Playing the bagpipes is a time-honored tradition in Celtic cultures. One local group focuses on the often-overlooked Irish side of the Pipe Band genre, and it is currently recruiting new members. The bonus? They offer free lessons in both bagpiping and Celtic drumming.
The overall mission of Ciorcal Cairde (pronounced: “keer-kle kair-deh”) Irish Pipes and Drums is to spread the Irish culture and tradition through education, performance, and competition. Ciorcal Cairde is Irish Gaelic for “Circle of Friends”. The group’s main goal is to be a family and kid-friendly group that will create an atmosphere of camaraderie among musicians, dancers, and the Irish community at large.
Contrary to popular belief, the bagpipes did not originate in Scotland. Good luck in getting a Scot to admit that! Historical records indicate the instrument itself was invented in the Middle East, particularly near Egypt. In fact, the instrument is mentioned in biblical texts. It is believed that the “symphonia” in Nebuchadnezzar’s band was actually a bagpipe. Truth be told, the first bagpiper in the world had no idea where Scotland was, and his instrument likely looked more like a stuffed dog than the bagpipes we know. The Highland Bagpipe, which is the most commonly seen and used bagpipe in Pipe Bands worldwide today, has several different origin stories. Some believe they arrived in Scotland as a Roman import, while many believe they came from the Celts of ancient Ireland (Hibernia) as a result of colonization. It was then that the Scottish Highlanders developed the instrument to its fullest extent and made it their national instrument.
So, what’s the difference between an Irish Pipe Band and a Scottish one? Not much. The music in the Irish band may include different tunes, and the kilt may look a little different than the typical plaid tartan worn by the Scottish bands. Otherwise, both groups are widely honored in the Celtic Piping tradition and equally as respected among the Celtic community.
Being in a pipe band offers the chance to experience the enjoyment and passion of playing music, learning and working in teams, developing strong leadership skills, and building life-long friendships. Ciorcal Cairde has been offering free lessons for ages 8 and up since its inception ten years ago. Band leaders Kelly and Jim FitzRandolph also offer private lessons at incredible rates. When asked why their private lesson pricing is so low, Kelly says, “Our goal is to pass on a tradition, and we want to make it accessible for everyone.” If you’ve ever wanted to be part of a pipe band, this is your chance. You don’t have to be Irish or Scottish to join. The only requirement is a strong work ethic and a love for the music.
Rehearsals for Ciorcal Cairde Irish Pipes and Drums take place on most Tuesday evenings.
To find out more about joining the band, contact Kelly FitzRandolph, Pipe Major, at (303) 779-5383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about how you can have the group perform at your upcoming event, contact Heidi Ernst, Business Manager, at (303) 482-5944 or email email@example.com.