MacCals launching recording at sold-out concert
The Grade 2 MacKenzie Caledonian of Dundee, Scotland, will officially release A Big Step Forward, a studio CD and the band’s first commercial recording, at their February 27th concert at the Gardyne Theatre in Dundee.
The band also said that the nearly 400-seat venue is sold out for the show, which will also feature the Tayside Young Fiddlers.
The “MacCals” have been planning the concert along with a ramped-up 2015 since the spring of 2014, before the band enjoyed its most successful competition season ever, featuring in the prize lists at three of the five major championships, including a second at the European and fifth at the World’s. The band ended up fifth in the aggregate Grade 2 Champion of Champions table.
In a statement, MacKenzie Caledonian promised the concert to feature concert arrangements, solo performances and “weel kent street tunes.”
The band’s CD, A Big Step Forward, was recorded in the fall and early-winter of 2014, and is one of few studio albums to come out from a band in the top grades. MacKenzie Caledonian also runs a highly successful Novice Juvenile band – nicknamed the “MiniMacs” – teaching pipers and drummers from scratch, feeding into the Grade 2 band.
According to a statement from the band, MacKenzie Caledonian’s goal is to achieve Grade 1 status by 2018, its centenary year, and expects to “progress to become one of Scotland’s top 10 bands in the coming year.”
Founded in 1918 at the end of World War I by James MacKenzie and originally named the MacKenzie Pipe Band, in 1958 it merged with the Caledonian Pipe Band, also of Dundee, to form MacKenzie Caledonian.
The Dundee-based City of Discovery Pipe Band was recently announced as a new Grade 3A band, emerging from the 6th/8th Boys Brigade Pipe Band.