Lewis and Harris Piping Society revives recitals programme

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The Lewis and Harris Piping Society is reviving its programme of recitals over the winter, beginning with a performance from Callum Beaumont in Stornoway on Saturday November 9.

Acclaimed piper Callum, who lives in Dollar, Clackmannanshire, and tutors piping students at the prestigious Dollar Academy, has won some of the most famous competitions in the world of piping including the Clasp at the Northern Meetings, two Gold Medals, the Silver Chanter and an overall win at the Lewis and Harris Piping Society’s Pipe Major Donald Macleod Memorial Competition.

He has also won four World Pipe Band Championships and the Dollar Academy Novice Juvenile pipe band, which he teaches, has also excelled.

As a tutor, Callum has been invited to teach around the world and the Piping Society is delighted he has agreed to give workshops during the day of his recital in Stornoway, which takes place in the Caladh Hotel at 7.30pm.

Tickets for the recital are £10, with concessions available, and can be bought at the door.

Dr John Smith, chairman of the Lewis and Harris Piping Society, said: ‘For many years, the Piping Society held anything up to six recitals a year, inviting the best pipers in Scotland.

‘The recitals were initially held in the Royal Hotel and latterly the Royal British Legion Club but for the past few years it’s proven a bit beyond their means to bring good pipers to Stornoway to demonstrate to the youth the standard they should be aspiring to.

‘But thanks to a very generous donation from a private individual the society plans to organise perhaps up to four recitals over the next few months.’

Dr Smith said they were delighted to launch the revival of the recitals with a performance from Callum calling him ‘one of the most successful young pipers of the past decade’.

He added: ‘The society has also decided that, since we are bringing top class pipers to Stornoway, we should take maximum advantage of their skills and Callum will be holding a workshop for the junior players on the Saturday at 10am and then doing a session with the Lewis Pipe Band at 2.30pm.

‘We hope for a good turnout to hear this world-class piper demonstrate his skills and expertise. I am delighted that he is coming and he assures me he is looking forward to the trip himself.’

Callum said it was ‘fantastic’ that the society was reviving its programme of recitals and added: ‘I think it’s needed in many ways and not just in Stornoway. It’s a great tradition that we have.

‘It’s important people still go out there and show off their pieces of music instead of everyone just living in their own online world and watching performances on YouTube.’