Pipe band appeal growing for all ages
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 email@example.com.
Hamilton Caledonian piper Seumas Eade and drummer Ash van Wering.