Piping Live! Big Band 2024

Piping Live! Big Band 2024

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The Piping Live! Big Band will return for its seventh showcase at this year’s festival and pipers of all ages and abilities are invited to take part in the iconic event which takes place in Glasgow’s west end.

On Monday 12th August, over 150 pipers and drummers will gather at Mansfield Park in Partick, ranging from young learners playing their chanters, to seasoned professionals playing the pipes and drums in their retirement.

 The Piping Live! Big Band is open to anyone who plays a practice chanter, bagpipes, snare, bass or tenor drum, or is a drum major. All ages are welcome, with past events welcoming people aged 8-86. Players can sign up to be part of the Piping Live! Big Band HERE. There is a £15 registration fee which covers the Big Band t-shirt and a donation to the chosen charity for 2024.

After a hugely successful first year in the west end in 2023, the west end route returns for the 2024 edition of the iconic event. The procession will set off at 12 noon from Mansfield Park and make its way down Dumbarton Road and Argyle Street before spectacularly culminating at the concourse outside Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Leading the parade will be Finlay MacDonald, Piping Live! Artistic Director and the Director of Piping at the National Piping Centre, and Dr Andrew Bova and Dan Nevans of the National Piping Centre’s world-renowned teaching team.

Since its inception in 2016, the Piping Live! Big Band has worked in partnership with a chosen charity with all registrants making a donation to the charity through the entry fee.

This year, the event is supporting Glasgow-based charity Articulate Cultural Trust, which helps care experienced and marginalised groups of young people access the tools they need to build a robust and fulfilled life.

Articulate aims to provide equal opportunities by removing barriers which could prevent some people from participating in the arts. Working with skilled teaching artists in Scotland, Articulate delivers creative programmes for vulnerable young people, providing them with a safe space to make connections and gain confidence.

Finlay MacDonald, Artistic Director for Piping Live!, said: “The Piping Live! Big Band parade is one of the highlights of the festival so we’re delighted to bring the showcase back for the seventh time. It’s heartwarming to see so many performers of all ages and abilities come together, united by their love of Scottish music. It’s always an honour to lead the parade and launch the festivities, while raising money for a great cause.

“Piping continues to go from strength to strength, with its timeless appeal being represented on some of the greatest stages across the world. Everyone should have the opportunity to be part of that and have access to music and the arts, that’s why this year’s charity partnership is so important to us. We would encourage pipers and drummers of all abilities to come and be part of this really special, welcoming event.” 

Michael Archibald, Creative Changemaker, Articulate Cultural Trust, said: “Thank-you Piping Live! for giving Articulate such a wonderful opportunity. With the support of the festival, Articulate is able to invest in training and support young people to develop transferable skills and prepare for the world of work. 

“Articulate holds an incredibly special place in my heart and has had a massive impact on my life. I am extremely lucky to contribute to many Articulate projects all of which represent care experienced young people in a creative and positive light. I'm incredibly proud of our work together and will be for the rest of my life, especially our current #startwitharts campaign which looks to influence system change for all. It’s improvements like this that Piping Live! is making possible with its support.”

Glasgow Life Head of Events, Julie Pearson, said: “The Big Band is always one of the real highlights of the much-loved, dynamic Piping Live! festival. It’s a memorable occasion for everyone taking part and for spectators. It’s great to see so many pipers of every age, and at every level, joining forces to parade through the city streets and play together. Knowing that, by doing so, they are all playing their part too in raising much-needed funds for a deserving local charity makes this joyous event even more special.

“With Piping Live! and the World Pipe Band Championships – the pinnacle of the international piping competition calendar – both taking place in August, Glasgow is looking forward to hosting Scotland’s biggest bagpipes extravaganza. These two superb events enhance the city’s international reputation as an outstanding destination and attract visitors from near and far. I have no doubt that this year, they can look forward to even more spectacular celebrations of Scottish music and culture.”

Piping Live! 2024 takes place from Saturday 10th - Sunday 18th August 2024. The world’s biggest piping festival annually attracts over 30,000 attendees to Glasgow and the line-up includes world class performances, music sessions, recitals, workshops and more.

More information and tickets for all events taking place at Piping Live! 2024 are available at www.pipinglive.co.uk. Sign up to the Big Band, which takes place on Monday 12th August, HERE

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