MAY 19, 2008

Oh me, oh my, oh May.  It's already over halfway over.  It started out with Jimmy and Gavin headed down to Austin TX for another in the series of MSPS solo contests. Nancy and I were moving into our new house, just off-campus.  Then the following weekend was graduation.  That consists of the Friday night Baccalaureate where we lead the senior class and all the faculty in full regalia into Brown Chapel for the service, then afterward out the back door and down to Bryan Lake for the torch lighting ceremony and fireworks.  It's a brutal death march, but still something I enjoy doing every year. 

photo by Jason Light

This year the program had several members pass on through the gates to the real world.  Luke Frauenthal played with us his Freshman year, and was at the Clinton Library opening.  Brooke Hollis has been beloved dance instructor for several years now and will be greatly missed by many, and one of our main "gingers", Neil McCarthy is headed off to grad school at University of Texas.  Hook 'em Neil. "The Senator", Dan Haney also left us.  He only played drums for us for a short time, but will be missed.  He's off to law school.  It was a real tough time playing for me as I did some nerve damage or something to my left arm in moving, and it was all I could do to play the simplest marches.

This past weekend Jimmy, Nancy, and I drove down to Houston for their games.  Jimmy judged, Nancy monitored, and I competed.  I'm still not functioning properly, and my Strathspey/Reel was more like a clunky mess, but I still managed a third in that and the Piobaireachd.  Broke down in the March though.  Got to the fourth part and the hand just quit working.  Ah well.  We had a nice time visiting with friends like Eddie Selden, Doug Slauson, Lori Waters, Alex Lubrano, Doug MacRae, Lyric Toddkill, and others.  Always great to dine with Ed Neigh as we did for breakfast on the Saturday.  Adrian Melvin, Mike Cusack, and Drew Duthart comprised the rest of the judging crew.  We got to listen to always impressive St. Thomas bands, Westminster from OKC, Silver Thistle from Austin, and Bayou City.  And our friends from Homeschool Highlanders were there as well, though they didn't compete in the bands.  David Daniel got a taste of the Grade III solos.

Jimmy has some more judging duties coming up, but Nancy and I are taking a couple of weeks off to do work on the house and get a bit more settled in.  And I can hopefully get my arm healed up so my fingers start working again.  Cody and Sarah are off to Italy on a Nichols Study Abroad Program trip, Vince, Mac, and Alex have gone home for the summer, and John Coates, Seth, and Frank Boehm will be back around during the summer, as will Gavin and young Gloria.

Rumor has it that we have a whopping crop of new pipers coming in the fall.

 

For the band,

Ken

 

May 27, 2008

Jimmy and Gavin went to Shreveport for the weekend to judge and compete, respectively at the first annual Ceol Na Pioba piping competition.  It was sponsored by our bandmate Alfred Barrow.  Photos and results can be found here www.ceolnapioba.com

We also heard that Vince's "summer band", Chicago Midlothian split the weekend with City of Chicago in the Grade II at Alma.  Vinnie Smalls also appeared on The Dean's List, along with Seth Ribitzki of the Clan Ribitzki (Extreme East Lothian).

For the band,

Ken