The pipes are calling locals to Tweeddvale's first concert

The pipes are calling locals to gather together for the first ever public concert by Tweedvale Pipe Band.

By Hilary Scott
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 2:58 pm
Tweedvale Pipe Band celebrating after winning Grade 4A European Championships in Forres in 2018.

Dubbed the “comeback concert”, Tweedvale will take to the stage of Innerleithen’s Memorial Hall, on April 30 at 7.30pm.

The band hopes the concert will relaunch the band following a playing drought for the past two years due to Covid.

Covid reaped havoc with the performing arts, with performances binned throughout the pandemic.

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However, even when performances were once again permitted, the tight restrictions hindered practices, vastly reducing players who could attend and play wind instruments together.

Coupled with the fact events and band competitions had been scrapped, it’s been a quiet period for the pipe band.

It is hoped the concert will help attract young players, and show members of the public there is more to pipe bands than Highland Cathedral and Scotland the Brave.

Tweedvale, which is made up by members of Innerleithen and Peebles pipe bands, say they want to thank communities for their continued support throughout the pandemic, despite the band themselves lying dormant.

The pipe band will play together with other musicians, to perform some well known traditional music, as well as some more contemporary numbers, in a diverse programme.

The band have invited players from the past, and other musical friends to star in their showpiece event, as well as a little help from St Ronan’s Silver Band.

Pipe Major Bruce Gillie said: “We have never done anything like this before. It’s a maiden voyage for us, but it is great for the band, and I hope great for the public.

“The pandemic has been a devastating time for everyone, no matter where you are and what you do. The band have really suffered and it’s great now there is some light at the end of the tunnel.”

“We want the concert to showcase our band and promote our music. Everyone has their part to play, and we have introduced some other musicians to add an extra dynamic.

"We want to encourage new players to come along to the band and have fun and we hope the concert will be a catalyst for that.”

Band members have hit significant milestones during the pandemic.

Last year, Pipe Major Bruce Gillie and Pipe Sergeant Charles Gray, celebrated their 40th year as a pipers for Innerleithen Pipe Band. And Jim Hamilton celebrated his 50th year.

The bed rock of the band’s existence has been playing at local engagements – the St Ronan’s Games Week, the Peebles Beltane Festival and the Walkerburn Summer Festival have been the mainstays, though the band has played far and wide in the course of its existence.

Band members are delighted to be reunited in Innerleithen’s Pipe Band Hall, which underwent major refurbishment before lockdown.

Tickets for the band concert go on sale at Coop Innerleithen on Saturday, March 5, and will thereafter be available for sale online. Details relating to ticket sales can be found on the Tweedvale’s facebook page.