June 30, 2005

Sons of Scotland to perform at Balmoral

After writing a letter to Buckingham Palace proposing the concept, the Sons of Scotland Pipe Band of Ottawa has been invited to perform at Balmoral for the British royal family.

The band had already planned to travel to Scotland in August, booking performances at Stirling, Edinburgh, and Blair Atholl castles. When the band received confirmation of a performance at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Pipe-Major Bethany Bisaillion contacted Buckingham Palace.

“A few well-written letters and a couple of weeks later we had confirmation from the Queen’s private secretary to do the show,” Bisaillion says, “and have coordinated the effort with the help of the Sovereign Piper, Pipe-Major Jim Stout.”

The band will play at Balmoral on Thursday, August 11, and will will perform a piece written by Bisaillion called “The Royal Suite,” which commemorates the Queen’s recent visit to Canada.

Bisaillion says that the suite “blends traditional pieces with a bit of monarchy. You can hear ‘Rule Britannia’ in some parts. We’re adding in violins to the air, and our Highland dancers and step-dancers from the MacCulloch School of Dance join us at the end to make it a well-rounded presentation.”

Bisaillion will meet the Queen before the performance.

“This opportunity is very rare for a pipe band of our type,” Bisaillion adds. “We all appreciate the significance of the accommodating nature of the [royal family]. It truly will be a spectacular day when we form up on the lawn at Balmoral Castle.”


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