Gi­ant mu­ral is un­veiled at launch of pip­ing events

The Oban Times - - News -

THE land­scape of Glas­gow Green looked very dif­fer­ent last week as a gi­ant 23ft piper mu­ral, known as The Colos­sal Clans­man, popped (or piped) up in the park.

The stunt launched Pip­ing Live! Glas­gow In­ter­na­tional Pip­ing Fes­ti­val, where it was an­nounced the World Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships are re­turn­ing to the city from Au­gust 7–13.

The world’s big­gest week of pip­ing will see more than 50,000 mu­sic fans, fam­i­lies and tourists flock to Glas­gow to en­joy 200 events and 8,000 per­form­ers through­out the week.

The Colos­sal Clans­man was cre­ated us­ing a re­mark­able six miles of fab­ric - the same amount it takes to kit out the 23 par­tic­i­pat­ing Pip­ing Live! bands and 21 com­pet­ing in Grade 1 qual­i­fiers of the World Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships.

The 7m by 4m por­trait, cre­ated by Glas­gow artist Bruno Gal­lagher, was cre­ated to show­case the grand scale of both events, which an­nu­ally at­tract thou­sands of vis­i­tors from across the globe.

Pip­ing Live! Glas­gow In­ter­na­tional Pip­ing Fes­ti­val’s di­verse pro­gramme is famed for bring­ing the best pipers and bands in the world to Glas­gow and this year is set to be just as out­stand­ing, with acts in­clud­ing Peat­bog Faeries, Bat­tle­field Band and Te­je­dor top­ping the bill.

The pro­gramme will also see per­for­mances by the very best in­ter­na­tional acts from Es­to­nia, Ar­gentina, Canada, Czech Repub­lic, North­ern Ire­land, Aus­tralia and Italy, as well as nu­mer­ous events in­clud­ing the fiercely con­tested Mas­ter Solo, In­ter­na­tional Quar­tet and Pipe Idol com­pe­ti­tions.

Through­out the week there will be daily per­for­mances and fam­ily fun in Ge­orge Square, the fes­ti­val’s city cen­tre hub, as well as recitals, book launches and the hugely pop­u­lar street café at the Na­tional Pip­ing Cen­tre. The pop­u­lar pipers’ mar­ket will also re­turn this year to Ge­orge Square, bring­ing with it some of Scot­land’s very best food and drink, as well as craft stalls for ev­ery­one to en­joy.

The World Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships are on Glas­gow Green on Au­gust 11 and 12. This year it cel­e­brates its 70th an­niver­sary, with the first World Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships be­ing held at Mur­ray­field in Ed­in­burgh in 1947. The event was first held in Glas­gow in 1948 and has been staged in the city con­tin­u­ously since 1986.

This year, Field Mar­shal Mont­gomery Pipe Band from North­ern Ire­land de­fend the ti­tle they re­claimed last year. The band have been world cham­pi­ons five times in the past six years.

In re­cent years, more than 225 bands have trav­elled from all over the world, bring­ing around 8,000 pipers and drum­mers to com­pete in eight grades for the world ti­tle. En­tries for this year’s event are open and the fi­nal list of par­tic­i­pants will be con­firmed six weeks be­fore the cham­pi­onships.

Ian Em­bel­ton, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band As­so­ci­a­tion, said: ‘The World Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships has de­vel­oped and changed through­out its his­tory but at its core the chal­lenge to pipe bands is still the same. They spend months re­hears­ing for their shot at the world ti­tle, all the time search­ing for the per­fect per­for­mance that will show off their full tal­ent as a band.

‘A day out at the worlds is to ex­pe­ri­ence a unique show­case of Scottish cul­ture but also to en­joy mu­si­cian­ship and team­work of ex­tra­or­di­nary qual­ity. There is noth­ing quite like it.’

Paul Bush OBE, di­rec­tor of events at VisitS­cot­land, added: ‘ We are de­lighted to be sup­port­ing Pip­ing Live! and the World Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships, with both events at­tract­ing the best pip­ing tal­ent from around the world.’

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