AUG 25, 2006

WOW!!!! what a couple months this has been for the band and it's members. I am writing this towards the end of August. The first time we've had a chance to sit down and reflect on all out accomplishments these past 2 months.

The highlights for July included the 2 week summer school which was a huge success. Bigger and better than last year, and plans are underway for an even larger school next July.

I spent the early part of the month at the Bluebonnet summer school in Pittsburgh. This school is run by Patrick Regan and is in it's tenth year. Other instructors were Bob Meade, Larry Allen, Patrick , and our good friend Angus J. MacLellan. I was to see Angus and Bob a week later at our own school here at Lyon. Patrick's band was ramping up for the Novice Juvenile competition in Glasgow as well as a couple other venues. They did very well at the World's this year. Some excellent talent up that way. Hopefully we will attract a few of them to Lyon.

Our summer school featured a series of humanities lectures over the 2 week run of the school. These were well received and we hope to have them again next summer. Some of the varied topics included Gaelic speaking, poetry of Robert Burns, musical migration to the Ozarks from Scotland and Ireland, and an interesting discussion on Scottish harp, and how it correlated with the Great Highland Bagpipe. One highlight for the pipers was the talk given by Angus J on Donald MacLeod (wee Donald) and on pipe band history. He is a tremendously well informed and entertaining speaker. Thanks go to the Arkansas Humanities Council for their generous grant that allowed us to secure the instructors, and to Lyon College for use of the wonderful facilities.

The final weekend of July saw the band members filter back onto campus for the 2 a days prior to our trip across the pond. The heat and humidity were right up there with past records, but we remained undaunted. Kenton, Nancy, Neil, and Martha left early for Scotland and France for various weddings while the rest of us carried on with practices. We held a pep rally before leaving for the town-folk and surrounding area. The playing was some of the best I've heard from our group to date. We expected good results in Scotland.

For the band,

Jimmy