Published: October 31, 2010

Delhi performance sees Graham and Muirhead playing to a billion

Lorne Cousin played to millions as the piper on Madonna’s 2004 world tour. The Mains of Fintry Pipe Band was part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And now Glasgow-based pipers Jonathan Graham and Craig Muirhead have brought quality piping to an audience estimated to exceed a billion people when they played at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Kitted out in an outrageous mash-up of Scottish and Indian style designed by Glaswegian artist Jilli Blackwood, Graham and Muirhead were chosen to embody the official hand-over of the Commonwealth Games from India to Scotland. Glasgow will host the 2014 event.

At the October 14th ceremonies at the 60,000-seat Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the pipers were hoisted aloft by a cast of 350 volunteers.

How does one become a piper at such an event? Well, it helps if you’re young, talented and Scottish – not to mention being on the good side of the powers-that-be. Graham and Muirhead were chosen by a three-headed committee comprising the National Piping Centre, the Glasgow College of Piping and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

“After a lengthy audition process Jonathon and I were picked to perform in the handover from Delhi to Glasgow,” said Muirhead. “We are both still on a bit of a high as it has been so well received by the press and the public over here, people have seen this as a significant event in Scotland’s recent history.”

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