October Boghall & Bucksburn concert promises to be treat for northeast Scotland
While northeastern Scotland has consistently boasted many great solo pipers and not a few top-notch pipe bands, not to mention legends like the Bobs of Balmoral, John D. Burgess and G.S., McLennan, the scene there can be relatively quiet when compared with the action down south. So the Aberdeen-based Grade 2 Bucksburn & District has teamed with Grade 1 Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia to mount a concert on October 9th that the organizers promise will be “one of the greatest events to take place there for over 20 years.”
The end-of-season “Fired Up” show at the Aberdeen Music Hall will feature both organizations, with the headlining Boghall boasting more than 40 members following performances by Bucksburn’s senior and youth bands.
“The whole idea of the concert is to heighten the interest and excitement within the northeast . . . and to hopefully encourage youngsters to take up piping or drumming,” said organizer Gus McAskill, who is also Bucksburn & District’s president and pipe-sergeant. “If one youngster looks and likes what is on offer and, not only dreams about being a piper or drummer, but achieves Grade 1 standard or becomes a top solo player, then we have achieved our goal.”
Boghall Pipe-Major Ross Walker commented, “Sharing the stage with the Bucksburn band will be a special moment for the Boghall band as will rekindle a close friendship that was struck between the bands when competing together in Grade 2 in the late-1970s. As we look to build upon the great start to our 2010 season, this will give us the opportunity to relax and have some fun with friends after the serious competition stuff is over for another year.”
The Grade 1 Boghall & Bathgate has shot out of the 2010 competition gates quickly, finishing second at both the Scottish and British championships, winning the drumming at the latter event. The band is seen by many as “the best band never to win a World’s,” even though it has many other championship titles throughout its more than 30 years in Grade 1. Boghall was one of the first bands to develop a youth training program, which continues to be highly successful.
“This celebration of everything that is good about the presentation of pipe band music across the generations and grades is something that is close to our hearts here at Boghall,” added Malcolm Swan, president of Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia.
McAskill added that Bucksburn and Boghall are a natural fit because of their similar philosophies on education and training, and constantly reinvigorating their bands with home-grown talent.
The Boghall & Bathgate organization is still mourning the passing of long-time snare drummer Neil Cranston, who died suddenly in May, and has honoured his memory this year by wearing a a special ribbon.
Boghall & Bathgate performed at the prestigious “Pre-World’s” concert in Glasgow in 2004 (pictured in home page image).