Piper takes a breath after Edinburgh triumph

Bagpiper Dylan Forge needed every breath from his “third lung” to play 26 shows in 20 days at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. His triumphant trip also culminated with his band’s coronation as world champions at The World Pipe Band Championships.

The Australian Catholic University Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP) student created history as part of The Scots School Albury Pipe Band that was in August crowned world champions in Grade 4B for 2023.

It is also believed Dylan's band is the first Australian band to be awarded Champion of Champions, an award given for the best aggregate score for any band in the season.

Dylan’s endurance was tested each night in front of 9000 spectators at the Tattoo. Sundays provided the only rest, and Dylan joked that the bag acted as a “third lung” to enable the constant air supply to the bagpipe’s reeds throughout the hectic and rewarding campaign.

“We had a show every night and two on Saturdays so you could say we left everything out there,” Dylan said.

“As well as playing the Tattoo, not many people can say they are world champions in their field and it’s just reward for the many, many hours we worked extremely hard for this prize.”

Dylan featured among a handful of Scots alumni in the school band that elevated itself above 40 contenders for the sought-after title of world champion.

He was attracted to piping for its camaraderie and stated that stepping across the Edinburgh Castle drawbridge each night was unforgettable. Already, that experience seems distant as the Melbourne first year Bachelor of Laws student turns his attention to second semester.

His musical passion has provided an appetite for intellectual property law, whist he completed his gap year working in workplace compensation.

While constantly stimulating, the combined demands of bagpiping and academic commitments mean Dylan is often stretched to the limit.

“My degree is challenging to manage when travelling overseas so I like to ensure I finish the semester happy with my results,” he said. “The EAPP has been incredibly helpful throughout the last semester of study. They have supported and understood where I want to go with my uni degree and piping career, and I believe will continue to be a big help for the remainder of my time at ACU.”

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