HISTORY


The Royal Bagpipe Band of the County Council of Ourense (Ourense, Galicia) represents the highest artistic expression of over 15.000 pupils who study the secrets of the bagpipe at the School of Bagpipes.

Apart from representing a Channel of expressions for those students, the Royal Band aims at divulging and giving prestige to the bagpipe as an instrument and a national symbol of Galicia, spreading the spirit of this people throughout the world. This is the approach given to the Band by Xosé Lois Foxo, its founder and Director.

Its acknowledgement has been universal, having taken its music and its magic to different places worldwide. It has received the following distinctions:

·  The Best overseas Pipe Band Trophy at the World Championships of Pipe Bands in Glasgow, August 1991-1993.

·  The Most Popular Band at the Highland Gathering, Jakarta (Indonesia) 1992.

·  Gold and Silver Barnacle given by the "Enxebre Xuntanza do Percebe" in Barcelona.

·  City of Barcelona Grand Caball.

·  Acknowledgement Medal of the Cities of München, Nürnberg and Berlin.

·  Gold Medal of the City of Nantes.

·  Diploma of Honour of the City of Glasgow.

·  Special Mention, International Festival of Strakonice (Czek Republic)

·  Gold Medal of the City of Caracas.

·  Honour Mention, City of Chicago.

·  Gold Medal, Vatican City.

·  Letter of acknowledgement by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

·  Medal of Merit, Government of South Korea.

·  Distinctions by national broadcasting televisions of Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

·  Diploma of acknowledgement by the Government of Japan.

·  Declaration of the Royal Band as a national interest by the Government of Uruguay.

·  Gold Medal of the City of Buenos Aires.

·  New York City Trophy (St. Patrick's Day Parade - 2000)

·  Gold Key of the City of Newark (New Jersey)

·  Premium to the best work of communication in the national and international scope, referred to the Community of Galicia, given the 13 of December 2002.

·  Gold Key of the City of Melbourne.

· Acknowledgement of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

 

·  Title of Royal, given by their Majesties The King and Queen of Spain, Juan Carlos II and Sofia.

· Distintion of the Alexandria Library.

· Gold medal of the Cairo government..

· Gold medal of the Cairo University

·  Acknowledgement of the Suprem Antiquities Council of Egypt.

· .Great Golden Emblem of the Free Associated State of Puerto Rico

· .Medal of the "Expo Universal" of Shanghai

 · The great silk book of the City Council of Beijing

· The worrier Terracota Museum of Shian

·Distinction of the Great Wall in China

· New York St Patrick´s Parade honour medal

· Gallegos del año Distintion 2014

· Premio "Excelentia a la cultura" 2016

·Escudo da cidade do Sacramento 2016 Federación AA.VV. Lugo

·Alecrín 2016 das Entidades Galegas en Cataluña

· Distinción de honra do Goberno de Coahuila (México)

·Cuadro de honor do Parque de España de Torreón (México)

 

Apart from the above mentioned distinctions, the Royal Band has many other acknowledgements, mainly given by Galician Houses established throughout the world.

The Royal Band have the following Fonographic publications: Cantares Populares, Muiñeira de Wojtyla-Recopilatorio, Concertos ao Papa Juan Paulo II, Gallaecia, Ano Santo, Adelita, Solistas da Real Banda, Gaudeamus Igitur, Cantigas de Ourense, Directo Teatro Avenida de Buenos Aires, Muiñeira de Wojtyla (compilation), O Camiño, God Bless America, Festa Celta, Cantigas do Mar, Gran Rapsodia de Aires Populares de Galicia, Concerto Nadal, Himnos e Marchas Procesionais de Galicia, Centenario Estrella Galicia, Concerto Atox, Directo Teatro Principal de Burgos, Directo Liceo de Salamanca, Concerto de Reis 2008, Marco Foxo Gañador Solista 2009 and Concerto de Reis 2010. It also has two musical videos, one of theses, contextualized in the monumental richness of the County of Ourense and an other, recorded in live at the Avenida Theatre of Buenos Aires. Éxitos no Mundo (CD/DVD), Músicas do Gaiteiro de Ventosela (CD), Concerto de Amizade Galicia-Escocia (CD_DVD), Concerto na Universidade de San Petersburgo e xira por Rusia (DVD) Antoloxía musical de Galicia (CD).

  • From a musical point of view, the Royal Band is a music group with no antecedent, having managed symphonic achievements which mean a break through in the world of the bagpipe, all of which derive from the use of the three variants of the Galician bag pipe, i.e.  B flat pipes, "barquin" pipes (mechanic blow), tuned in high and low F, as well as a percussion branch made up of high tension side drums, tenor drums, bass drums, tabourines and terrañolas. In a parade the Royal Band is preceded by a section of Drum Majors and its concerts usually include the performance of their "cantareiras" or singers.

    The Royal Band wears the classic 18th century costume of full dress and uses, on special occasions, the ancient tudense costume of medieval origin. Its repertoire includes the most representative melodies fron the musical tradition of Galicia and other celtic nations as well as melodies from different cultures worldwide.

    We can therefore conclude by saying that the Royal Band is a symphonic group of bagpipes which is unique in the world as regards its composition and form, and which uses discipline as a constant referent in all their performances. This inspires and transmits to the public the joy and charm of the youth which unites peoples from all over the world with its message. The royal band makes up the maximum artistic expression of the thousands of students that study the secrets of the Galician pipes, in the provincial pipe school in Ourense. As well as being a channel for the students of the school, the Royal Band, is a source of promotion and prestige, for the pipes as a national symbol of Galicia, taking the spirit of Galicia to all corners of the world. Such was the seed planted by the founder and director Xosé Lois Foxo.

    The Royal Band play in the most star filled moments of the social and cultural calender of Galicia, as well as T.V specials, dedicated to Galicia. This band has taken its music and magic to the furthest places of Asia, America and Europe.

    Amongst their most important achievements in pipe competitions, it is worth mentioning the trophy of the best overseas pipe band, won in the world games held in Glasgow (august 1991 - 1993) as well as the distinction of the most popular band in the Highland Gathering held in Jakarta (Indonesia) in 1992 and 1993.

    The most valued by the Royal Band is the title of "REAL" (Royal), presented by the Spanish Kings Don Juan Carlos de Borbón and Queen Sofia, for their work promoting Galicia and Spain all over the world.

    From a structural point of view, we can consider the Royal Band as a unique musical formation, reaching symphonic heights, and pipe combinations, in an innovator context, in the world of the bagpipes, all of this derived from three variations of the instrument, which are; pipes in B flat, bellow pipes (mechanically blown), tuned in high F and  low F, as well as a percussion section formed by high tension drum rolls, drums, bass drums, tambourines and "terrañolas", all of which differentiate the band from a "folk" formation. They use traditional dress and the typical dress of contemporary folk groups.

    Their repertory is essentially made up of popular Galician melodies, although they do other interpretations which aren't typically associated with the pipes, but which find their best expression in this instrument, like many national hymns, that the Royal Band masterly interpret . To conclude we can define the Royal Band as a new, distinct, and attractive symphonic formation of pipes based in the discipline of youth that transmit a special enchantment, not only at home, but away.