A Prince’s salute to National Piping Centre
To celebrate its 10 years, His Royal Highness Prince Charles returned to mark the success of the National Piping Centre in Glasgow on June 2nd by visiting with Centre leaders and listening to performances by staff and the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland (NYPB).
The extensive visit was planned in detail, ranging from several days of security analysis and monitoring by the Strathclyde Police to a meal of haggis, neeps and tatties. The event was also attended by numerous VIP-level Scottish personalities, all whom appeared to enjoy the piping and the recognition of the piping tradition as imperative to Scotland and its culture, according to those in attendance.
The day began at 11:30 am with Prince Charles greeted by NPC Director Sir Brian Ivory and Lady Oona Ivory, and an open-air free concert by the National Youth Pipe Band whose new Director, Alasdair McLaren, met with Prince Charles who took time to speak with every member of the band.
An hour of piping entertainment then took place in the Centre’s auditorium, including a performance by NYPB members Lucy Ferguson, Ciaran Sinclair, and Connor Sinclair who played National Piping Centre Director Roddy MacLeod’s composition, “HRH Prince Charles’ Welcome to the National Piping Centre.”
Staff instructor Allan MacDonald rendered a performance of “The Sound of Waves Against Castle Duntroon,” one of the three piobaireachds featured in the Centre’s custom stained-glass windows by John Clark. The audience joined in to sing the canntaireachd of the tune.
Chris Armstrong then played for current World Highland Dancing Champion David Wilton before delivering a solo piping performance, and was then joined by Centre instructors for a “dueling bagpipes” set, with Stuart Samson, John Mulhearn, Glenn Brown, Armstrong, Ryan Canning, and MacLeod combining to try to out-play each other. The program finished with all pipers on stage for a final set.
Prince Charles last visited the Piping Centre in 1998 at its official opening and is the official Patron of the organization.