DEC 12, 2007

Well, the holidays are nearly upon us.  Finals wrap up today, and a couple of the band folk have already finished up for the semester and high-tailed it for the homestead.  We've taken a week off from band practice, and won't start back up until everyone returns in January.  Jimmy gave us an MSR for Christmas, and we'll be bearing down on that along with our current QMM and selection medley in preparation for 2008 shows and competitions.

I started out the month in Alexandria, VA at an EUSPBA Executive Committee meeting.  We covered a LOT of ground.  The Music Board had recommendation for upgrades that we needed to ratify, and there were a whole bunch of items that had been carried over for discussion and action from November's Annual General Meeting.

The following Tuesday, the 4th, I donned my holiday piper drag and piped Santa Claus in for the Christmas party in Edwards Commons.  There was a line of kids a mile long, and the jolly old elf really lit the place up, hopping and bopping along behind my Highland rendition of Jingle Bells.

Then on Thursday night Jimmy and I traveled down to the Little Rock Country Club for the Lyon Christmas party for the alumni and VIPs who live in that area.  Always a nice affair, and this one was as well.  We played out front as guest arrived.  It was a bit windy and cold, and our fingers got chilled very quickly by the breeze coming off the river.  Neither of us could feel the chanters at all.  It was much more pleasant inside, so we stepped into a drawing room up front and had a couple of more tunes.  Then we adjourned to the ballroom for the party.  Great food, though the potato Martinis seemed a bit confusing to most.  About 9:00 someone called for another tune or two, so we stepped out and tuned up, came back in and started to play, and I guess a lot of people either thought it was the signal to end the party or were just looking for an excuse to bolt because the room cleared before we got to the end of the first tune.  I was somewhat taken aback.  I'm still healing up from the fall I took in Birmingham in November, and it's been pretty tough to play.  Hopefully that didn't have to do with why so many departed.

That's about it for the rest of this month.  January is already pretty well filled though.  Jimmy is competing in the Open at Winter Storm in Kansas City.  Nancy and I will be there for the competition, classes and concert.  Then the next week I have a workshop with Oklahoma Scottish.  Jimmy will be in Houston administering an EUSPBA Graduate exam, and Nancy may go there to help them out with that.  It is graciously being hosted by the St. Thomas Episcopal School.  We round out January with our Burns Night on the 26th, and services at the Second Presbyterian church in Little Rock on the 27th.

I've had a couple of e-mails from the Young Dean over in Akita Japan.  He's been doing quite a good bit of piping, and introducing the locals to tastes of both American and Scottish culture.  I don't believe he has served Haggis as yet.

So, best holiday wishes to you all from the Lyon College Pipe Band.  Have an Atholl Brose and a shortbread wafer.  We'll see you in 2008.

For the band,

Ken