8,000 take part in Scottish piping festival

Gregor Rae from the Cowel Pipe band gives Italian visitor Alessandro Markomichelakis, six, a lesson in the drums and pipes. Picture: Chris James
Gregor Rae from the Cowel Pipe band gives Italian visitor Alessandro Markomichelakis, six, a lesson in the drums and pipes. Picture: Chris James
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More than 8,000 pipers took part in the world’s biggest piping festival as it celebrated its 10th anniversary.

North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band played on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street earlier today as organisers of Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival marked the date.

Members of the Cowal pipe band performing on Buchanan Street, Glasgow. Picture: Chris James

Members of the Cowal pipe band performing on Buchanan Street, Glasgow. Picture: Chris James

A total of 60 Canadian pipers from the 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel, based in Nova Scotia, and Mexico’s only pipe band, St Patrick’s Battalion Pipes & Drums, joined the schools band.

The festival, which runs until Sunday, has 150 events featuring pipers from more than 15 countries and is expected to attract an international crowd of 30,000 people.

The programme includes performances by some of the best traditional and contemporary pipers in the world as well as free concerts and family fun days.

To conclude the festival, the World Pipe Band Championships will take place this Saturday and Sunday, the first time the competition will be a two-day event.

Organisers said the festival gets bigger and better each year.

Festival organiser Finlay MacDonald said: “Piping Live is an international celebration of lots of different kinds of piping, Scottish piping, Irish, Galician, we have even got guys from Hungary this year.

“It is getting bigger and more popular, it is really becoming part of the piping and traditional music calendar now.

“Anyone can come to Piping Live!, whether you are a real hardcore pipe fanatic or you just really fancy coming to have a listen to something a bit different, or you want to have a go; we do ‘come and try sessions’. There really is something there for everyone.”