Queensland Highlanders Pipe Band
The Queensland Highlanders Pipe Band from Australia is a relatively new band on the scene. The band is based in Brisbane, Queensland, which has a strong piping and drumming community, largely attributed to the “godfather” of piping in the state, Sandy Campbell (ex Pipe Major of the Queensland Irish Association Pipe Band). Most of the pipers in the Queensland Highlanders have at one time been taught by, or influenced by Sandy’s predilection for piping excellence.
The Queensland Highlanders was formed in 1996 by a group of like-minded pipers and drummers who wanted to build a band for themselves in the competition arena. The original Pipe-Major of the band was Fraser Martin, son of Bob Martin (Boghall & Bathgate), a very inspirational leader and competent Grade 1 piper who gave the Queensland Highlanders the same influence that his father gave Boghall & Bathgate back in that band’s beginning.
Due to Fraser’s influence, conditions have proven favourable to the development of a youth oriented, professional and highly motivated pipe band that is developing at a rapid rate of knots. The ultimate aim of the Highlanders since formation has been to win the World Championships (Grade 1).
In early 2000, the band appointed a new pipe major, Jason Palfrey, and made its first trip to the World’s gaining a very respectable 5th Place in Grade 2. Aged only 21, Jason promises to have an exciting future with the band.
The drum corps, led by John Grant, has always been strong gaining third place in drumming at the World’s last year. Most of the drummers have played under or have been taught by John for over ten years.
The band is committed to travel to the worlds and is prepared for the trip this August. Band members make considerable financial and personal sacrifices to be able to perform with the band. While the band does not have formal sponsorship agreements with any organization, small amounts of money from grants and fund raising events keep the equipment up to date.
To ensure the continuance of the Highlanders in the future, the band has a program to foster and develop youth. The band’s major commitment to teaching piping and drumming to young people is already starting to reap dividends in the form of our new grade four and burgeoning juvenile pipe bands. The swelling ranks of our feeder bands is guaranteeing a healthy supply of future talent from which the backbone of the next grade one Queensland Highlanders Pipe Band will be drawn.
As part of its lead up to the worlds this year, the band will be stopping off at the Interceltique Festival de Lorient, France. The band will be joined by several top guest players this year, including Martin Frewin from New Zealand Police, Danny Boyle (ex Victoria Police) and Craig Scroggie (Nunawading).
In short, the Queensland Highlanders is a young and dynamic pipe band earning a reputation for its musical innovation and ability to present an outstanding audio and visual performance that challenges preconceptions of how pipe bands should sound. The Queensland Highlanders Pipe Band is recruiting people for all of its bands, but is particularly interested in intermediate and open pipers and drummers who wish to emigrate or visit Brisbane and be part of a new and rapidly developing pipe band. Assistance with visas and employment will be given to people seeking to join the band from outside Australia.
Contact details: PO Box 727, Sunnybank 4109, Australia.
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