Vienna Pipes and Drums are safely back home after our 2019 competition trip to Scotland. The band had a great time and put on two strong competition performances.
We started well with a 4th place trophy at North Berwick Highland Games on the 10th August. The main event was the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow on the 17th August, where we competed in a tightly contested Grade 4B Qualifier 2. We were up against 19 other bands from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Switzerland, and Malaysia, including some very experienced competition bands. We came 8th overall, unfortunately not quite good enough to reach the final with the 6 top bands.
We were disappointed not to qualify for the final but the band is very proud of their Worlds performance. Feedback from the audience was positive and we were happy to be scored with two 6th places by the piping judges. We know where we need to improve for our next attempt.
This was our 5th season competing in Scotland and our 3rd trip to the World Pipe Championships. We plan to compete in Switzerland or Germany in 2020 and then return to Scotland in 2021 for another run at the Worlds. Practise starts now! Experienced pipers and drummers who are interested in competing with us should contact the band through our website or the band Facebook page.
The band has been quiet lately as we have been preparing for our August competition trip to Scotland. Twelve pipers and seven drummers will be flying to sunny Edinburgh next week to try our luck competing against pipe bands from all across the world. This year the Vienna band will be joined by 3 very experienced musicians, our good friends Irmi Foglar and Maggie Jeschofnig from Austria and Mai Ki from Germany.
This will be our 5th season competing in Scotland and our 3rd trip to the Worlds. In our last competition season in 2017 we had our best results yet: 6th place at North Berwick, 4th place at Bridge of Allan, and qualification for the Grade 4B finals at the Worlds, where we were up against 60 other bands. We came 2nd out of of 19 bands in our qualifying heat, and then managed a respectable 11th place out of 18 finalists. This year we hope to improve on this result.
It takes a lot of hard work and harder cash to get the whole band to Scotland, and we would like to thank our many loyal supporters who come along to our Burns Nights, Whisky Tastings and other events and help us raise the funds that make it possible.
We’ll try and do Vienna proud, in the competition circle and the beer tent!
On 9th February Vienna Pipes and Drums again had the honour of opening the IAEA Staff Association Ball in the Vienna Hofburg. Thanks to the ball committee for letting us take part in this incredible event. Here’s the official video of our performance, video starts after a few seconds.
Vienna Pipes and Drums plan to compete again in Scotland in 2019. Any experienced Pipers and Drummers in Austria or elsewhere who are interested in joining us are invited to contact the band. We are looking for pipers, snare and tenor drummers.
The main event will be the Grade 4B competition at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow on the 17th August 2019. We will also play in North Berwick and Bridge of Allan on the 10th and 11th August, where we will play in Grades 4B and 4A.
This will be our 5th season competing in Scotland and our 3rd trip to the Worlds. In our last competition season in 2017 we had our best results yet: 6th place at North Berwick, 4th place at Bridge of Allan, and qualification for the Grade 4B finals at the Worlds, where we were up against 60 other bands. We came 2nd out of of 19 bands in our qualifying heat, and then managed a respectable 11th place out of 18 finalists. Next year we hope to improve on this result!
Musicians interested in joining us need to be strong, experienced players who can commit to learning the tunes, traveling to Scotland, and playing all 3 competitions. We will be playing four MAP 2/4 marches in Grade 4B and an MSR in Grade 4A.
Frequent attendance at band practices and workshops in Vienna is expected. Skype sessions can be arranged for those further afield.
On 13th July the band traveled to sunny Steiermark to perform in the European Art 47 Festival 2018 concert in Hatzendorf. The goal of the festival is to bring together artists from all European countries in a series of concerts and performances. We were proud to represent both Scotland and Vienna at this year’s Begenungskonzert , performing alongside the very talented musicians and dancers of the Dudaryk choir (Ukraine), the Halicz dance group (Poland) and the Steirischen Jägerchors. The following day we played a short concert at the famous Zotter Chocolate Factory in Riegersburg.
On 3rd June, Vienna Pipes and Drums together with our friends the Caledonian Pipes and Drums Burgenland performed in the Stadthalle Wien in support of the world-famous Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra. It was an incredible experience for the band, playing to a crowd of almost 10,000 in a sold-out Stadthalle. We accompanied the Orchestra and their own highly accomplished piper Manoe Konings in performances of the well-known tunes Amazing Grace and Highland Cathedral. We had a great time and hopefully we made a few new fans in the audience. Dank u wel Maestro!
We are looking forward to entertaining you at our 7th annual Vienna Pipes Burns Supper on Saturday 27th January! Thanks to all the enthusiasts who snapped up the tickets so quickly.
As always we’ll have plenty of entertainment on offer. The pipe band will open the evening with a short performance at 20:00. Then we’ll have the traditional recitations of Burns’ poem “Address to a Haggis” before the haggis supper is served courtesy of the band’s own chef, Christian Holl. The Immortal Memory will be followed by a capella singing by the group Morning Dew, a performance of Irish Dance by the Shamrock Dance Company, and Ceilidh music from our old friends the Alastair band, led by violinist Alastair Edwards from the Shetland Islands.
All money raised from this event helps the band cover the costs of tuition, instruments, and equipment, including our teaching program for young learners. Many thanks to our sponsors who have generously donated raffle prizes: Bobby’s Foodstore, Potstill Whisky Store, House of Scotland, Dobibrennda distillery, and Karl Müllner. The first prize is a rare bottle of 19 year old Glenmorangie whisky, offered by Mr Colin Campbell of Vienna International School fame and Graeme Hood, founding member of the Vienna Pipes and Drums. Rainer Dobiasch, another founding member of the band distills his own Apfelschnapps under the name of “Dobibrennda” which you can also win if you purchase enough raffle tickets.
On 9th September 2017 we celebrated 20 years of the Vienna Pipes and Drums with a grand concert and ceilidh. Thanks to all our guests and performers for making it a truly memorable night, including dance band The Ceilidh Mafia, singer Monika Froehler, acapella group Morning Dew, members of Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band, and our wonderful MC Dominique Reitinger.
It was a bittersweet night for the band as this was also the farewell concert for our Pipe Major Gavin Law, who after leading the band for many years is returning to Scotland. We have Gavin to thank for the band’s competition success, our many popular fundraising events, and our ongoing children’s teaching programme. We look forward to building on his legacy over the next 20 years! Here are a few memories of the night.
Here’s an HD video of the band’s performance in the Grade 4B final at the 2017 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, where we came 11th out of 18 finalists. Thanks to Eric Traynor for the excellent video.