Schools bands play at NYC’s Tartan Day parade

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North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band playing in Grand Central station.
North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band playing in Grand Central Station.
North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band playing in Grand Central station.
North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band in Grand Central Terminus

Two pipe bands from Scottish schools took part in the annual Tartan Day parade in Manhattan, New York City at the weekend. North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band and Oban High School Pipe Band travelled to the city last week after months of fundraising for the trip.

The bands were among hundreds of pipers and drummers who played down 6th Avenue in front of around 30,000 spectators in the city’s annual celebration of Scottish heritage.

Oban High School Pipe Band enjoying the sights.
Oban High School Pipe Band enjoying the sights.

As reported by the local media and also by Scottish media, the youngsters of North Lanarkshire Schools band played a brief, impromptu ‘flash mob’ performance inside Grand Central Station prior to the parade. A video of the moment was uploaded to North Lanarkshire Council’s Facebook page.

Comedy legend, Billy Connolly acted as Grand Marshall for the parade. Other bands that took part included the New York Metro Pipe Band, Kirkwall City Pipe Band, the Pipes and Drums of Tir na nOg,

Last season, North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band Novice band won the Champions of Champions title while the Juvenile band enjoyed its best ever finish – fifth – at the World Pipe Band Championships. The bands comprise pupils from the 15 secondary schools in the local authority.

• Luke Shearer, pictured right, from Kilsyth, is the band’s Pipe Sergeant and will write about the band’s trip in a forthcoming issue of the Piping Times.