For 100 years members of the Kelowna Pipe Band Society, past and present, have been keeping this tradition alive.
“We’ve been around since 1923 and we are one of the oldest Pipe Bands in B.C.,” said Miriam Campbell, Kelowna Pipe Band Society manager.
“We started as a community band and once the legion formed in 1926 we became the Kelowna Legion Pipe Band and then in the early 2000s we switched to become our own society and became the Kelowna Pipe Band Society we are today.”
Over the decades the band has led many local parades and toured countries around the world including Japan, the Netherlands and the U.S. Now, they are keeping the tradition strong on home turf.
“This band started out from just a few pipers and we have grown to 20 active players, pipers and drummers, and we continue to always encourage new people to come out,” said Campbell.
Campbell only hopes that number will grow. She says the society holds classes and also is actively accepting new members.
To mark its centenarian status, the members of the Kelowna Pipe Band Society will march through the streets of Kelowna alongside nine other bands from across the province for the annual Spring Fling competition Saturday, May 6.
“There’s going to be 10 pipe bands [total] this year, it’s an annual event where bands visit a different community each year, they are in a parade where they are judged on their medley competition,” said Campbell.
That’s when the bands will fill the air with recognizable tunes like the song Scotland the Brave.
“I love the sound, it hits you right in the core, and I know it does that for a lot of people,” said Kelowna Pipe Band Society pipe sergeant, Andrew Moore.
“The music is intricate to play, it’s interesting and it has a lot of cultural background to it.”
The pipe bands will begin marching down Kelowna’s Bernard Ave. at 10 a.m. and then culminate at the Island Stage to for free performances. For more information visit their Facebook page.
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