Michael Korb has always had a special liking for bagpipe
music. When he finished school in 1974 and came to Berlin, he
immediately took lessons with the "pipe major" of a Scottish battalion,
who taught him to play this unusual instrument. When the Scots
left Berlin, Michael Korb also went
.... to Edinburgh, where he took daily lessons with the 80-year-old
master Paddy Atkinson. During the day, he practised in Paddy's
garden arbour, at night (because of the neighbours) he practised
in the woods. For several years, he kept coming back to Edinburgh,
until he had an adequate command of the instrument.
Following publication of a record featuring bagpipe music
in disco style in 1979 and the lucky encounter with the experienced
and very successful arranger, producer and composer Uli Roever
(who worked, among others, for Udo Jürgens and Peter Maffay),
after the production of the single records "Highland Games"/"Lonely
Piper" and "Dreamy Island"/"Devils Dance" "Highland Cathedral"
was jointly developed and also published as a single in 1982 together
with the title "By The Right-Quick-March". The two makers of the
tune were convinced of its chances of success - the publishing
companies were not. In spite of their rejection at that time,
the tune has found its way into people's hearts - sometimes in
an unusual way.
"Highland Cathedral" was produced, arranged and composed
by Uli Roever and Michael Korb and published as single in 1982.
This original version is contained on this CD. It is interpreted
by Michael Korb on bagpipe.
Since then, the composition has been published internationally
on various sound media 864 times by different artists.
In the majority of cases, the title was published in its
traditional instrumentation of pipes & drums. But other interesting,
classical and symphonic versions have met with great interest,
The pipes & drums and
military band of "The Royal Highland Fusiliers" with
pipemajor Gavin Stoddart was the first band who published "Highland
Cathedral" - in 1986 on their album "Proud Heritage".
The song has also been published in German: "Steh wieder
auf" and "Du bes die Stadt" (Highland Cathedral - Wikipedia),
Hilary Bell sang "Always you" in English and Amy Grant published
"Highland Cathedral" in America on her CD "A Christmas to Remember".
The composition also attracted attention when being performed
on large events with military bands with up to 800 musicians.
"Highland Cathedral" was orchestrated impressively at the "Waldbühne"
in Berlin and at the finale of the famous Royal Edinburgh Military
The famous and world's best bagpiper Angus MacDonald included
the sheet music of "Highland Cathedral" in his famous sheet music
collection of selected bagpipe tunes "The Collection".
"Highland Cathedral" was the Royal Hong Kong Police Anthem
under the British rule which ended in 1997. It was played at a
ceremonial lowering of the Governor's flag at Chris Patten's residence,
Government House on the last day of British rule. "Highland Cathedral"
is Chris Patten's favourite pipe tune as said by himself on a
BBC Asia Today programme.
"Highland Cathedral" is also a popular wedding song.
"Highland Cathedral" was featured in one of the most famous
British film productions "Four Weddings and a Funeral".
Pop queen Madonna chose "Highland Cathedral" for her church
wedding ceremony in Scotland (December 2000).
In 2013 the Thomas Heuer from the city of Berlin in Germany wrote
the wedding-lyrics "Liebe für die Ewigkeit" in
German and "Will She Marry Me" in English for "Highland
Also Phil Coulter produced and arranged his version of
"Highland Cathedral". His recording of the same title held the
top position in the German "Klassik Radio" charts in December
In the USA, a film documentation "Tribute to Wayne" about
the famous icehockey- player Wayne Gretzky featured "Highland
Cathedral".Another film documentation with the title "Gloria &
Pipers" featuring "Highland Cathedral" was published in the USA.
In December 2001, "Highland Cathedral" was performed concertante
before the Royal Family, in the presence of the Queen, in a festivity
on the occasion of the "Remembrance Day" at the Royal Albert Hall
(broadcast on television by the BBC).
One of the famous bagpipe bands, the "Royal Scots Dragoon
Guards", who was awarded 14 Golden Records in 1972 for their wold-wide
hit "Amazing Grace", has now published the CD "Highland Cathedral"
and a DVD with the same title - a musical film production with
beautiful impressions of Scotland (and more CDs with "Highland
The CD "Highland Cathedral" by the "Royal Scots
Dragoon Guards" has become a bestseller and the most successful
bagpipe CD in world.
In Great Britain, the CD "Spirit of the Glen" by the
"Royal Scots Dragoon Guards" with another wonderful
interpretation of "Highland Cathedral" was voted as
Album of the Year 2009.
Together with 600 performers, the "Royal Scots Dragoon
Guards", effectively staged "Highland Cathedral" once
again in the finale of the world-famous Edinburgh Tattoo Festival
2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012.
Photo: Mark Owens
With kind permission of the
"Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo"
Manager: Alan Smith
The "Royal Edinburgh
& "Highland Cathedral": 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012
Mr. Brigadier Melville Jameson, who has been responsible for the
worldwide popularity of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
for 12 years now and for this reason enjoys utmost international
reputation, staged this event spectacularly in 2006, too. In the
finale, 600 musicians in 13 bagpipe bands presented Highland
Cathedral with a brilliant display of fireworks as an exquisite
Also the invited guests of honour, Princess Anne and the charismatic
global actor Sean Connery, were extremely enthusiastic about the
probably best Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2006 ever.
Both a CD and a DVD of this concert have been produced. The BBC
recorded the event for the purpose of global TV broadcast. In
addition, Mr. Jameson produced the CD Edinburgh Military
Tattoo Tribute, on which he compiled Highland Cathedral
together with the most beautiful musical performances on the occasion
of the 12th anniversary of his reputable production management
in a special edition.
The fabulous album Highland Cathedral (interpreted by
Phil Coulter) was nominated for the Grammy award (New Age).
years the press media and even the Scottish Parliament have been
debating the question whether Highland Cathedral should
become Scotlands new national anthem.
In this context, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
gave a concert in Edinburgh in June 2006, in which Highland
Cathedral competed together with Scotlands most popular
songs in a public contest to become the new national anthem.
Highland Cathedral is broadcast internationally
in the 15-part TV series First Dance.
The original "Highland Cathedral" CD is available via
"Highland Cathedral" was performed with 1500 artists
in front of an enthusiastic audience from February 5 to 7, 2010
at the sold-out Sydney Stadium on the occasion of the special
guest performance "The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in
According to the organizers this event was the biggest Scots Festival
of all times.
The pipeband "The Crossed Swords" introduced "Highland
Cathedral" at the Tattoo 2010 in Moscow.
The Californian bagpipe band "Caber Feidh" has published
it latest CD "Out of the Glen" containing "Highland
Cathedral". This band has become famous all over the world
because of their spectacular appearance in great Hollywood movies
( "The Fugative" with Harrison Ford).
The organplayer Ockie Vermeulen published in South Africa his
CD "Highland Cathedral" which has been met with critical
acclaims. This CD was topping the South Africa Charts for over
62 consecutive weeks (youtube.com/watch?=744ASou3J_w).
Heinz-Jacob Spelmanns from Düsseldorf, who has been enjoying
for many years great success in concerts with his ensemble "Musica
Variata" consisting of musicans Johan Kohlhaus and Klaus
Glocksin (Band: "The Rhine Area Pipes & Drums"),
has won over classic fans in particular with his sacral, virtuoso
organ arrangement of "Highland Cathedral" in the style
of Johann Sebastian Bach (CD Koch Schwann / Musica Mundi).
The special sacral score from Heinz-Jacob Spelmans for
organ, flute and pipes/trombone of the composition "Highland
Cathedral" from Uli Roever and Michael Korb is available.
Different special arrangements/scores for orchestras and
bands of "Highland Cathedral" are as well available
at the German music publisher
and at the British music publisher
Safe Music or at Henry Funke - Exciting Brass Quintett.
On the occasion of the visit by Pope Benedikt XVI. to Scotland
on September 16, 2010, 1000 bagpipers had welcome the Holy Father
during his passage along famous Princess Street in Edinburgh with
their performance of "Highland Cathedral"
YouTube: The Pope tours Edinburgh in the popemobile).
The international popularity of the composition "Highland
Cathedral" has induced the Scottish clothing company "House
of Edgar" to create and produce a special pattern in the
tradition of Scottish tartans that bears the same name.
The tartan "Highland Cathedral" is now registered
in the official Register of Tartans in Scotland.
In Scotland "Highland Cathedral" has recently
been made suitable for the dancefloor in a contemporary version
by DJs Ess & Gee. "SCOTTISH clubfever" is the 368th
international new production (coverversion) of "Highland
Cathedral" by other artists.
The long-established Cologne-based "institution" and
cult-group "Bläck Fööss" published their
special text version of "Highland Cathedral" as musical
Declaration of love to Cologne in a manner typical for the Rhineland
("Du bes die Stadt") on the occasion of carnival 2003.
This title of the album "KBF33" reached position 24
of the German charts on 27. January 2003.
For the 40th stage anniversary of the legendary Cologne band "Bläck
Fööss" readers of the newspaper "Kölnische
Rundschau" voted the most popular songs, the Top Ten, by
this band. With 1947 votes "Du bes die Stadt"/ "Highland
Cathedral" was selected No. 1.
Muppetshow from Cologne:
Even in the venerable "Hänneschen-Theater" in Cologne,
which was founded way back in 1802, the famous puppets have been
performing a new musical play since 2013 in Rhineland dialect
with songs by the "Bläck Fööss" including,
of course, their city hymn "Du bes die Stadt/Highland Cathedral"
In the internet on You Tube users have clicked and viewed the
video "Musikschau der Nationen" with "Highland
Cathedral" already ca. 2 millions times. Viewers have sent
thousands of enthusiastic comments, which are also published there.
The monumental "Music Show Scotland" has been touring
through Europe since 2011 as the world's biggest indoor show production
of its kind with 120 pipers, 45 dancers and a band of 20 musicians.
In particular, these artists under the special direction of Hans
Beerten/Guiness Adria (R.I.P.) together with the famous "Royal
Scots Dragoon Guards" received standing ovations for the
excellent performance of "Highland Cathedral" in sold-out
concerts so far.
Music Show Scotland Berlin
f.l.t.r.: Mathias Döbel-Demal,
Geert van Rooij, Peter D. van Gerven, Benny Vangenechten, Kees
Westerkamp, Michael Korb, Hans Beerten, Piet Polderdijk,
Gerard Siep, Eoin Ashford, Leona Demal
In 2011 the successful concert manager Ulrich Lautenschläger
initiated the Loreley Tattoo with "Highland Cathedral"
for the beautiful open-air stage on the famous Loreley rock on
the Rhine at St.Goarshausen.
Loreley Open - Air - Stage
Photo: Frey Pressebild
These concerts were so successful that he also orchestrated the
first Deutschland Tattoo for the gigantic Veltins Arena (Schalke)
in Gelsenkirchen on September 7, 2013 (arranged and conducted
by the Director of Music Mr. Major Jason Griffiths). In the final,
"Highland Cathedral" was performed by the world‘s
largest bagpipe formation and a huge fireworks. 800 bagpipers
volunteered for this event and set up a new world record with
The British newspaper "Daily Mirror" has been
looking out in a competition for the best choir to interpret the
popular version "Highland Cathedral - My Heart, My Home"
at the festive opening of the "Commonwealth Games" 2014
in Glasgow (music: Uli Roever and Michael Korb, lyrics: Dr. Simon
Paterson-Brown and Christopher Thomson).
"This book features the timeless and hauntingly
beautiful composition “Highland Cathedral”, which
also plays a pivotal role in the Jacky’s story."
Jim Sellers (www.jimsellers.net)
"Highland Cathedral" is played before all international
Scottish rugby matches at Murrayfield in Scotland.
In the year 2013 Kelly Brown and "The Voices Of Scottish
Rugby" created the impressive Video "Highland Cathedral
- My Heart, My Home".
"Highland Cathedral" at the "Berlin
Photo with kind permission/copyright: Musikparade
In 2014 Ainsley Hart and Allan Watts published in Australia
the profound teaching book "The School Piping Tutor"
with the written music of "Highland Cathedral".
The well-known British singer Eve Graham ("I'd Like
To Teach The World To Sing") for a second time recorded the
composition "Highland Cathedral" by Uli Roever &
Michael Korb, this time in the arrangement of the American Larry
Hall with the Christian lyrics of the American Duane Kellogg "Love
Won The Fight".
In 2015 the spanish pop group "Batemento" published
with original spanish pipes from Galizia on their new brilliant
album "Overture" in an innovative arrangement their
own interpretation of "Highland Cathedral".
"Highland Cathedral" at "Basel Tattoo"
Photo with kind permission of the producer
The society of the "Drehorgel-Club" in Switzerland
under the direction of Peter Bürgisser is playing successful
"Highland Cathedral" on the hurdy-gurdy.
At a lot of street-organ festivals and even in the famous abbey
cathedral of Einsiedeln in Switzerland and in the famous church
of Berlin "Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche"
nearly 1000 spectators were enthused.
The film "Banding Together" directed by Angelica
Kroeger and produced by Elena Rubio-Hall will feature "Highland
Cathedral" performed by a Scottish school pipe band. The
film will be handed in to some film festivals.
The famous and celebrated chanteuse Mirusia, who is also
very successful performing with André Rieu, released
her new album in 2017. It was her heart´s desire to introduce
on this album "Highland Cathedral" composed
by Uli Roever and Michael Korb with the lyrics "Within My Heart"
written for her by Graeme Press.
Mirusia Louwerse: "...The melody of "Highland Cathedral"
is so beautiful that I decided it would be lovely to sing it
on my new album and on my tours around the world."