Drumming up interest in Celtic music

EMMANUEL and King’s colleges in Warrnambool were bursting with the sound of pipes and highland dancing at the weekend.

Drummer Zara Young, 13, of Warrnambool, sets a lively beat.

Drummer Zara Young, 13, of Warrnambool, sets a lively beat.

The annual South West Coast Piper Drummer Dancer workshops drew more than 100 people from throughout Victoria and interstate to Emmanuel College, while a Celtic concert at King’s College on Friday night treated a big audience to a feast of Celtic entertainment.

The weekend was organised by the Warrnambool and District Pipes and Drums band and featured world-class tutors who showed off their skills not only at Friday night’s Celtic concert but also at informal performances with their students at a Saturday night dinner for workshop participants.

The band’s pipe sergeant Tim McLeod said the workshops gave both novices and experienced drummers, pipers and dancers the opportunity to learn from leading exponents of the arts.

The tutors included pipers Callum Beaumont, from Scotland, Martin Frewen, from New Zealand, drummer Scott Birrell, from Scotland and renowned highland dancer Pat Gush, from South Africa.

Mr McLeod said about a dozen people from Warrnambool were among those at the workshops and the annual event helped to maintain interest in Celtic music and dance. 

Others at the workshops included members of the Melbourne Highland Pipe Band who also performed at Friday night’s concert.

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