One of Celtic Connections’ longest-running fixtures, the annual Piping Concert for 2020 features one of the most illustrious ensembles in the field, the Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band. Founded in 1972, it’s been helmed since 2016 by Pipe Major Ross Walker, together with Leading Drummer Gordon Brown, who’s held the role since 1991, having first joined the Novice Junior Band in 1976. Such continuity of membership, together with a focus on encouraging young players – who are taught by their Grade 1 seniors – has been integral to Boghall and Bathgate’s distinguished competitive record.
Comprising ten top Highland pipers/composers, Tryst first performed at Celtic Connections 2017, showcasing new music inspired by the piobaireachd tradition. With supplementary instrumentation including whistles, keyboards, guitar and accordion, as well as canntaireachd vocals, electronic beats and samples, they’re carrying the bagpipe canon boldly into the future. “Utterly compelling majesty. . .at once viscerally primal and stunningly sophisticated” (Scotsman)