It’s a good chance that anyone who has attended football games, parades or concerts in Freedom Park has heard the award-winning Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band. The music of the pipe band is certainly hard to miss, but many residents don’t realize just how successful the band is.
It recently took third place at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, and on Friday, March 7, it will give the community a chance to see why. A concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Scotia-Glenville High School and will feature the musical number Scotland the Brave, among many others.
`The concert gives these dedicated young musicians a chance to show why they are award-winning. They many times play in the background of so many events ` well, this is their turn to shine in front of their community,` said band director Maureen Connor.
Connor said the band has been around for almost 10 years. She said that originally it was to be made up of only Scotia-Glenville residents, but has since opened up opportunities for children and young adults from as far as Delmar and Gloversville. She said they have close to 50 students, ranging in age from 7 to 18, who are all dedicated musicians.
The band plays all over the Capital District at events like Saratoga’s First Night, local summer concerts, competitions and the Capital District Scottish Games. They also have competed in Ontario, where they were invited to the North American Pipe Band Championships.
Connor said that learning to be a good bagpipe player takes commitment. Beginning students have a one-hour group lesson every week, with students practicing about five times a week for approximately 30 minutes.
Once a student becomes a band member, the focus of weekly night rehearsal is on `team development,` focusing on how to play together as a team.
`Our mission in really twofold; the first part is to teach and to provide top quality education to young kids, and the second is to develop our students to the highest level of their ability,` said Connor.
Connor said part of the way they are able to provide quality lessons is by bringing in world class professionals and conductors to hold workshops.
Lead pipe major Victoria O’Connor said the competition in Scotland was an experience she cannot put a price tag on. O’Connor, a junior at Scotia-Glenville High School, said she started playing the bagpipes at a young age and plans to continue playing after high school and even beyond college.
`Going to Scotland and competing on that level and then placing third was an invaluable experience. It was the first time we had traveled to Scotland to compete, and it was just amazing,` said O’Connor.
In addition to the concert, the pipe band will hold an open house at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26, at the Scotia-Glenville Middle School. Anyone interested or who has questions can call 374-6034.“