The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland will be visiting Stornoway between 23rd and 27th September 2019.
Established to assume the traditional roles of the Bands of the Scottish Infantry Regiments, the Scots Band supports the British Army and the State at all ceremonial occasions that occur in Scotland, including Garden Parties, State Banquets and Guards of Honour at The Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh and Stirling Castles and Balmoral. All members of the band are full time musicians but are also fully trained soldiers; in 2003 many members of the band served in Iraq, working in support of 33 and 202 Field Hospitals and were instrumental in the building of the British Military Hospital at Shaibah.
The Band has been in existence since the formation of the Regiment in 2006, it inherits a tradition which disappears into the mists of antiquity, when Clan Chieftains employed Seannachies to record their triumphs in music and song. The Regiment can boast a musical legacy stretching back directly to the days of Mozart. Even though the Scottish soldier is inextricably linked with the imagery of pipes and drums, they have a long tradition of marching with military bands; as early as 1763 there is mention of a band of music in the Royal Regiment of Foot, which was later to become The Royal Scots, antecedents of the current First Battalion.
The Band will be joined by the Second Battalion of Scots Pipes and Drums, and a cèilidh band will also be included. They will be hosting events and workshops over the three days, and money raised on the door will go towards the local music service and the Cops of Army Music Trust. The events are as follows:
Tuesday 24th September
Workshops with musicians from all over the Western Isles.
Mass Parade from Port Authority Offices, Perceval Square at 7pm.
Wednesday 25th September
Open ceilidh in the Town Hall starting at 7:30pm and finishing at 9:30pm.
Thursday 26th September
Concert held in the Lewis Sports Centre featuring The Royal Regiment of Scotland, pipes and drums from local bands including the Lewis and Harris Youth Concert Band, Lewis & Harris Youth Pipe Band, The Nicolson Institute Choir and others.
Tickets are free of charge, but do have to be reserved in advance. There will also be an option for donations on the door.
Cllr Paul Finnegan, Vice-Chairman of the Education, Sport and Children’s Services, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our young people, and especially our young musicians to see such a high profile band and be involved in these events.
“The events are open to the public, and we anticipate and hope that there will be a good attendance at all the various events over the three days. We are very grateful that half the money raised at the door will be re-invested into musical instruments for island musicians.”