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cooperation band stars at record-breaking Burns night

Friday 31 January, 2020

Haggis, neeps and tatties by the truck load were the order of the day recently at a record-breaking event to host the world’s biggest Burns Supper – and a brass band played a starring role.

Reigning Scottish champion the cooperation band performed at the gigantic Burns supper evening, which was organised by Scotmid Co-operative as part of the organisation’s 160th anniversary celebrations.

Conducted by Colin McKenzie, the cooperation band played a programme featuring traditional Scottish melodies fitting for the occasion, also taking the opportunity to showcase several of the band’s soloists.

A spokesman for the cooperation band told British Bandsman: “We really didn’t know what to expect before we came on stage to play but the atmosphere in the hall was electric and it was a great privilege to be part of a historic, record-breaking event.”

The evening was hosted by comedian and presenter, Fred McAulay. Hugh Farrell, chairman of the Friends of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, addressed the haggis and delivered the Immortal Memory while the Toast to the Lassies was given by television’s Mark Cox (aka Tam from comedy Still Game). The Response from the Lassies came from Jane McCarry, who played Isa in the same series. Tam O’Shanter was enthusiastically delivered by Fergus Muirhead.

Representatives of the Guinness Book of Records were on hand all evening to verify and check the attempt and just after 10pm, they announced to the hall that a new world record had been set for hosting the largest ever Burns Supper.

John Brodie, CEO of Scotmid, said: “It was absolutely fantastic that as part of our 160th anniversary celebrations, we also managed to make history by breaking the Guinness World Records title for the largest ever Burns Supper.

“Our Burns Supper was truly unforgettable; it was great to see so many friends and colleagues joining together to be part of such a memorable achievement – the largest Burns Supper of all time.”

The engagement for the cooperation band comes at a busy time as it has partnered with Scottish charity Heart, Chest and Stroke Scotland, giving a series of concerts across the country. The first concert will take place in St Cuthbert’s Church in Edinburgh on April 18, featuring music from the James Bond films.