June 6, 2006

June started out with a trip to Glasgow KY for Jimmy, Nancy, and me for their games on the 3rd.  Jimmy drove, and I rode along.  Nancy flew into Nashville TN, rented a car and drove up the remaining hour and half.

For those that aren't familiar with Nancy yet, she is playing tenor drum with the Lyon band.  She is also a member of Baton Rouge Pipe Band, and is transitioning onto pipes with that group.  This weekend was her first foray into piping competition.  She jumped right in and played in the Grade IV, competing in the 2/4 March with Miss Delicia Chisolm, and in the Piobaireachd Ground with MacIntosh's Banner.  Although she didn't make the prize list, she had a good sounding pipe and got some very positive comments on her score sheets, particularly on the Piobaireachd sheet.  She has real potential and will undoubtedly have success in future competitions.  Good show for a first time out.

I played in the Grade II.  I had a bit of a mishap in the 6/8 March.  I started into the tune, had the pipe going well and got off on a good foot, and promptly forgot to play the repeat and went into the second part.  Realizing my mistake I stopped and apologized to the judge and went on to the Hornpipe/Jig.  I usually play the Hornpipe pretty well and manage to clam up the Jig a bit.  Just the opposite on Saturday.  I managed a third place, and my score sheet from Ed Neigh said something to the effect of, "Hornpipe well-played between the errors".  Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how'd you like the play?  I also got a third in the MSR in spite of having a dirty soul.  Sole, I mean.  A second in the Piobaireachd made me pretty happy.

Jim spent the day judging, along with Ed Neigh, Ed Krintz, Sandy Jones, Tommy Kee, and Bob Meade.  I was concerned about Jimmy's judging station because it was right along a Par 3 fairway on the golf course, and I had visions of a hooked golf ball planting itself in his right temple.  But, he survived the day.

We got to visit with several friends throughout the day.  Scott MacLeod and Dave Corbett were there with Wolf River from Memphis.  And the Bagpipe Buddha, Mike Horvath was down from Cincinnati along with the lovely Janet Marshall.  Always a pleasure to get to spend some time with them.  Their band sounded good, and placed third in the Grade IV.  Tough to beat that Chatanooga ensemble.

The Glasgow competition was run by Rick Mackenzie and was really first class.  We enjoyed ourselves very much and I'm looking forward to return next year.

We have an all day "Scotland" practice coming up this next Saturday.  I don't know who all will make it back, but look forward to seeing some of the band folk who are away for the summer.

For the band,

Ken


June 30, 2006

It's been just a little quiet, but not totally.  Jim and I drove up to Chicago for the MWPBA contest at the Oakbrook Polo Grounds on 17 June.  Jim finished first in the 2/4, second in S/R and also in Piobaireachd, and third in H/J if memory serves me.  I played pretty much like I was made of wood, but did manage to eek out a third in Piobaireachd.  It was HOT up there, I'm telling ya.  Nary a cloud for the better part of the day, and polo grounds are not much made for shade.  Plenty of ice water though.  And we saw a lot of old friends.  Former bandmate Steve Moore is playing with City of Chicago.  They won the Grade III contest.  We also talked with Jason Freeman, the CoC PM; Tom Ogilvy from Springfield St. Andrews; our buddy Ian Moir and several other of the judging crew.  Not the least of which was Willie Muirhead, Jim's predecessor here at Lyon and now PM of Celtic Cross up in IL.  Our friends Laurie and Galen from Pipers-L were there with their band from Minneapolis, and Pipers-Ler Russ Read and his family made us welcome in their Donnachaidh clan tent throughout the day.  I got to visit with some good friends who came down from Madison WI for the day as well. 

Then Jimmy was off to Pittsburgh to teach at a piping school organized by our friend Patrick Regan.  He met Angus J. MacLellan who will be here the second week of July to teach at our piping school at Lyon.  Should be a great couple of weeks.  We have piping and drumming instruction, but also lectures open to the public on topics like Scottish Small Harp, Beginning Gaelic, The Scot-Irish migrations from the east coast to our area in the Ozarks, and the evolution of the Celtic music into the Ozark folk music that is still very popular in this area. 

I finished up the month piping back over in Fayetteville, my former stomping grounds, for an Admissions/Alumni function.  I ran into a few old friends out front of the City Center and had a nice chat before retiring inside to talk with an incoming freshman named Cory Schram who is wanting to learn the pipe, and some other nice folks who were interested in the Scottish Heritage Program.

Next, the summer school, and then shortly after we load up for Scotland and The World's.

For the band,

Ken