Maclean pipe band leads parade at Highland Gathering
The sound is familiar, but the uniform was very different for the Maclean and District Pipe Band ahead of their hometown Highland Gathering.
The sporrans and kilts are replaced with stubbies and thongs, but playing at last Saturday’s Harmony Day, pipe major Matt McLeod says it’s all good practice for the big day.
“This is like an informal practice, getting ready for Easter,” he said. “And then we’ll have a good practice on Sunday as well to gear up for the weekend.”
The band has eight pipers and four to five drums, and will lead the annual parade on Saturday morning through the streets of Maclean, an experience Mr McLeod has been part of since he was eight years old.
“It’s a very proud moment, there’s a lot of pride there,” he said.
“The Scottish committee do such a great job though, it’s very well organised.”
The band is currently trying to raise money after they’ve spent a significant amount on upgrading the drums in the band, and Mr McLeod says that adds a spring in the step to the band as well.
The band practices weekly at the Maclean Showground, and Mr McLeod says that as the hometown band, there is a sense of responsibility of keeping the 115-year-old tradition of the band alive.
And even though the act is the same at the four to five gatherings the band plays at every year, Mr McLeod says there’s nothing like being at home and this year competing in the Grade 4 competition.
“It’s a fantastic place to be,” he says. “This is one of the best gatherings in the country.”