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Strathisla Pipe Band celebrate centenary with massed bands at Keith Show


By Chris Saunderson


ONE of the highlights of Strathisla Pipe Band's centenary year will see 10 pipe bands come together at Keith Show this weekend to mark the milestone.

Pipe major Keith Morrison leads Strathisla Pipe Band at the 76th Aberlour Stathspey Highland Games last weekend. Picture: Daniel Forsyth. Image No.044579.
Pipe major Keith Morrison leads Strathisla Pipe Band at the 76th Aberlour Stathspey Highland Games last weekend. Picture: Daniel Forsyth. Image No.044579.

Bands from Buckie, Dufftown, Aberlour, Huntly, Portsoy, Banff Castle, Nairn, Kintore, Inverurie and the City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band have agreed to take part.

The performances on Sunday will be a spectacular addition to the traditional family day at the show.

The massed bands gathering is the penultimate event in the band's centenary celebration, with a dinner dance in the Longmore Hall on September 21 rounding off a memorable year.

Alison Jamieson, secretary and tenor drummer, said: "It is going to be quite an impressive sight at the show. This will be one of the highlights of our centenary year.

"We have been performing at Keith Show for a number of years now."

Show organisers asked Strathisla to put together the massed bands feature.

They will form up at 12.40pm on Sunday before marching en masse into the main arena for a performance at 1pm. The massed bands will also play at 3pm and close the show at 5pm.

The bands will also compete for a Centenary Shield with individual performances in a separate piping arena.

Alison added: "The band has prided itself on being able to attract new young members and at present the majority of the band is under 18 years of age.

"Locals always mention how well turned out we are and the support from the local community has been unstinting.

"We feel that the folk of Keith and the surrounding area are proud to have a band of their own."

The band has played at a variety of local events over the last year. It leads the Armistice parade every year and in 2018 four girls from the band played at 6am at four different war memorials, part of a worldwide event to mark 100 years since the end of the Great War.

The first meeting of the band took place in 1918 with George and Jim Garden founder members but it wasn't until 1919 that it took the name Strathisla after some of the members, including Jim, were employed by Strathisla Distillery in Keith to cast peats.

The first pipe major was Bill McLaren and the present day occupant of the role is Keith Morrison, with Mike Morgan the current drum major.

The band has played at the Braemar Gathering three times - 1989, 90 and 91 - in front of members of the royal family and enjoyed four overseas trips in the 1970s and 80s to France and Germany.



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