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Nov 20, 2008

On Stage With André Rieu


On Stage With André Rieu

Marian College student and bagpiper James Baxter joined Andre Rieu on stage in Melbourne as part of a massed band. Paul Baxter was also part of the massed band who accompanied Rieu, playing snare drum.

November 21, 2008

Two Ararat Australia brothers experienced the opportunity of a lifetime when they took to the stage with classical music superstar Andre Rieu.
James and Paul Baxter performed in the Dutch violinist's three Melbourne shows at Telstra Dome on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

On top of taking part in the classical spectacular, James and Paul had the opportunity to meet the Dutch violinist following the final show on Saturday night. James, 17, and Paul, 15, who both attend Marian College, play with the University of Ballarat Pipe Band. James, who plays the bagpipes, and Paul, who plays the snare drum, were selected from the University of Ballarat Pipe Band to participate in Rieu's concert with a massed band of highland musicians from bands across the country.
The massed band of around 100 comprised of musicians from bands such as the Victoria Police Pipe Band, the Australian Federal Police Pipe Band and the Rats of Tobruk Memorial Pipes and Drums band.
The group walked through the crowd and onto the extravagant staging to perform Scotland the Brave, Road to Gundagai and Amazing Grace.

"We sang Waltzing Matilda and danced around on the stage with maracas,'' James said. "It was amazing, I can't compare it to anything else.'' Paul agreed, saying the experience was 'pretty cool'.
"He's really down to earth and just likes to have fun,'' Paul said.

While both James and Paul knew of Rieu, neither had heard much of him. But following three nights of performing with Rieu, both are converted fans.
Following the final performance on Saturday, the brothers attended the after party with the orchestra, where they met the Maestro himself and his son, Pierre.

"He was a lot more down to earth than I thought he'd be,'' James said. "He got really involved with everything, particularly the pipe music, he just loved it.''

James has been playing the bagpipes for around seven years, while Paul has been playing the snare drum for four years. James said originally he had wanted to learn the violin.
"We were at the Australia Day ceremony listening to the Ararat Pipe Band play, dad asked if I wanted to play the bagpipes and I said yes,'' James said.
Paul took up the snare drum after going along to lessons with James and developing an interest in the instrument. The brothers joined the University of Ballarat Pipe Band two years ago, travelling to Ballarat for practice two days a week.
The band also participates in championships, most recently finishing second at the Australian Championships in Sydney two weeks ago.

The Rieu concert was the biggest audience the brothers have played in front of, and both James and Paul hope to take their involvement with highland music further. ~Photos From The Ararat Advertiser with permission of the Baxter Family.

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Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht

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Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

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"Hello to all my fans on The Harmony Parlor!"

Soundcheck in Maastricht 2013 (RTL Photo)

Maastricht 2012 ~ "André on The Theater Steps" by Bee

Maastricht 2012 ~ "André and Pierre on The Theater Steps" by Bee

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