April 30, 2008

Quite a bit of activity throughout the month.  Jimmy and I started out by meeting Jim's brother Gordon down in Baton Rouge on the weekend of the 5th to do a clinic with the BR band, and some folks from Kilts of Many Colors of New Orleans, and the Celtic Society.  I think we had a couple pop over from Mississippi as well.  A good day though.  I worked with beginning pipers all day and they seemed to get a lot out of it.  Jimmy and Gordy worked with the band folks, and had them all sounding good by the end of the day.  They held a concert that evening.  I was the last minute MC, but it worked out pretty well.

Then there was the lead up to the Arkansas Scottish Festival, which was a big success this year.  Friday was a bit dicey with some rain and cool weather.  We'd planned to hold the USPF Piobaireachd Qualifier at a park downtown, and moved it to the Bevens Music Room on campus early Friday morning.  We also had to move the MSR indoors from the balcony to the Nucor Auditorium in The Lyon Building.  But again, it went well.  We had eight Open pipers, and Matt Pantaleone won the overall.  the Piobarieachd portion was won by Donald McBride of Donegal, Ireland.  The contest on Saturday all went pretty smoothly.  Jimmy Bell was the Open winner for the Saturday events, and Nathanael Harvey won the Amateur 1, including The MacCrimmon Quaich.  N. Texas Caledonians won the Grade IV band contest, and their feeder group Ballantyne Memorial won the Grade 5.

The lovely Nancy Love and I got married on the Sunday morning immediately following the Iona Service here on campus.  Jim Bell was best man and duty piper, and he played a 6/8 march he composed for the occasion called The Dragonfly Wedding March.  Our friend John Chiaromonte performed a handfasting ceremony and it was really well received by all in attendance.  Immediately afterwards there was a performance by the Lyon band, and then I successfully defended my Bonniest Knees title.  Photos of the weekend can be seen here:


We finished up the month with a very nice Kirkin' o' the Tartan at First Presbyterian of Batesville.  Claudia Marsh took this lovely photo just before we went in.

For the band,