Scotland at Sewanee: Bagpipes, kilts, and dancing!

by Sarah Minnear

Staff Writer

For almost a thousand years, bagpipers and highland dancers have competed at Highland games. Today the games take place around the world in countries like Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States. There are many different types of bagpipes; however, the instrument played in modern competitive games is called the Great Highland bagpipe. This pipe originated in the highlands of Scotland and is the loudest kind of bagpipe. You may have heard this particular instrument in parades but most have probably never heard it at the Highland games since piping and dancing competitions are often hard to find, even in the South, where many have Scottish heritage. But you won’t have to look far, since on Friday January 30, at 7:00 pm in Guerry Auditorium, you can discover Scottish art forms. The Atlanta Pipeband and Killough School of Highland Dance will present a concert that showcases the music and culture of the highlands. The Killough School of Highland Dancing is an organization made up of professional dancers who have won many contests and championships.

The Atlanta Pipeband is a competitive band that participates in contests all over the country. They have played for the Irish music group Celtic Woman and will accompany the Chieftains later this year. The Band has also performed for dignitaries, such as Presidents Carter and Bush, Prince Charles, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Dalai Lama. They regularly perform at the football half time shows for Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama, Jacksonville State University and the University of Tennessee. The band has also been featured in the motion picture, Into the Wild.

Want to know what a pipeband is? Then come discover what ten bagpipes playing together sounds like! They will be accompanied Scottish snare drummers, tenor drummers, and a base drummer, who are all percussionists that specialize in accompanying pipe music. You will also experience solo performances of traditional and modern bagpipe tunes as well as songs played on the Irish whistle. Moreover, dances including the highland fling will be performed by some of the best highland dancers in the South. So come and join us for a night of highland fun and Scottish music!