Pipe band ap­peal grow­ing for all ages

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LEY TANTAU

The Hamil­ton Cale­do­nian Pipe Band is show­ing no signs of slow­ing down.

At the group’s prac­tise on Wed­nes­day nights, the so­ci­ety hall is filled to ca­pac­ity with the sounds of celtic mu­sic.

Mem­bers play the bag­pipes, drums and keys and, for the first time in a decade, they are pre­par­ing to per­form a con­cert.

Held on Septem­ber 30, the con­cert will fea­ture the band Celtic Grooves and the newly formed Lewis Tur­rell Memo­rial Ju­ve­nile Pipe Band.

‘‘Aimed at younger kids, it’s all about the de­vel­op­ment of the great high­land bag­pipe - get­ting kids into it and mak­ing it more ac­ces­si­ble,’’ pipe band mem­ber Todd Harper said.

‘‘I think peo­ple know it’s here, and with the use of so­cial me­dia and mod­ern com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools, we’ve been able to con­nect with more and more peo­ple.’’

Harper said more young peo­ple are com­ing through and show­ing ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the art of celtic mu­sic.

‘‘It’s just merg­ing mod­ern day cul­ture into tra­di­tional cul­ture and what­ever that looks like is ev­i­dent here,’’ he said.

The Hamil­ton Cale­do­nian Pipe Band falls un­der the Hamil­ton Cale­do­nian So­ci­ety based in Frank­ton.

Harper, a mu­sic stu­dent at Waikato Univer­sity, has been a mem­ber for seven years.

He plays the side drum in the Num­ber One pipe band, and is also a drum ma­jor and com­mit­tee mem­ber.

‘‘The band’s been around for 91 years this year. We cel­e­brate celtic cul­tural her­itage and we think it is a re­ally im­por­tant way that Hamil­ton ci­ti­zens can get in­volved in this city.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously, peo­ple in New Zealand have quite a lot of Euro­pean her­itage in them and a lot of that is celtic, so it’s ac­tu­ally quite a big part of Hamil­ton’s his­tory.’’

In fact, Harper reck­ons New Zealand still has the largest amount of pipe bands per capita in the world, both com­pet­ing and non-com­petit­ing.

Hamil­ton Cale­do­nian So­ci­ety Pipe Band con­cert, Satur­day, Septem­ber 30 at Hamil­ton Boys High School. Doors open 6.30pm.

Tick­ets are $15 for adults and $10 for stu­dents and chil­dren. For tick­ets, email info@hamil­ton­cale­do­nian.org.nz.

Hamil­ton Cale­do­nian piper Seu­mas Eade and drum­mer Ash van Wer­ing.

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