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On the Day…on the silver screen

For all the bagpipe and drumming aficionados in the Lower Mainland, we have an opportunity to see something we rarely see on the big screen; a documentary about bagpipes, and in particular, a film about the global assembly of all-star pipers and drummers who form the band “Spirit of Scotland“. The band is composed of top solo competitors including 11 Gold Medal winners, who came together prior to the World’s to compete in Grade 1, facing off against the world’s top bands who have been practicing together all year.

Produced and directed by John McDonald, who calls himself a better filmmaker than piper, the documentary called On the Day: the Story of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band`focuses on a number of band members as they prepare for the one-day competition.   

The following is from the director of the documentary:

“Something like this has never occurred before and it may never happen again. Will these outstanding individual players succeed in creating a winning ensemble musical performance in just one week?

As with any competition, the tension builds as the band gets closer to the Worlds. Sharing a passion for piping, but used to being center stage, alone, these great soloists must put the band first and function as a unit working toward perfect harmony. We see intense rehearsals in the days leading up the Worlds and the nail-biting qualifying rounds that determine the fourteen finalists.

Musical performances are interwoven with the musicians’ individual stories. The pipers and drummers in the Spirit of Scotland are at the same time extraordinary people and ordinary folks. We focus on a handful of players, revealing distinctive personalities as they emerge through cinema verite observation and one-on-one interviews. We delve into the background of colorful characters as they relate intimate, insightful stories, some heartening, some bittersweet, and candidly discuss the origins of their passion and their motivation to keep pursuing their dreams. At the same time, we watch these intriguing individuals form new relationships as they get to know each other while preparing for their ultimate performance.”

The film is being shown at the following locations:

I`m certainly looking forward to this film. I hope you get an opportunity to see it. If so, I may see you there.


Categories: Performances
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