30 September, 2006

We rounded out September by playing on the 24th at the anniversary celebration and kirkin' at Kirk of The Pines in Hot Spring Village.  The good folk of that church offered their hospitality to us, and we provided a bit of color and volume to their celebration.  We were joined for the first time that day by two new band members, Gavin and Seth who both hail from Mountain View and have been studying with us for a while.  Actually, Set played drums for us in competition at Tulsa, so I guess he's not technically a first-timer, but it was his first kirkin'.  Anyway, it was a nice trip down and back again, and here are a few pictures from the event for your viewing pleasure.  What did the Drum Major say when he saw the Pipe band coming over the hill?  "Here comes the pipe band over the hill".

DM Wally Hightower leading the band out of the church....



... and around the corner...



...and down the hill...


...followed by congregation members with tartan banners.


They gathered in the lovely meditation garden.


Church Relations Director,Claudia March
surrounds herself with handsome men


But she missed a couple.  PM Jimmy Bell and Dr. Walter Roettger.


Ace bass - Sarah Fendley.

For the band,

Kenton Adler

18 September, 2006

On Thursday night, September 14th we played the annual Arkansas Cup golf tourney kickoff. This is an event held each year at either the Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, or the Pinnacle Mountain course. Members compete at the home courses for a chance to participate in the annual tournament. Last year was the Pinnacle, this year, back to the Chenal.  Jack Carney had the band out two years ago to march down the 18th hole to the Clubhouse. It must be an spectacular experience for the folks on the balcony at the back of the building. This year we were lead on by a Marine color guard fitted out in their dress blues. Very impressive stuff. We were asked to play the National Anthem, but as any piper can tell you, we just don't have the range necessary to do it. Instead, we opted to play the Marine Corp Hymn. This went over as expected and received a rousing round of applause from the guests and Marines present. The introduction of the players from both teams, handing out of participant medals and a toast with champagne finished off the festivities. A great group of folks not without the odd character or two.

Tulsa Games was the following weekend. We left early Friday for the annual OSP&D/ Lyon PIG NIC. These are a fun bunch in the OSP&D and we look forward to our get together each year at the Super 8 in Tulsa. Fine food and communion. Looking forward already to next year. The games themselves are held on the banks of the Arkansas river in Tulsa. As is the norm this time of year, a hot day was ahead. Temps approached 97 degrees. Thanks goodness we had plenty of water and the band tents. Tristen won Amatuer Piper of the Day again, with several other players winning medals and trophies including Vince Moore, Neil McCarthy, Will Boehm, Frank Boehm, and your humble narrator. The band was also in the prizes in the Grade IV contest.

For the band,

Jimmy Bell

PIGNIC with OSP&D.  Where's Jimmy?






Massed bands


In the circle

8 September, 2006

September is off to a raring start.  We left on Friday the first for a little hop up to Waukesha, WI to compete against some MWPBA bands.  It was about a 12 1/2 hour drive all told.  The band tends to take more time than I do when I drive that alone.  It can be done in 10 hours.  Like THAT's a lot better.  Anyway, we went up Highway 67 to St. Louis, then on Interstate 55 through Springfield, IL,  then onto 39 at Bloomington, and onto 43 just past Rockford.  We got into the Motel 6 about 6:30 in the evening.  I had to go over to Milwaukee at 8:30 and pick up Nancy, as she flew in after she got off work.

Saturday morning seemed to come too soon, but we dressed out and headed over to the games at the Expo Center.  Very nice facility.  Several of us competed in solos.  Nancy played in the Grade IV Piobaireachd, but gave it up after she felt she had made too many mistakes, but she gave a good effort.  Tristen had a first and a third in the Grade III.  I had a couple of thirds in Grade II, and Vince swept the Grade II firsts.  Good show.  We visited with several friends.  Former Lyon PM, Willie Muirhead, was judging, and we also saw PIPERS-Lers Jim Sabatke, and Russ Read who was running the piping for Wisconsin Scottish.

We had out tents and chairs set up and had a most relaxing morning overall.  Several of us trotted over and watched a long bow demonstration, and a couple got some instruction in archery.  We had a bite of lunch, and then we began breaking out instruments and starting our warm-up process about an hour before our scheduled play time.  We got to the line, marched on, played our set, and marched off.  I thought it went very well.  No mistakes to speak of and everyone played quite well.

We stayed over Saturday night.  Nancy, Tristen, and I drove over to Madison to have dinner with my friends LaCouir and Shannel Yancey, and their doll of a daughter, Zuri.  They grilled chicken and corn and were great hosts.  Shannel and I swapped a couple of tunes on the guitar, and LaCouir gave an awesome demonstration of the Birembau.  The only damper on the evening was me getting a speeding ticket on the way over.  The guy said I was doing 81, but he was incorrect.  I was speeding, but I was only doing 75.  Cost me $256.  Lovely.  The remainder of the band had some dinner and hung out at the hotel.

Sunday morning we dressed out again and returned to the park and did a couple of performances.  then we changed in the parking lot, loaded up the cars and headed for home.  We came rolling in to Batesville around 1:00AM.  Tristen looked like death warmed over, but the rest of us seemed to hold up fairly well.

We've got the annual Greer's Ferry clean-up gig on Saturday morning, and then next week we play Thursday night at the Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, and leave Friday for Tulsa for another competition.

For the band,