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Winter School Massed Band Tunes

One of the most fun activities at Winter School each year is the massed band practice!  When weather allows, as in the picture to the left taken in 2016, we’re able to go outside and go on parade to many of the “standard” massed band tunes.  Such a hoot to play with other students, and have the great sound of a pipe band echoing off the Olympic Mountains and across Puget Sound!

Several of our instructors are extremely well versed in pipe bands–their marching and deportment and such.  However, the star instructor at Winter School for massed bands is clearly Pipe Major Brian Donaldson, late of the Scot’s Guards.  With drill-sergeant-like encouragement, Brian’s commands and instruction is a show in and of itself.  Laced with humour and the odd shout of “come on yous!” it is as fun to watch the band come together and improve as it is to play the tunes with “band camp” pals!

Over the past couple of years, a question has come up as exactly which “standard” tunes are standard for us.  So we asked PM Donaldson for some direction, and he suggested the following list:

The Green Hills of Tyrol
When the Battles O’er

Loudon’s Bonnie woods and Braes
Molly Connell

The Piper of Drummond
The High Road to Linton (2parts)

Here is a PDF containing all of the Celtic Arts Winter School Massed Band Tunes.

As a bonus, we asked the Director of Piping Instruction at the National Piping Centre for some performance choices for massed bands, and Finlay MacDonald most kindly sent along these arrangements:  Cutting Bracken Set

Here is the 2018 Celtic Arts Winter School Tunebook for Highland Pipes.