The B.I.G. was created in 1986 thanks to the patient research and tenacity of Manuel Trucco.Initially, the intent was to bring Celtic music lovers together and in particular pipers from Scotland, Ireland and Brittany and to aid in the reciprocal exchange of information.After the first Italian convention held in 1987 in Casale Monferrato and since 1989, the Irish contingent of the association gradually broke from the group. Currently, the B.I.G is entirely comprised of Scottish pipe players and its historical base is “Cetine”, an isolated country dwelling situated in Rignano sull’Arno in Tuscany. The B.I.G.’s main purpose is to supply news and documented material needed for studying the Scottish Pipe and its cultural music thus ensuring a proper starting point. The B.I.G. is considered a non-profit organization, which operates on a national level. No subscription costs are incurred when joining the group. Annually, it organises a series of 2-day meetings concentrating on propaedeutics , hoping to deepen one’s knowledge and to ultimately perfect instrument techniques. Many of the workshops held are hosted by the maestro Bruno LeRouzic. Since 1987, he has passionately followed and helped the musicians grouped together in the B.I.G., helping them to “grow” with the instrument. This for the first time has produced a good level of piping in Italy. In 2001, Bruno passed the didactics off to Alberto Massi. Also thanks to the teachings of Riccardo Bonanni, then Bruno LeRouzic and lastly of the great Roderick Macleod, Alberto has reached a high level of competency in both musical and technical areas. Under Alberto’s guidance, the BIG has experienced an exponential growth. Together with the City of Rome Pipe Band, this association has expanded by far from what it was way back in the Cetine days.
Since 2003, workshops for Scottish Pipe affacinatoes have been organised and participation is opened to all. These workshops are called the “BIG Gathering” and deal with technical aspects of this instrument as well as convivial pleasures.The B.I.G. boasts numerous members and supporters located from all over Italy. From Sicily to Friuli, from Molise to Emilia-Romagna, from the Campania area to Tuscany and from Lazio all the way up to Italian Switzerland. Thanks to the continuous enthusiasm from the group, the number of its followers is constantly increasing.The Group is at the disposition of all who would like information regarding the instrument, its history and to provide technical and didactic help.
Recently, the B.I.G. has produced a CD-ROM series called “The Great Highland Bagpipe” – to become familiar and to learn and play the Scottish Pipe”. This series is the only one of its kind in the world, boasting multimedia characteristics and written entirely in Italian. The fourth and last volume entirely dedicated to “pibroch” has been presented during the fourth BIG Gathering.