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Pipers line up for surprise show

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By Tom Hanley
Dumfries and West
Pipers line up for surprise show

"THE WORST kept secret in town".

That is how Alan McGowan, chairman of Dumfries Pipe Band, described the band’s ‘surprise’ performance alongside one of the world’s biggest bagpipe bands, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
From piping staples such as Highland Cathedral, to more contemporary tunes such as Avicii’s Wake Me Up, the two bands combined perfectly to the delight of the sold-out Easterbrook Hall last week.
Dumfries Pipe Band were also excited to see the return of Fraser Hogg, a 2015 World Pipe Champion with Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia, and Bethany Hanley, Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band, who were welcomed back for the show.
Speaking about her experience playing with the Chillis, Bethany, from Dumfries, said: “Playing with the Chillis was certainly a very different experience to concerts I have played in before, but it was also a lot of fun.
“It was really lovely to come back from uni and play alongside some old band mates within the Dumfries Pipe Band.”
Mr McGowan was keen to emphasise the impact that the Chillis have had on the piping world after the show.
He said: “Our piping instructor, Alan Maltman, thought he would have to teach Avicii to the band when we heard the news, but most of them, especially the younger ones, already knew it.
“This is testament to the impact the Chillis have had, especially on the younger generation, and it’s great to see more young people getting involved with piping as a result.”
Looking ahead to 2017, Dumfries Pipe Band are looking forward to competing as a full band for the first time, and the group are keen to welcome new members.
Their first practice of the new year takes place at Troqueer Church Hall on January 9, at 6 pm, and is open to all.

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