Surprised and honoured

Local babgpiper heading to international tattoo

Frank Gale
Published on May 21, 2013

KIPPENS  Self-taught Highland bagpiper Andrew Patten of Kippens will be among the strongest cadet musicians in Atlantic Canada performing at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo this summer.

Considering the 2904 Cambrai Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps that he is a member of doesn’t even have a pipe instructor, its not only amazing the corps has an 11-piece band but that Warrant Officer Patten was chosen to attend the prestigious tattoo.

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is the largest annual indoor show in the world and is a stage for musicians and performers across the globe to demonstrate their skills. Atlantic Canadian cadets have a unique opportunity to take part in the event when invited and to serve as ambassadors for Canadian cadets and Canada’s youth.

Patten said when he officially got the word two weeks ago he was surprised and honoured, because playing the bagpipes is something he really enjoys.

“It’s my pastime and my hobby,” he said.

Not only does Patten play the bagpipes well, he is also teaching two others in the cadet band to play them and is hoping they will also get the invitation next year to the tattoo in Nova Scotia.

The Cambrai band consists of three bagpipers, which are the only Highland Cadet bagpipers on the island of Newfoundland, three bass and tenor players and five snare drummers.

The tattoo is taking place June 14 to July 8 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, then Patten goes on to Argonaut Army Cadet Summer Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick doing an advanced musician course for six weeks.

Being among the top pipers in the Atlantic region has provided a number of opportunities for Patten to display his skills.

Locally he performed at a number of events: the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 35; by invitation of the commanding officer, for the Second Battalion Regiment Christmas dinner in Corner Brook; piped in the Haggis at a Robbie Burns Night event in Stephenville; and piped in the curlers at the Atlantic Under-18 Curling Championship held at Caribou Curling Club in Stephenville.

While he has been playing the Highland bagpipes for two years, this is the third year for the 15-year-old Grade 10 student of Stephenville High to be attending cadet camp.

Last year at the musician camp, where he made the competition team, he had the opportunity to travel and play at the following: Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia; in Maine, USA; and at the Highland Games Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick.