email, post, social media or at: www.scottishbanner.com/contact-us

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