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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 30, 2006

Celtic Pipes, Drums, Dance And Pomp Fill Hancher Auditorium Feb. 16

The Pipes, Drums and Highland Dancers of the First Battalion, The Black Watch, and the Band of the Welsh Guard will celebrate rousing Celtic music, marching, dance and pomp at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.

The full performance program -- featuring the Celtic cultures of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales -- is accessible at

Founded more than 250 years ago, The Black Watch -- still an active army battalion -- performs in resplendent uniforms and with ceremonial flair. London's Band of the Welsh Guards, which performs for state functions as well as on tour, provides the musicians for Buckingham Palace's famous Changing of the Guard.

The Pipes and Drums are experts at both music and marksmanship. An elite machine gun platoon, its members won first place in a 1994 competition among infantry battalions. Any piper or drummer with corporal stripes on his sleeves has been promoted for military proficiency.

During World War I, the Germans dubbed the Highland regiment "The Ladies from Hell." As one World War II piping veteran put it, "Wherever the pipes are, the sound of Scotland is close at hand."

The Black Watch first won combat honors at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745, during the War of the Austrian Succession, and also distinguished itself at the Battle of Ticonderoga during the French and Indian War.

The Black Watch also served in the American Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Egyptian Campaign of 1882 and the Boer War. The regiment raised 27 battalions for service on all fronts during World War I, and in World War II it fought in France, Greece and North Africa.

The Band of the Welsh Guards was formed in 1915, and it gave its first concert on the stage of the London Opera House the following year. Since its early beginnings, the band has toured extensively, including recent tours of Belgium, Egypt, Spain, the United States and Canada. In time of conflict each band member assumes the role of a medical assistant, for which they undergo specialized training.

The Feb. 16 performance is supported by John and Sue Strauss and Iowa Memorial Union Catering through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Remaining tickets are $38/35; UI student $15; senior citizen $34.20/31.50; youth $26.60/24.50.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

PHOTOS are available at