December 31, 2007

Shotts heard round the world this winter; booked for Pre-World’s Glasgow Concert

The House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band is planning for one of its busiest off-seasons ever, with several concerts, performances and warm-weather trips that will bring the band’s music to more people than ever.

Despite losing several members to other bands on friendly terms at the end of the 2007 season, Shotts has enjoyed an influx of personnel to keep numbers strong. Pipe-Major Robert Mathieson (pictured right) reports that there are 25 pipers and 19 drummers on the band’s current roster.

As it has for several years, the band will perform on the BBC Television’s “Hogmanay Live” show to help usher in the New Year for British viewers.

“When the bells ring at the BBC’s brand new Scottish studios, the band will commence a year of several concerts as well as the usual compulsory competition diet,” Pipe-Major Robert Mathieson said.

Shotts will fly to Orlando, Florida, or play at the Central Florida Highland Games on January 19th, where they will stage an evening concert and host several workshops. Mathieson says that the concert will feature “a large selection of new music and also feature five other Celtic musicians including Griogair, one of the most exciting musicians to come out of the current Gaelic tradition.”

Shotts recently performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Eddie Reader at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and has been invited to perform at the Scottish Summer Proms with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Shetland fiddler Ally Bain and accordionist Phil Cunningham.

In August the band will do the annual “Pre-World’s Concert” in Glasgow at the invitation of the Phoenix Honda-Glasgow Skye Pipe Band, which promotes the event, and Mathieson has indicated that the band is “negotiating an additional concert venue during the summer.”

“This is a big year for the band and is jam-packed with great opportunities to perform,” he continued. “We will be showcasing a lot of new and first-time material using different composers. It’s a challenge but an exciting one. Live concert performances, new repertoire, competitions, live TV and playing with full professional orchestra – it doesn’t get any better than that. I am delighted at the standard of the new players that we have attracted into the band this year. This leaves us fully refreshed and well equipped to take on the challenge of 2008, hopefully with a little less rain than last season.”

In August long-time members James Murray and Andrew Mathieson departed Shotts to help start the new Fife Police Pipe Band, and, in September, Glenn Brown and Graham Brown left to take over the Peel Regional Police.


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