For Lathallan School, an appearance on the USA’s Fox News channel saw their performance witnessed by millions for ‘Tartan Week’!
When you head off on your music performance tour, you may be expecting to perform to a local audience. Your previous experience may consist of performing to crowds in their hundreds. There may have even been an opportunity for the group to play to a crowd touching the one thousand mark.
Taking part in New York City’s Tartan Week, Lathallan School, from the village of Johnshaven just south of Aberdeen, saw their pipe band make the journey to the Big Apple for a trip of a lifetime. Students from primary level all the way up to S6 (year 11) made up the group from Scotland.
What is New York City’s Tartan Week?
Tartan Week encompasses the celebrations taking place to reflect on the contributions by Scots and Scottish-American to the City of New York and the USA as a whole.
Led by the Glaswegian actor Tommy Flanagan who took on the role of Grand Marshal for the 19th annual New York Tartan Day parade, the Lathallan School Pipe Band took their place behind the pack of iconic Scottie and Westie dogs.
Performing on Fox News on the morning of the parade, the group only learnt of the chance to perform on TV in front of a national audience the previous evening. A unique experience made all the better with this surprise addition, Lathallan School’s participation in the Tartan Week festivities were part of a wider music performance experience whilst in New York. This included performing on the flight deck of The Intrepid where the group not only entertained a crowd of visitors against a backdrop of Manhattan, but were the first pipe band to play on the carrier.
Lathallan School also had the opportunity to perform at the Statue of Liberty where an enthusiastic crowd of tourists and a New York S.W.A.T. team stopped to enjoy the performance against one of the world’s most iconic statues. The wide variety of venues selected for the Lathallan School Pipe Band extended beyond the Tartan Parade on New York’s 45th and 6th and the award for ‘Furthest Travelled Band’ to include an afternoon performance at Bryant Park where, along with other performers, the group gave a rendition of ‘The Declaration of Arbroath’.
While New York felt like a home away from home for some with the Scottish weather following them to the East Coast city, the music group not only took in some of the famous sites New York has to offer but experienced some of the cities greatest exports. Sport and food…two key aspects to life in New York; Lathallan School made the most of the opportunity to see the world famous New York Knicks play live at Madison Square Garden while also enjoying big name restaurants in the area, including Ellen’s Stardust Diner.
“I would highly recommend a restaurant we went to called Ellen’s Stardust Diner. It was so much fun and the atmosphere was tremendous”
An action-packed experience on and off the stage, Lathallan School’s Pipe Band had the benefit of enjoying New York during Tartan Week. Incorporating additional activities and visits to key sites around the city in amongst time on stage, Lathallan School and their sponsor Wester Ross Salmon were able to provide their students with a music performance tour that not only enriched the lives of each individual but broadened the opportunities available to students through music.