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Thorold Pipe Band announces return to stage

The band is organizing a Bagpipes and Brews event on April 13; 'It’s a lot of music, a lot of food and a lot of fun'

The band is back together! After a quiet few pandemic years, the Thorold Pipe Band have announced their return to the stage. 

On April 13, the group is putting on a Bagpipes and Brews event at the Heidehof Ballroom in St. Catharines.

“It's an annual fundraiser that we do,” explains the band’s pipe major Taylor Millar, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “We haven't had a chance to do it since Covid started. It’s basically live performances from us, and from Tara's School of Highland Dance. It’s a lot of music, a lot of food and a lot of fun.”

The Thorold Pipe Band is a local group of bagpipers and drummers that have been going strong since 1986. Every Wednesday, band members get together at the Thorold Legion to play some tunes.

During the pandemic, a few members left the band, so now the group is trying to strengthen their numbers again.

“Years ago, we were a pretty big band,” Millar says. “We had quite a few members and now we're down to about twelve. We're always trying to build the band. We’ve got three newer people, which is really nice. We’re just sort of trying to get the numbers back up to where they were.”

With the Bagpipes and Brews event, the band hopes to kick off a season of fun, as they also want to compete in contests this summer.

“It's a big thing in pipe bands,” explains Millar. “We'll have a pipe band competition. And it's one of the ways that we've come up with, to try and hopefully win contests, and attract some people because of that.”

Millar has been playing the bagpipes for over 25 years and he says there's something magical about the sound the instrument produces.

“The music just speaks to me,” he says. “You've got some of the guys in the band that are in their 60s and 70s, but they've been doing it for quite a long time as well. There’s just something special about that music. It's hard to put your finger on, but there's something to it.”

By returning to the stage, Millar hopes to inspire a new generation of bagpipe players.

“We're more excited than anything to have a good time, get our name out there again and let people know we're still around,” he says, “ There's a lot of Scots and Irish in the area. Things like this are important to sort of keep traditions alive and to keep the culture going.”

Bagpipes and Brews will take place on April 13, at the Heidehoff Ballroom in St. Catharines. For info and tickets go to the band’s website.

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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