April 2005:

WOW, what a busy month for the band members. On April 2nd we took a trip with a couple of the members to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the SwampCelt Festival. Justin Edwards came away with several medals in his first competition, and Ken Adler won piper of the day in grade 2. We were able to take a quick stop in at "The Myrtles", a former plantation reported to be one of the most haunted houses in the country. We did not see any ghosts, but sure enjoyed looking through the old house, and hearing the stories from the lady giving the tour. Ken claims to have had a paranormal experience, but that's not unusual.  Our former trip to Louisiana did not allow for the tour, and Lance Dorris refused to go near the place.

April 9th weekend was action packed for a lot of us. I went to Dunedin, Florida to compete, and to talk with a few prospective students for next year. Lovely weather and great to meet up with some old friends again.  Tristen and Ken took advantage of a rare free Saturday to drop a canoe in the Little Red River. Neither were seriously injured or killed.

Brooke Hollis, resident highland dance guru, and Deanna Massey, one her students attended a dance workshop and competition in the Detroint area. Deanna won several awards. Quite a talent indeed.

One of the big events of the month was the completion of the Pipe Band CD. This was based loosely on our stage show. Brooke played a harp solo and a duet with Freddie Six Fingers on the smallpipe. There are several solos tracks of light music and piobaireachd, as well as our ceilidh band doing a number. The pipe band plays the remaining tracks with the music the college students have come to expect at our various performances. These are available on the band website.

April 16th was the wedding of one of our ASF Patrons, SGT. Cecil Tennent and his bride Jeannine. Kenton and Tristen did the piping honors at the Presbyterian church in Jonesboro.

April 17th saw us playing at the First Baptist Church here in Batesville. A very warm day for wool, but all went as it usually does, flawlessly.

April 19th was the Honors Convocation, held in Brown Chapel. We marched the awarded students and platform party into Brown and then marched ourselves out. All went well again, with several band members winning awards. These students involved in the Scottish Heritage program are not only talented musicians and dancers, but outstanding scholars as well.

The Arkansas Scottish Festival weekend was a bit windy and cool, but MUCH better than last year's rain. We started it off with the golf tournament on Friday, progressed to the President's Reception that evening, and our first USPF Qualifier held on the Lyon building terrace. We filmed a DVD of the piping and that is also available on the website. Saturday was action packed with several of the Lyon band members winning prizes, and piper of the day honors in their divisions. The Dinner/ Ceilidh was packed again with over 300 people enjoying a well prepared meal and good music.  It was fabulous visiting and competing with friends from all over the country.

Sunday was much more low key, but busy as well. The Iona Service was standing room only under the big tent on Couch Gardens.

On April 29th I went out to Rogers, Arkansas to play at St. Vincent DePaul school. The Bishop of Arkansas was there to enjoy the festivities. The school chooses a country each year to celebrate, and this year was Ireland/ Scotland.

Closing out the month was Brookes dance group recital. Excellent performances from the young dancers. They will do well in their competitions in the year's to come.

For the Lyon College Pipe Band,

Jimmy Bell