September 26, 2023

Moose Jaw making tracks with new White Heather Youth Pipe Band

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, was once known as “The Band City” because the city supported many community musical bands and hosted an annual International Band Festival that drew all styles of bands from across North America, including pipe bands.

The Sprigs o’ Heather Girls Pipe Band and the White Hackle Pipe Band from Moose Jaw travelled all over North America, Scotland and as far away as Australia at one point, and then slowly dwindled to be just fond memories. Long-time Moose Jaw piper Michelle Carline has plans to change that, and she is forming a new band using the name “White Heather Pipe Band” and hoping for some luck along the way.

A few weeks ago, a new initiative was launched to re-build a youth pipe band in Moose Jaw, and the community turned out to support it, with more than 20 young people showing up to have a crack at chanter, snare drum and tenor/bass. The result was that a dozen youth have signed up for lessons, and the future is looking good in Moose Jaw.

Members of the Conservatory Pipe Band from Regina showed up in uniform to perform, and Carline has assembled a team of instructors to assist with getting the band started.

“It was exciting to see so many children show up to hear about the band, and we’re looking forward to having a pipe band back on the scene in Moose Jaw,” said Carline. “We’ve had excellent support from other pipe bands and from people in Moose Jaw, so I hope we’ll be able to make this happen.”

Carline grew up piping in the Sprigs o’ Heather, and has spent over 40 years piping, including many years in the City of Regina Pipe Band, Alberta Caledonia, and stints living in Scotland and playing in the Tayside Police and MacKenzie Caledonia.

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