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Beijing Olympic Games - London Evening Times 8th August 2008
An amateur pipe band from Scotland today described being hand-picked to perform at the Beijing
Olympics opening ceremony 'like winning the lottery'.
The small Dundee band were spotted by Chinese officials when playing abroad last year in
Confolens, France at a Music Festival and thought it was a joke when asked to play at the prestigious
The Mains of Fintry Pipe Band, had to keep their biggest-ever show secret ahead of the Games.
Even family members were said to have been surprised when they watched the band march out into
Their performance will have been seen by around 4 billion people around the world.
The pipe band is a charity and had to rely on local businesses and suppliers for help with the cost of
uniforms and travel expenses.
Pipe Major Richard Smith, who has been playing for over 30 years, said: 'My only trouble has been
selecting 16 members to play from our band of 26 - no easy task but I was a very popular man for a
time. The city is amazing and the people are fantastic. We can see the average person on the street
is very proud to be hosting the Games and they have made us very welcome.'
Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie congratulated the band's achievement.
He said: 'It is quite a leap from the Fintry community centre in Dundee to the Birds Nest in Beijing,
and their performance is absolute Olympic gold.'
Dundee Lord Provost John Letford said: 'It is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of everyone
involved with the band, both playing and non-playing, that they should be given such a great