You might already know Kaye from our Customer Service team if she has helped you with an order or enquiry, but what you don’t know is that she has a very talented daughter heading out to show off her Highland Dancing skills at the Cel’Tiron Festival in France in May. Loving all things Scottish as we do we thought it would be a great idea to catch up with the Paris and District Pipe Band who are attending the festival. We spoke to Laurent, President of the band, and he told us all about the life of a French Pipe Band and what it means to him to be president.
How long has the Pipe Band been running?
The band was founded in 1989, so it is has existed for nearly 30 years!
How long have you been President?
I have been a member of the band since 2002 and I learnt to play the bagpipes there. I was first elected president in 2014 and have been re-elected every year since.
What does the role of President involve?
The President of the band represents the association in all acts of life. I sign contracts, decide expenses and make other important decisions on behalf of the other members.
What does it mean to you to be President?
I have no role in the musical leading of the band, but as President and as a member of the band it is nice to feel I can help the members to stay united, we are more than just a musical band we are linked by a strong friendship.
What tartan do you wear as part of your uniform and how did you choose this?
Our tartan is modern Caledonia and was chosen by the founders in 1989. Many years later we heard that this tartan was also worn by a Women’s association in Edinburgh who acted for Scottish independence in the 18th century and we found that very interesting.
Have the band ever travelled to Scotland to play?
The band have played several times in Scotland; at the 1997 Highland Games of Perth and Crieff, then again in 1997 at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, in 2006 we played at the Oban Highland Games and the Cowal Highland Gathering and the last time we traveled to Scotland was for the Scottish Pipe Band Championships in Dunbarton.
Have you ever played at the Cel’Tiron Festival?
It will be the first time the Paris and District Pipe Band is attending the Cel’Tiron festival. We are very happy to have been invited and I’m sure we will enjoy the weekend with all the Highland Dancing events!
We recently spoke to Fanny Aubret who said she will be performing at the Cel’Tiron Festival, will you be performing with her?
So far, we have never performed with Fanny or any Highland Dancer, but we think the Cel’Tiron festival would be a good opportunity to collaborate with Fanny. It could be either with the whole band, with a few pipers, or even just one single piper, depending on the type of dance she would like. I have heard that the Scottish dancers who are coming to the Cel’Tiron festival are coming with their own piper from Scotland. We are of course happy to meet the dancers and the piper and look forward to any kind of collaboration.
Thank you Laurent for telling us about the Paris and District Pipe Band and we hope you have a fantastic time at the Cel’Tiron Festival. We look forward to all the stories!