The Red Deer Legion Pipe Band will perform April 5h at the Elks Lodge to fundraise for their trip to Scotland in 2020. photo submitted

Red Deer Legion Pipe Band celebrates National Tartan Day

The band is raising money for their trip to Scotland in 2020

First formed in 1948, the Red Deer Legion Pipe Band was originally formed as a girls band. The group now has a mix of both men and women, passionate about what they do.

Piper in the group Mark Strachan said the upcoming fundraiser is one of the big ones for the band as they are looking at heading to Scotland in 2020.

“What that does is it creates the heritage line. You’re keeping the Scottish tradition, the Highland tradition alive. We don’t let it go stagnant. Piping and drumming takes a lot of work,” he said.

The trip would be for two weeks as they would cover both Scotland and Ireland, performing throughout.

“The purpose of the Tartan Day is to give recognition to the tartan and every family either inherited a tartan or has their own tartan.”

Tartan Day is a day recognized across the country and usually takes place April 6th, but due to accommodation plans, it will take place April 5th in Red Deer at the Elks Lodge.

The audience will be able to watch the pipe band perform and the pipe quartet, along with special guests the Nova Scotiables, a band that plays a lot of east coast style tunes.

Strachan, who’s been involved in the pipe band for five years, said he likes the challenge of staying on top of the music.

“As you learn a set or tunes and you complete them then the pipe major says, ‘okay now we’re onto another set’.”

The group has had the opportunity to perform at some great events, including opening for the recent 2019 Canada Winter Games, which Strachan said was a great experience. They also take part in the Highland Games in Red Deer.

“You’re forever progressing and moving forward,” said Strachan about being a member of the pipe band.

The group currently has 14 pipers and approximately six to nine drummers, who all meet once a week on Tuesdays at the Elks Lodge.

Those interested in joining the group can visit http://www.reddeerlegionpipeband.com/

Tickets for the upcoming National Tartan Day concert are $25, which includes a light lunch. They can be purchased through any pipe band members or through Strachan himself at 403 304 0063.

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