The Clan Hay Pipe Band was formed after a meeting between Tom Hye and Philippe Vervoort.
Tom Hye found out during his genealogical research that he had Scottish blood and after further research it turned out that the Hye family was related to the Scottish Clan Hay. To cut a long story short, Tom Hye was accepted as a member of Clan Hay. This led him to compose a clan song for the Clan Gathering in 2005. The Clan Hay Clan had no tune at that time.
To improve authenticity, Tom also wanted to be accompanied with “real” Scottish bagpipes, and eventually he came into contact with Philippe Vervoort. Philippe Vervoort accepted the challenge and with some friends recorded the CD ‘From a Hay to Delgatie Castle.’
From that point, Philippe dreamed of creating his own Pipe Band, and as the friendship between Tom and Philippe quickly grew, Philippe resolved to create the Clan Hay Pipe Band. The question was put to Tom, who then asked permission from the Chief of Clan Hay, the Earl of Erroll, Lord High Constable of Scotland.
The agreement was given under the condition that the band respects the ancestral rules of Scottish Clans. Then at the end of 2005 the Clan Hay Pipe Band started with two men. But soon, and much faster than we ever hoped, the band grew.
Philippe Vervoort became Pipe Major and the band was founded. We resolutely chose the “Full Dress,” the Scottish military uniform, for its appearance, knowing that this also generates significant costs. However, we felt it was worth it because our public benefits are not only music, but also providing beauty.
Since 2006 we have played every year at the Menin Gate in Ypres at the Homage to a Hay, an annual ceremony in memory of the Scottish Clan members who disappeared during the wars of 1914-18 and 1940-45.
In the summer of 2009 we participated in ‘The Gathering’ in Edinburgh, as part of ‘Homecoming Scotland’. The idea was that many clan members from around the world visit their roots. It was a mass event in which all clans participated. We Clan Hay Pipe Band got to participate and play in Edinburgh Castle. it was an unforgettable experience.
In 2014. we were invited to play Stirling at the events commemorating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. Also a huge demonstration and reconstruction of the Battle of Robert the Bruce and the Scottish Clans against England. The Chief of Clan Hay was the right arm of Robert the Bruce and was given the hereditary office of Lord High Constable of Scotland. The present Chief, Merlin Hay, 24th Earl of Erroll, is still Lord High Constable of Scotland today.
Tom Hye was appointed in 2005 as Convenor of Clan Hay for Continental Europe, meaning he is the President of the Clan in Europe. At the end of 2016 Tom Hye was appointed as Representative of the Earl of Erroll, High Constable of Scotland. Philippe Vervoort was named Personal Piper to the Chief of Clan Hay at the Gathering in Edinburgh in 2009. Anyone who plays in the Hay Clan Pipe Band is automatically a member of Clan Hay.
A second CD was produced by Clan Hay Pipe Band entitled ‘Stand Up Scotland.’ Radio producers around the world, from Australia to Canada through the United Kingdom, use Clan Hay Pipe Band music in their programs.
Donations: Managing a Pipe Band is a costly occupation. One unform is costing £2,500 alone. All donations are welcome. If you would like to make a donation, please contact directly the Clan Hay Pipe Band on www.clanhaypipeband.be
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