Pipe Band’s NYC concert to debut new drums
The rare concert – a return to the Big Apple after playing at Carnegie Hall in 1998 - is a final celebration of the band’s 30th anniversary and will be recorded as its 11th CD.
Standing out on stage will be the bass drum - sporting a flashy new head featuring the Statue of Liberty and the words “Live in New York” – specially designed for the concert and sure to appeal to the American audience.
The concert marks the debut of their new Andante drums, produced in Northern Ireland as the final versions of a prototype developed solely for the band last year.
Their cool navy blue tone, a shade pulled from the band’s recently redesigned tartan, is a change from the brilliant sky blue colour of the Andante prototype.
“I’m excited about the look and how they’ll perform,” says Lead Drummer Reid Maxwell. “Now with our final modifications, they should play perfectly for us.”
Pipe Sergeant Jack Lee says pipers are spending the day getting their pipes in top shape. “It takes a day or two for instruments to become acclimatized to new conditions and it’s important that we take a day to set up and give them a blow in New York weather,” says Lee.
Band members will assemble for their first and only group practice later today before heading to the center for sound checks and a final rehearsal on Friday morning.
Their performance Friday evening will open with remarks from President Andrew Petter, who is in New York following his recent trip to Brazil with a contingent of Canadian university presidents.
During the weekend band members will also teach piping and drumming workshops to more than 200 participants, ranging from youths to seniors, at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens.
“Whenever we perform out of town we like to reach out and provide instruction, engaging with those young and old who share our enthusiasm for the music,” say Lee. “Here in New York, home to the largest number of pipers and drummers in the world, it makes sense to reach out.
“We’ve played many of the world’s top venues,” adds Lee, “and when it came down to where we should play for our 30th, we naturally thought of New York. And we're delighted to be back.”