300 St Vincent Street Glasgow Scotland G2 5RU

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Highland Cathedral

One "frequently asked question" is, what relationship does St Columba Gaelic Church have with the well known bagpipe tune, "Highland Cathedral"?  The tune was composed by German musicians Michael Korb and Uli Roever in 1982.  Since then it has been performed by many artists and has become hugely popular.  Its adoption by military bands, playing at such events as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo did much to make it into the iconic anthem it is today.  However, St Columba's gained the title "Highland Cathedral" long before the tune was composed.  The affectionate nickname was applied to the present building shortly after it opened in 1904.  The previous church in Hope Street had been bought over by the railway company which needed the site to expand Glasgow's Central Station, and the financial settlement was on such generous terms that the congregation was able to build a new church of such spectacular architecture that it rivalled any cathedral.  The church is not, and never has been, a cathedral.  But as the most ornate design of any church that had been built in Glasgow for a congregation of Highland people, it is not surprising that the title stuck.  It is not known if the composers had any particular church in mind when they named their tune, however there is no record of them visiting St Columba's or even knowing about it.    The application of the name to the church and to the pipe tune would appear to be pure coincidence.