I am new to both Arkansas, and to Lyon College. I have attended the last 4 ASF festivals as both a dance piper, and judge of the piping. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself at all of them, and hope to continue the fine efforts of Will Muirhead in that regard. I would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful part of the country than Arkansas. The people I have met are also filled with true southern hospitality.
This will be a weekly feature, whenever possible, on the SHP section of the website. We will also have the monthly update of the Arkansas Piobaireachd Society, as we move the meetings around the state, and expose both pipers, and non-pipers to our great music, Ceol Mor. Stop by the college just about any time, and you'll hear bagpipes or drums being played. We are located at the back of the campus in the Scottish Heritage Building. Look for the flag in the window. I'd love to have you come by and say hello.
For the Lyon College Pipe Band,
Installment #2 - 8 September
Over the past 2 weekends, the band has been quite busy. We opened the season for both the men's and women's soccer teams here at the school, to great applause.
Saturday September 6th, saw us at the Greer's Ferry Cleanup. We played first with a couple of our sets, and again received a good round of applause. We were able to make a couple of key connections in that area of the state, and will hopefully pick up some additional students, not only for Lyon, but the band as well.
Sunday we attended an outside church service for the Newport Presbyterian Church. Rev. Alan Ford officiated at the service that all enjoyed. It was held by the White River, in Jacksonport Park. I got a shortened version of the local history from a young lady in attendance there. It happens that Jacksonport was 3 votes shy of becoming the state capitol when that was decided some years ago. There is a steam boat on the river, for display purposes, and a reconditioned Jacksonport court building. Worth a trip for the tour as time allows. The park itself was somewhat reminiscent of the old Thousand Islands Games from the 70's. Funny how different areas of the country remind one of others. I cannot finish this informal prose without a mention of the food. That is one thing the Presbyterians can certainly do. Feed you well. The band being made up of mostly college kids, they are always looking for a home cooked meal. Mrs. Bell is still back in Florida for the time being, so I am doing the bachelor thing, and also enjoy a good home cooked meal. I no longer cast the svelte shadow I once did, so you can guess correctly, that I also quite enjoyed the meal. Thanks to those folks.
For the Lyon College Band,
Installment #3 - 9 September
We had the President's Convocation today in Brown Chapel. This involves the presentation of awards to various groups on campus, as well as a speech by the president. We made a small presentation ourselves, of a tune which will be called the Lyon College March. Everyone in our department was involved in some way. Either keeping the secret of the presentation, (tough to do on a college campus), or getting a beautiful framing job done on it. I admit, I am but a piper. This all at very short notice, as the tune was to be presented at our LyonFest weekend in 2 weeks, but we decided at a meeting Friday to present it today. The writing out of the tune was the easy part. Attending up front was Kenton Adler from staff, Steve Moore, our senior student piper, and myself. I did ask Bob Qualls if he got my good side (there really is none) and he acknowledged Jason Marzewski was on top of it, as usual. The good looking guy in the picture will NOT be your writer, I assure you. Several of the other band member's were in attendance as well, just to cheer the sororities on, as they seemed to be winning all the awards. More news as it comes in.
For the Lyon College Band,
Installment #4 - 11 September
Played a short memorial service in El Dorado, Arkansas this morning. Met with a lot of very nice people, and got some publicity for the school (always good). Prepping for the kirkin' in Hot Springs this Sunday, which should prove to be a big event for both the church (Presbyterian), and Lyon College, as Dr. Roettger (Lyon's president) is doing the preaching.
More as our adventures unfold.
Installment #5 - 15 September
This weekend saw us at the Kirk in the Pines Presbyterian church, for their Kirkin' service. Rev. Sam Pope and company made us most welcome, and we were very well received. New additions, Dan Vaughn on pipes, and Watson Neal on bass made a fine job of it. More additions as to the roster as they are ready to play.
Photo by Claudia Marsh
A beautiful area of the country, with what looks like great golf and fishing, for those so inclined. Both services, 8:30 and 10:30 were full. We adjourned to the Balboa Country Club for brunch following, with all having plenty to eat. Even Steve.
For the Lyon College Band,
Installment #6 - 20 September
We attended the Tulsa Oklahoma games this past weekend, with excellent results. Met a few more potential Lyon attendees, all very nice people, and good players.
A pleasant drive through the night with several of the lads in tow, sleeping mostly. Saw the "Big Man" Wally Hightower and myself chatting as we drove merrily towards Tulsa. Neither of us had attended this games before, so the Mapquest directions, and our own instincts guided us. We arrived well within the allotted timeframe, to a nice breakfast at the local MacDonald's. Not my usual breakfast fare, but nothing else open. The 2 veterans remained in the van, with Wally, Tristen Dean, and myself getting something to eat.
Talk was of many things, with young Tristen surprising the expert Mr. H. with his knowledge of weaponry used in WW2.
Arrival at the field found us the early birds, which proved the adage correct.
Ken Adler won the AM2 piobaireachd, with a second prize in the MSR.
Steve Moore won the AM1 H/J, with a 2nd in the MSR.
Tristen Dean won the AM4 overall, with two 1sts, and a 2nd.
The highlight of the trip was Lance Dorris with the Piper of the Day honors, having won the AM1 piobaireachd, and additional prizes to qualify him for the prestigious honor.
All in all, a great trip.
Next week, Montgomery, Alabama.
For the Lyon College Band,
Photos from the trip by DM Wally Hightower
Installment #7- 27 September
What a trip this was. Before Memphis we stopped at Margarita’s Mexican restaurant to grab a bite to eat, the food wasn’t bad and it was a nice place to rest our eyes and fill our stomachs for the rest of the trip. We arrived in Montgomery around one o’clock Saturday morning after a near nine hour drive. Despite inadequate sleep we all performed extremely well in every aspect and every one that competed received a medal. Mr. Watson tagged along as well to scope out some of the band bass drummers and observe techniques; I believe it was his first highland games.
In grade one dashing Steve Moore pulled off a first in both the march and strathspey /reel categories, and a second place medal in the piobaireachd competition. Cheeky Lance Dorris pulled off a second in the strathspey/reel and managed a third in the march aspect of the competition. Their competition came from Jenni Boyd of the Loch Norman Pipe Band from N. Carolina.
Bonnie Kate Boyd competed against Allison Ewing, also of the Loch Norman band, in the grade two snare drum competition and wound up taking second place.
Commodore Kenton Adler faired well in the piobaireachd, taking a second in his bracket. The March and S/R were a wee bit rough due to unforeseen circumstances.
I myself missed out on the 6/8 march for grade four but wound up taking a firsts in the piobaireachd and 2/4 march.
Margaret Rendina, the dancing fool, wound up taking three first places and two seconds in the dancing competition. Jolly good job Margi!
Jimmy faired very well in the open competition against one opponent, but in the end Jimmy’s opponent was nae Jimmy. He took all three categories and even the piper of the day prize and trophy.
It’s definite to say that Lyon College’s presence was felt in Montgomery.
Thanks again to Kenton and Jimmy for driving.
Vis et Honor,