Queensland Piobaireachd Group

Join us to continue the ‘big music’ tradition in Queensland, Australia.

Piobaireachd – pronounced ‘pee-brock’, and also called ‘ceòl mór’ (‘big music’) – literally means ‘pipe music’.

However, piobaireachd is now most commonly used to refer to large pieces of classical piping music that have a distinctive, almost meditative feel.

Based on an ancient Scottish style of piping, these beautiful works of musical art have a unique style that is not found anywhere else in the world.

Sometimes, you may hear pipers refer to popular piping tunes as ‘light music’, as the alternative to the ‘big music’ of piobaireachd.

It often takes an enthusiastic listener a bit of time to ‘settle in’ to piobaireachd, but once you get hooked, there’s no turning back!

Whether you’re completely new to piobaireachd or an established player, the Queensland Piobaireachd Group welcomes you to come along and enjoy the big music with us.

About the Queensland Piobaireachd group

The Queensland Piobaireachd Group is a monthly gathering of pipers and piobaireachd enthusiasts who play, listen to, and enjoy the ceòl mór in South East Queensland, Australia.

Meetings are held on the last Sunday of every month (excluding December) from 10am–1pm at Ipswich Pipe Band Hall, just inside the Moffatt Street entrance to Limestone Park.

These get-togethers have no entry or admission fee. They give pipers an opportunity to air their latest tunes to a casual audience of fellow piobaireachd enthusiasts, enjoy friendly discussions and banter, and inspire others with their efforts and/or be inspired by others to perhaps learn another tune that had been overlooked.  

Everyone is welcome, be they young or old, experienced or otherwise, or perhaps just considering taking up this fascinating aspect of piping that has so much to offer.  

We are grateful to have the support of the City of Ipswich Pipe Band for the free use of their facilities for this purpose.


Have you seen the new piobaireachd publication “The Campbell Letters”, masterfully edited by Malcolm McRae?

This compilation of letters between James Campbell and his father Archibald Campbell of Kilberry and various famous luminaries in the art of piobaireachd would be a valuable addition to every piobaireachd player’s library.

It is fascinating, insightful reading that provides detailed practical information about the playing of specific tunes, about styles of playing, about the arguments encountered in the way the tunes have been published in staff notation and traces how the music has been passed down to us by the master players of their times using the traditional methods of aural teaching.

You can purchase a copy from The National Piping Centre via the link below.


Upcoming meetings

  • Sunday 27 February 2022, 10am–1pm
  • Sunday 27 March 2022, 10am–1pm
  • Sunday 24 April 2022, 10am–1pm
  • Sunday 29 May 2022, 10am–1pm
  • Sunday 26 June 2022, 10am–1pm
  • Sunday 31 July 2022, 10am–1pm
  • Sunday 28 August 2022, 10am–1pm
  • Sunday 25 September 2022, 10am–1pm
  • Sunday 30 October 2022, 10am–1pm
  • Sunday 27 November 2022, 10am–1pm

See the event page for up to date details of monthly meetings and recitals.

Resources

The following resources are available for purchase. Contact Ross Campbell (details below) for more information.

  • Piobaireachd Balmoral Style: Volume 1 – plus sound files
  • Piobaireachd Balmoral Style: Volume 2 – plus sound files
  • Piobaireachd Balmoral Style: Volume 3 – including a special tutor segment plus sound files

Ross Campbell

Facilitator, Queensland Piobaireachd Group

Since he began piping in 1953 at age 10, Ross has had a distinguished piping career. He played for 20 years with Hawthorn City Pipe Band in Melbourne – the last nine years as pipe major – and won the Australian A Grade Pipe Band Championships at Brisbane in 1970.

Ross was also a successful solo competitor, placing first in Victoria’s Annual Open grade competition 22 times, and he has played in 99 piobaireachd competitions, gaining 83 prizes including 64 first placings.

Ross was a teacher for 32 years at the prestigious Scotch College, Melbourne (1976–2007), and has been on the Australian Judging Panel since 1973.

A memorable career highlight for Ross was when he arranged the pipe score for John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’ in 1987 and played on the CD.

Ross also makes his own reeds.

Contact details

M: 0488 952 520   
E: ross_campbell@mac.com   
A: 14 Bingara Street, Mount Lofty, Toowoomba, Queensland, 4350

Header image used with kind permission from Eric Evenhuis.