Band Logo Header
Home About News Media Roster Engagements Contact

Isle of Cumbrae Travel to Avilés Interceltic Festival, Spain

The trip kick-started with an early rise on Wednesday 22nd of July at 3 a.m to board the bus to Edinburgh airport.

The bands first performance was at 7 o'clock on the Wednesday night playing a 15 minute slot in a shopping centre, before a parade up to the town hall and playing for a further 15 minutes.

We then had a break before performing a 40 minute concert at the main festival venue. The bands varied repertoire went down a storm and with the additions of Dusty Millar out-doing himself giving great renditions of both The Road to Passchendaele and Caledonia, alongside our own Gillian Mitchell narrating the concert in Spanish gave a personal touch and had the crowd and officials vigorously applauding throughout.

The Thursday was a quieter day, with that band starting in the shopping centre and continuing on the same route as the Wednesday up to the town hall. Again the band performed a 15 minute slot, before a parade up to the main festival venue.

 After an early night/ early hours of the morning in bed, the band started Friday with a Civic Reception at the town hall. This saw all acts from the festival get together and perform a piece outside the town hall, before making our way inside to receive a gift of gratification on behalf of the Mayor of Avilés for attending the festival. That was it until 7p.m, where we once again did our slot in the shopping centre, before parading up to the town hall, another 15 minutes there and then paraded up to the festival venue.

The Friday night saw each of the acts from the festival collaborate with Spanish Celtic group Mosquera. Members of the band played the traditional Breton tune "An-Dro de Bretagne", which had the audience all on their feet performing traditional Spanish dances and by far was given the greatest applause of the night.

The Saturday kicked-off with a rather special occasion. Before we departed for Avilés we were contacted by a gentleman called Diego Gonzalez. Diego now stays in Larbert Scotland, but is originally from the small village of Pravia, 10 minutes from Avilés. The reason Diego contacted us was because he was getting married in Pravia on the Saturday, to his Scottish partner and wanted to surprise her with a Piper. In true Isle of Cumbrae fashion, we said we'll not just give you a piper, we'll give you a full band.

The band piped the bride and her father into the church, before band member Dusty Millar sang for them during the service.  The band then formed a guard of honour for the bride and groom to walk through on exit from the church, bringing tears to the brides eyes. Shortly after we formed up and marched the newlyweds along the street and into their gorgeous reception. After being treated to some delicious canapés and refreshments, the band finally played the bride and groom into their top table of their reception. All members of both families were touched by the bands performance and explained their gratitude for making it a very special day.

The Isle of Cumbrae would like to express our gratitude for all the refreshments, food and most importantly for letting us be a part of your day.

As if by chance, the band were scheduled to play in Pravia that night. The band formed up and played in a 20 minute parade, with numerous stops for small performances in different areas. coincidently the parade finished up right out-side the wedding venue.

The Saturday night drew to a close with the band performing another concert on stage back in Avilés.

Sadly Sunday marked the closing of the festival. Each act played into the venue individually and lined up in front of the stage. each of the acts firstly played their own nations national anthem, before taking part in the celebratory defeat of the Moors, with a traditional 1 minute of noise.

The band then performed their last solo 20 minute slot, before doing a massed band with Auckland & District Pipe Band and finally a collaboration with Irish dance group Innova.

This rounded off a truley special trip which has provided many great memories.

Lastly the band would like to thank Laura Garcia, who was the bands interpreter whilst in Aviles. Laura went above and beyond her role and the band would like to state how grateful we are. Laura is now an unofficial Isle of Cumbrae member and we hope to see her again in the future.


Copyright © 2015 Isle of Cumbrae Pipe Band