A local group of piping youth are running full steam ahead as they aim to compete in the ultimate land of piping.
The Arran Campbell Memorial Youth Pipe Band, with its large instructional staff, highlighting world champions James Beaumont and Tennille Brown, has the Scotland 2014 competition as its chief objective.
The band, an affiliate of Vernon’s Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band, will hone its skills in several B.C. competitions before heading to the worlds.
“It’s quite an exciting time,” said Reg Scott, ACM director and former pipe major of the Highlanders.
“This past summer, two of our players, Wren and Evan Ellis, went with the Simon Fraser University junior bands to Scotland, where they placed first and third in the world championships.
“James Beaumont feels that our band can be very competitive by 2014. Quite an objective. Of course, playing in Scotland is the ultimate for pipe bands.”
Until then, the band continues to play at Okanagan functions, most recently at Remembrance Day ceremonies in Oyama and the Santas Anonymous fundraiser. They will also be at the Robert Burns dinner in January and the Vernon Winter Carnival.
Players range in age from eight to 18, under the direction of Scott, who is assisted by six instructors (including Kris Watt, former pipe major of the Kelowna Pipe Band). Beaumont and Brown are musical directors and new players are welcome to join.
Band practices are Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the House of Dwarfs Daycare facility. Those who are already playing or who wish to learn can contact Norm Crerar, Highlanders president, at 250-549-1083, Reg Scott at 250-545-4280 or Gordon Mathers (Highlanders pipe major) at 250-545-9933.