The pipes are calling for more players to join the Redland Sporting Club Pipe Band in 2024.
President John Fletcher of Alexandra Hills is one of 12 members of the band, a band he said brought cultural experience, a variety of Scottish and Celtic music and a love of drums and bagpipes to him and its members.
This year, the band will be taken by new pipe major Cameron Appleton-Seymour, 24, of Thorneside.
Cameron was a member of the band from age eight to 14, under his father Byron Appleton-Seymour, who was the pipe major at the time. Since then he has played for other pipe bands and works full time as a member of the Queensland Police Pipes and Drums. Most recently he did the Highland circuit in Scotland, bringing home prizes from 11 of 18 solo competitions.
In 2017, Cameron said he turned 18 competing in Scotland in the world championships with the St Andrews Pipe Band.
“I learned to play through the Redland band and it has become my life. I thought it was quite meaningful for me to give back to the band that has given me so much. The stories I hear about when my father took the band are brilliant,” he said.
“Having a local band is therapeutic and there is a strong sense of camaraderie and community in playing as a team together. My vision for the band is to rejuvenate bagpipe playing in the Redlands and encourage more young people to take it up. There is a lot of benefit in not travelling all the way into the city,” Cameron said.
Cameron’s brother Lachlan, 15 is in the band and there are other family connections. Band member and police officer Nathan Bedford who guests with the Queensland Police Pipes and Drums is also a valued member.
John said Cameron gave the band a new injection of ‘spirit and vitality’.
“We have some younger players but with so many of the members staying in the band, the average age is increasing. The band offers so much. The music crosses a lot of genres including Irish and Northumberland and all new members will be taught the instrument free of charge,” John said.
The band practises on Tuesdays from 7pm at the bocce hall at the Redland Sporting Club and offers numerous performance opportunities, including solo and band performances at Anzac and Remembrance days, the Heritage and Harmony festival, at weddings, funerals and birthday parties.
John said there were also side drum players, describing this music as vibrant, intricate and rhythmic.
“If there is someone with bagpipes in the cupboard, drag them out and learn how to play. Uniforms and tuition are supplied,” John said.
The band has been established for about 30 years under various names. Interested people can contact John on 0409 271 089.