A passion for bagpipes

The possibility of playing the bagpipes in Scotland next year looms for two Senior School students.

Kael Haysom (Year 10) and Lachlan Stewart (Year 9) play highland bagpipes with the Launceston-based St Andrew’s Caledonian Pipe Band.

The band enjoyed noted success at the 2017 Richmond Highland Gathering. It won the overall championship and was also placed first in musical selection; march, strathspey and reel; best pipe corps; and best drum corps mid-section. It was second in the quickstep drill. The boys also played with the junior band which came third in a separate selection of marches competition.

Kael explained: “St Andrew’s Caledonian Pipe Band is working towards an overseas trip in 2018.

“I hope we get to go to the World Championships in Scotland.”

Kael, 15, of Relbia, started playing the highland bagpipes in 2015.

“I like the complexity of them and they are fun to play with fast and precise movements,” he said.

He also plays the clarinet and tenor saxophone and performs with Scotch Oakburn’s Senior Stage Band, Senior Concert Band, Senior Choir and ManChoir.

Lachlan, 14, of Longford, started learning the bagpipes in Year 4. He also plays piano and used to learn flute, but the bagpipes have a special appeal – one he acknowledges is not always shared with his friends.

“I like the bagpipes because there are only nine notes,” he said.

“You can do a lot of really cool things with a limited range. I like the music, the challenge and the unique sound.

“My playing is not perfect so some people are slightly annoyed when I play!”

Lachlan is a member of the Scotch Oakburn College Pipe Corps.