While pipe bands are a colourful crowd, a bunch of kilted pipers and drummers playing on stage does not necessarily make a visual spectacle for a wider audience. So the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland has integrated sophisticated lighting concepts into its new “Illumination” show, which the band will mount for the first time at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on April 23rd.
The band decided to work with well know “lighting designer” Adrian Turpin of Glasgow, who has created visual effects for, among other acts, the Celtic rock band Runrig, and a variety of productions for BBC television. The resulting show promises to be an “audiovisual spectacular set to push the boundaries of piping performance, the likes of which have never been seen before,” according to a release from the band.
“We wanted to create something truly different as often the production side of a piping concert can be forgotten,” said Alisdair McLaren, director of the NYPBoS. “The band is made up of people aged 10-25 so it’s also important for us to make their experience enjoyable too. At any rock or pop concert you would expect a good lighting show and the NYPBoS should be no different.”
The non-competing band comprises pipers and drummers
18 25 years and younger from across Scotland, including recently appointed Pipe-Major Emma Buchan of Falkirk, the first female to lead the group, who has held the post since 2008. Members of the band are also allowed to play with competing bands. The NYPBoS project is organized by the National Piping Centre in Glasgow.
The band promises to unveil both modern and traditional material at the Old Fruitmarket show, including a suite composed by McLaren
band member Colin Greeves named “1915,”as a memorial to soldiers lost in the Great War.
Tickets are priced at £10 and £6 and are available online and directly from the venue.
“Illumination” continues the trend of pipe bands applying one-word titles to their shows, including St. Laurence O’Toole’s “Evolution,” Field Marshal Montgomery’s “RE:CHARGED” and ScottishPower’s “Energy.”