The pipe band is at the heart of the Club. Currently, it meets weekly on a Tuesday from October until May at 7.30pm, in the Glasgow High School Club’s Memolrial Pavilion at Old Anniesland. John WIlson, formerly of Strathclyde Police, who is the Club Piper (and whose predecessors include Robert Reid and Donald MacLeod) is always available at the practices to help with learning tunes and setting up instruments.
The Band’s policy is all-inclusive, and a warm welcome is assured. All members who can play are encouraged to come along, whatever their standard. The range of ability in the Band encompasses retired professionals and very modest amateurs, but all are united by their enthusiasm for piping in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
The Band plays at all four Club Functions and in addition runs its own competition over two evenings. A well established tradition in the Band is the annual Piobaireachd Weekend, which has been run for 18 years now, firstly at Inverary, and latterly at Kilfinan, where John Wilson provides superb instruction in a relaxed and convivial social setting. The band also has an annual joint meeting with the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society.
The Club continues to support the future of piping throught the Band and in other ways. Annually, the Club runs a Scottish Schools’ Pipe Band Competition, with members of the band acting as judges, and other Club members playing equally important stewarding roles. The Club also supports the annual Glasgow Uist and Barra Competition, by providing a medal as a prize for the piobaireachd competition. A medal is also awarded to the most improved piper in the Traditiional Scottish Music degree course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In addition, the National Piping Centre and the College of Piping have also received support from the Club in the past.
As well as piping, on the practice evenings, Band members can attend a small Gaelic choir which performs at several of the Club functions, and Gaelic classes. These are entirely voluntary, and we are fortunate to have skilled tuition for both.
The band is always looking for new members. It is particularly well suited for those who have had a break from piping and who perhaps wish to revive their skills without too great a time commitment. Nebvertheless, accomplished players who play regularly will equally find a home here.
If you are interested in coming along to the practices, to see what the Club is about and to meet the piping members, you are most welcome. Please contact the Pipe Major, or the Honorary Secretary.
In addition to the activities of the piping members of the Club, the Club holds the following annual events:
There are two “House Dinners” each year, one in November and one in January. These are informal dinners, traditionally held in the magnificent gallery of The Glasgow Art Club, with piping and other Highland entertainment.
This is the annual Ball of The Club, which is held in Glasgow towards the end of February. The evening begins with a Grand March, led by piping members of The Club. In addition to scottish country dancing and modern, the Club Piper plays a selection of light music, as well as the Club Band.
This takes the form of an informal dinner, with piping and other Highland entertainment, to which partners and other lady guests are invited. It is usually towards the end of April, away from Glasgow. In past years the Ladies’ Night has been held in such places as Dunvegan in Skye, Blair Atholl, Nethybridge, Birnam, Tarbert in Argyll, St. Fillans and Inveraray. The Club’s Annual Golf Competition is usually held during the day of this event.
This is usually held in early April at The Glasgow Art Club, with a guest lecturer giving members a talk on a subject relevant to the aims of The Club.
From time to time The Club organises a country dance practice evening shortly before the At Home to enable members to brush up n some old favourites.
Support to Other Organisations
The Club supports other organisations with similar aims. For example The Club has supported Highland Dancing by making regular modest donations to the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing, and has made donations to other institutions such as The College of Piping, the National Piping Centre and the Glasgow Gaelic School, as well supporting individual students.