ANNUAL EVENT: The Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band pipe major Kyle Myers. drum major Tony Burchardt and drum sergeant Peter Keirnan.
ANNUAL EVENT: The Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band pipe major Kyle Myers. drum major Tony Burchardt and drum sergeant Peter Keirnan. contributed

Get your tickets for a piping hot parade

THE bagpipes have a long standing history in this town, and next weekend the Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band will deliver their eighth annual show while playing to a brand new theme.

"Music from the heather and afar” will be the focus of this year's performance, which the band's secretary Julie Myers defined as music from Scotland and around the world.

"We have taken inspiration from countries including France, Ireland, obviously Scotland, Australia and Polynesia,” Mrs Myers said.

"Every year the Celtic dancers have joined us, and they'll be there again this year, and Bundy Flukes will also be joining us.

"The ukuleles will be playing music from Jamaica and Hawaii, so we will have a broad representation of music from around the world.

"Each individual group is doing their own country, and we will also have a few funny skits happening in between.

"The show will be opening with music from Scotland, and then the opening of the second half will begin with pieces from Ireland.”

Familiar tunes for the Australian segment will include Advance Australia Fair, Click go the Shears, and Waltzing Matilda.

Pipe bands usually include a mix of bagpipes and drums, and the group is lead by a drum major.

"It's an incredibly hard instrument to play,” Mrs Myers said.

"People don't realise they have to memorise all the tunes in their head, because there's no place for music.

"The municipal band have the card that sits in front of them but the pipe band have to march while they breathe, blow, play and march.”

The band, who began practising for the event in May, also happen to be Queensland's oldest pipe band.

"The pipe band has been in Bundaberg for 139 years,” Mrs Myers said.

"Some of the band members still use the old pipes they had back in the beginning. We've got pipes made from ivory and wood that are 130 years old.

"It takes about 12 months to learn how to play the bagpipes, and we now have band members who age from 17 through to their 80s.”

The ancient Sutherland tartan wearers also participate in many community events around the region, including the Anzac Day marches, the Childers Festival, Christmas functions and attend care centres for the elderly.

"That's why we need the concerts to keep going year to year,” Mrs Meyers said.

"Throughout the world, pipe bands are very popular. They originally started in the military and there are competitions now in every country.

"They just had the world championships in Edinburgh and the Tattoo. The Moncrieff have also just announced a deal that if you buy a ticket to our show, your ticket to their showing of the Edinburgh Tattoo will only cost $15.”

Tickets to see the Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band are $28 for adults and $22 children under the age of 14.