Emma’s got a brand new bag

Piper Emma Buchan

Piper Emma Buchan

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A YOUNG piper admitted she’s had a ‘reel’ good time with her band but she cannot stop time marching on.

Emma Buchan, of Falkirk, has been a member of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland for the last eight years and has seen the world, playing concerts in China, Mexico, Italy and Spain.

Sadly, her next concert with the band at Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket on Saturday night, the NYPBoS first main headline concert of the year, is also her very last.

Pipe major with the band for the last two years, 21-year-old Emma knew she was playing on borrowed time. She said: “I joined back in 2003 when I was around 13. I’m gutted to be going but it’s time for me to step down and give someone else a chance to become pipe major.”

It really is the start of a new phase in the life of the former Braes High School pupil, who is about to graduate from Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with a BA degree in Scottish Music and Piping.

The NYPBoS is also going through a transition under director Alisdair McLaren and Glasgow-based lighting designer Adrian Turpin just as Emma prepares to leave.

“Things are going to be a little bit different working with a lighting engineer,” she said. “There will be a lot more visual effects to go along with the music.”

Adrian, who has worked with Celtic rockers Runrig, added: “The visual elements of the performance can be just as intricate as the music and can really enhance the audience’s experience.”

Although Emma will still regularly play and compete alongside fellow Boghall and Bathgate Pipe Band members, the Old Fruitmarket engagement will be her piping swan song with the NYPBoS.

She said: “There are three or four of us who are playing our last concert that night. The band have told us they are going to do something to mark the occasion, but they haven’t told us what.

“I’m quite worried about that.”