Shotts and Bucksburn light up fifth annual Aberdeen concert
that brought down the darkened house with drummers’ sticks illuminated with LED lights creating a spectacular effect.
After the Bucksburn Grade 2 band’s tribute set featuring the music of the late local piping hero George S. McLennan, a special presentation was made of a painting of G.S. McLennan, entitled “Tunes from a Silent Chanter,” by another piping great, Robert Mathieson, who in his retirement from competition has made a name for himself as a painter.
The painting was presented to the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen by Bucksburn President Gus McAskill on behalf of the band the previous night. Members of the McLennan family also attended the concert.
About the show, McAskill said, “The concert once again opened with some amazing visuals taking the audience from Pipe-Major Willie Ross talking about his younger days with some black-and-white footage of Ross, John D. Burgess and piper Daniel Laidlaw to colour footage of both bands playing in modern-day competition with the piobaireachd ‘The MacGregors’ Salute’ being played. Shotts drum corps played a blinding fanfare with part of it under total darkness with only the lights from their sticks lighting up the stage. The crowd went wild!”
The hall is known now with bands for its acoustic challenges, particularly with percussion risking overwhelming the pipes but, by many accounts, Shotts was able to meet the challenge with a better balance for the audience.
The chosen charity for the concert was the Brain Tumour Trust, with donations from the audience accepted in honour of piper Amy Spiers.
The North of Scotland Concert has emerged as one of the highlights of the pipe band year in Scotland, and McAskill said that plans are already underway for the 2016 edition.