MEMBERS of Johnstone Pipe Band are to celebrate its 75th anniversary in style by taking part in one of their biggest ever gigs.

The talented group will be the sole pipe band performing at major annual folk music festival Celtic Connections, which takes place in Glasgow from Thursday, January 18, to Sunday, February 4.

Johnstone Pipe Band will be on the main stage at the city’s Royal Concert Hall on Saturday, January 20, with STV presenter John Mackay acting as compere.

All three sections will be performing, including the grade one and grade three bands and the Renfrewshire Schools Band, which is made up of students from across the area who have been learning the bagpipes from senior players.

Alan McGeoch, who is among those who will be performing, told The Gazette: “It’s really quite an honour to have been invited to Celtic Connections, as it’s not something we’ve done before.

“Only the top bands get asked to play and it’s a great way to kick off what is a special year for us.

“We’ve got lots of big events lined up and a formal celebration in April to mark our 75th anniversary.

“I’m delighted we’re going to be a part of the festival.”

Johnstone Pipe Band was founded in 1943 by former Johnstone Burgh provost James McKay and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

The senior band won the World Pipe Band Championships at Grade 3A level in 2014 before taking the title again in 2015 and 2016 at Grade 2 level.

Further success was to come as the band was promoted to the top flight of Grade 1.

In 2016, the junior band won its World Championship at Grade 4B level and was promoted to Grade 3B.

Folk, roots, world, indie and traditional music will be heard right across Glasgow for Celtic Connections, with thousands of musicians performing.

Pipe Major Keith Bowes is delighted Johnstone Pipe Band will be part of the festival fun.

He said: “We are really excited the opportunity has come our way to showcase the band on the platform of the Royal Concert Hall.

“We will be joined on stage by our newly-promoted Grade 3B band and also our Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band, as well as backing musicians and dancers.”

To buy tickets, visit or Alternatively, call the Royal Concert Hall box office on 0141 353 8000.