Charlie Webster

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The skirl of the bagpipes stir up cherished memories for so many of us Scots - they weave a particular kind of excitement, that's reminiscent of new beginnings and celebrations with friends old and new. 

This week's Workdays and Weekends is 16-year old bagpiper, Charlie Webster - also known by his monker, Charlie the Piper. Younger than many of the memories you're probably now thinking of, this talented young man is taking the piping community storm, having already played on an international stage, and alongside the tremendous Red Hot Chilli Pipers. 

What has your favourite or most memorable performance been so far? 

Each summer around 700,000 people attend the Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittant. During this festival I along with the Strathallan Band played in front of about 20000 people in the Lorient Football Stadium at what they call Le Grand Spectacle. It was also broadcast live over all of France.

Charlie the Piper - Outside

What signals the start of your days off?
My alarm going off then me hitting the “snooze” button but not for long as my 8 month old wire haired dachshund Teddy jumps on my bed and starts licking my face. Then it is off to school where I will pipe most days whether practising, lessons or at an event either solo or with other members of the band.

What might people be surprised to know about you?
I have only been playing the bagpipes for 3 years but due to the hard work of my teachers and my practice schedule I have pushed my way into the A band at school and been lucky enough to play at some lovely people's weddings and also play on stage with the World renowned Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

No matter where you go and play people are transported to somewhere or with someone special to them.

What is at the top of your bucket list?
I loving playing and the reaction of people when they heard the pipes. It is such an emotive instrument that people have many personal associations with it. I would love to play at in the USA specifically in New York during Tartan Day Parade.

I have been lucky enough to play in France, Italy and will soon by travelling to Christchurch in New Zealand for a School Exchange. That school, St Andrews College has a deep connection with Scotland and piping and I look forward to playing there and maybe a wee bit of busking over there too.

Who or what inspires you?
Within the piping world it would be Craig Muirhead Strathallan Schools Piping instructor he has been a huge influence on me and made piping a fun activity and one where you want to push on yourself. He has increased the band from 15, four years ago to over ninety today. I would also say the Red Hot Chilli Pipers for bringing piping to younger audiences.

Charlie the Piper - Piping black background

Tell us about the day you’d love to live again?
I was lucky enough to be part of the Strathallan Pipe Band who were asked on stage at the Horsecross Concert Hall to play with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers during their main set. We accompanied them in playing Highland Cathedral and Chasing Cars. We got to into the Green Room backstage and watched the rest of the gig for free.

What’s the best part about piping?
I would say no matter where you go and play people are transported to somewhere or with someone special to them, a wedding, a funeral, Scotland. As I said it is a very emotive instrument and sound. Some smile, some have cried. I love that.

Complete this sentence; the best things in life are….
Piping, music generally, my dachshunds and my school.

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