Williams Lake will echo with the rich sound of the bagpipes on April 6 when the Williams Lake Pipe Band invites the community to a free ceilidh, a lively social gathering, in the Gibraltar Room at 6:00 p.m.
The event coincides with National Tartan Day and will include food, live music, dancing and fun.
Williams Lake Pipe Band member Joe Bazan said that the goal with this free event is to raise awareness of Scottish culture in the community, “It’s also a great opportunity to say thank you to the community for supporting us from the beginning – by inviting us to play, by coming to hear us and by supporting us with donations.”
He said that Scottish music, culture and ceilidhs are appealing to people and draw them in. “Sometimes it’s people with family connections and sometimes it’s people who appreciate multi-cultural events or who just like the idea of a great celebration.”
The ceilidh is a chance for families to enjoy the diversity of “our amazing Cariboo culture,” according to Bazan, who added that Scottish influences are definitely part of that culture.
He said that the band is honoured and delighted that world-class bagpiper Rob Menzies is coming to participate in the ceilidh. Menzies performed last year with the six-time world champion, Simon Fraser Pipe Band during a live recorded concert at the famed Lincoln Centre, and also led the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band to a grade three World Pipe Band Championship at Glasgow Green in Scotland.
He is a regular instructor at Piping Hot Summer Drummer and is a senior adjudicator for the BC Pipers Association. He has recorded and performed with popular Canadian artists such as Spirit of the West, Stephen Fearing, Jay Knutson, Babe Gurr, Pete McCormack, the Celtic Connection, Simon Fraser Pipe Band and Ashley Macleod.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting people in Williams Lake and sharing the experience of Scottish and Celtic music,” Menzies said, adding that it will be his first visit to the area.
He noted that there are many benefits to being involved with a pipe band and said that his two also play in pipe bands. “You learn a lot of universal life skills – commitment, discipline and time organization,” he explained.
“Scottish melodies are very attractive to the ear, and the music is very appealing to people. The music is magnetic: it brings you back and makes you want to hear more.”
Menzies is also master of the Celtic tin whistle, also known as the penny whistle, which has been featured in the sound tracks of blockbuster movies including Titanic and Lord of the Rings. He is offering a free penny whistle workshop from 10-12:30 in the Gibraltar Room on April 6, sponsored by the Williams Lake and District Credit Union and the Rush.
The deadline for registering for this free workshop is March 30. To sign up for it, or for more information email email@example.com or phone Jeanne-Anne at 250-392-3683 or John at 250-398-7964. Tickets (free) for the ceilidh are available at the Legion.