The hugely popular De La Salle Scout Group Pipe Band from Waterford City who are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year were selected to represent Ireland at the Festival Inter Celtique held in Lorient in Brittany France form July 30th to August 9th. The Festival Inter Celtique held annually in Lorient attracts top acts from each of the Celtic Nations and their performances are viewed by very large audiences with some attended by several hundred thousand people. Participation in this Festival was therefore a great honour for the Waterford Pipe Band as it recognises the standard that is now being achieved by these very talented musicians, many of them still in their teens. Participation by De La Salle in this prestigious Festival is one of the highlights of the band’s year of celebration.
Throughout this year the band members have been practicing regularly in preparation for this Festival and twenty three members left Waterford on Thursday July 30th to join the rest of the 200 strong Irish contingent who were all especially selected for the Festival. After they arrived in Lorient the Waterford band rehearsed with the other two pipe bands and musicians from Ireland in preparation for the nightly concerts which were held over the ten day event. Each of these concerts had acts from each of the participating Celtic Nations and had an audience of 15,000 people on each occasion. The band also participated in the opening parade on Sunday August 2nd which included 120 bands from across Europe. This parade was viewed by an audience of in excess of two hundred thousand people. The band also performed at various other events on its own during the Festival and it competed in an International Pipe Band Competition on Saturday August 8th. During their stay in Lorient the band members also had an opportunity to relax and enjoy what the local area has to offer and they also attended the performances of groups from other Celtic Nations. The band will returned to its native Waterford early on the morning of Monday August 10th. The band would like to acknowledge the assistance given to it by the people of Waterford over its 75 years in existence and would particularly like to thank Waterford City Council and the Waterford Youth Committee of the VEC who provide annual financial grants to help the band to operate. You can read the full account of the band’s trip here.