Saturday night’s Celtic celebration of St. Andrew’s Ceilidh at the Orchard House was a rousing success.
The Scottish house party filled the Orchard House with the sound of bagpipes and drums, with a crowd of all ages gathered at the tables to enjoy the night.
“We want to create excitement about the Celtic arts,” said Kim. “This is a less formal night, it’s more of a Celtic jam session.”
In addition to performances by the two pipe bands, there were members of the audience who took their own turns playing the pipes. The Emily McDonald School of Highland Dance performed in between the two main pipe bands.
The night was a fundraiser for the Vale United and Okanagan Youth Pipe Bands. The sold-out show raised $1,600 for the two bands, and the Okanagan Youth Pipe Band’s raffle raised them over $1,500.
Vale United came together a year ago, with the name coming from how the members represent valleys spread from Chilliwack to Nelson. Lead drummer Steve McPhee suggested the name. The band is a dedicated competition band, with the members committed to their own community bands.
Pipe major Doug Bird, Steve McPhee, Kim Smith-Jones, and Amanda McPhail of Vale United also serve as instructors for the Okanagan Youth Pipe band.
The youth band formed two years ago, with the members not having had experience on the pipes or drums beforehand. They have since played at events across the South Okanagan, including the Penticton Scottish Festival.
The youth band is currently looking for new members, with the goal of supporting youth throughout the Okanagan and adjoining valleys.
The Orchard House sold out for the night’s festivities. The next Scottish celebration is Robbie Burns Night on Jan. 18. Tickets for the second annual dinner and celebration of the Ploughman Poet are available at McPhail’s Kilt Makers.
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