Falkirk piper Chris hopes to blow rivals away

Pipe Major Chris Armstrong
Pipe Major Chris Armstrong

A Falkirk piper will blow into Glasgow next week for the World Pipe Band Championships.

Talented and experienced Airth musician Chris Armstrong (34) will lead out the ScottishPower Pipe Band at the championships.

The event runs from Monday to Sunday and feature competitors from 150 nations.

Chris said: “The ScottishPower band was runner-up in 2012 and came third last year so we’re definitely looking for a top five finish this year.

“Nobody would do you a bad turn, but there is a fiercely competitive atmosphere. The musicians have put a lot of time and effort into this, practicing all year round.”

Pipe Major Chris and his band will be up against Grade One powerhouse the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band which has won the event three years in a row.

Grade One bands like ScottishPower must perform in two events - a March, Strathspey and Reel, which consists of three pre-arranged tunes, and a medley, which consists of a short selection of music chosen and arranged by the band.

Chris, an instructor at the National Piping Centre, has enjoyed a highly successful piping career, winning a ton of solo honours including the Bratach Gorm and the Overall Champion Piper title at the Scottish Piping Society of London a few years ago.

Piping since he was six, Chris knew music was going to be his life.

He said: “My folks were ready to kill me because I just kept going on about the pipes. I would practice for five hours a day during weekends - I was obsessed.”

That commitment has paid off and the Pipe Major will hope he can add a World Championship title to his impressive CV by the time the event ends on Sunday.