8,000 to take part in Glasgow piping festival

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THOUSANDS of pipers are tuning up for their annual world championships.

Bands from across the world will travel to Glasgow in August to compete in the prestigious competition, which is the final event in the Piping Live festival.

Around 8,000 pipers from 150 countries across Europe, Africa, South and North America will perform during the festival in 200 events and performances.

With the Commonweath Games being held in Glasgow this summer, organisers hope to increase the 50,000 spectators who attended the festival last year.

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said that the festival will be “bigger and better than ever” after celebrating its 10th anniversary last year.

“Scots are a nomadic race and I think when people emigrated all those years ago pipers and drummers took their instruments with them and set up base in whichever country they ended up in,” he said.

“You’ll find that the bands coming to the festival, whether they be from North America, Australia or even South America, they all have a Scottish legacy and that lives on.”

Despite being famed as a Scottish instrument, Mr Embelton said that around 25 countries will be represented.

He continued: “A lot of the bands coming have a Scottish legacy and that legacy lives on.”

The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Belfast have been world champions for the past three years but hundreds of performers will be hope to steal their crown this year, including some young Scottish pipers.

Chris Gray, 18, who plays in the Inverary and District Pipe Band, said: “It’s exciting, there’s always so much going on and expectation from the big audience and everybody wants to do as well as they can.”

Drummer Craig Baxter, 15, who plays in the Fife Police Pipe Band, said: “It’s fun competing against and meeting people from the other side of the world who enjoy doing the same thing.”

The centenary of the First World War will also be marked with performances at the festival this year which runs from August 11 to 17.


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