Archive for March, 2011
On Saturday, March 25, 2011 a group of dedicated band members journeyed to Aberdeen, NC to participate in the 2nd Annual Palustris Festival . Presented by the Arts Council of Moore County, Convention & Visitor’s Bureau of Pinehurst, Southern Pines & Aberdeen Area, and PineStraw Magazine, the second annual Palustris Festival presenedt a variety of events showcasing the visual, literary and performing arts in Moore County and the band was honored to participate.
The word palustris (pronounced puh-LUS-tris) is from the Latin name of the Longleaf Pine and was chosen for this event because of its unique connection to Moore County. One visit to our area and you can’t miss the influence of the Longleaf Pine. Even the names of our towns, like Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Pinebluff and Whispering Pines, give you a sense of this special connection. In fact, Moore County is home to one of the largest stands of virgin longleaf pine forests in the country (160 acres in the Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve called the Boyd Round-Timber Tract), which is also home to the oldest living longleaf pine tree known in the world at more than 460 years old.
This gig also marked the last time Mike Bishop – our band manager and a founding band member – played the tenor drum as he is now officially a member of the pipe section; WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE MICHAEL! To commemorate the moment we took the top head from Mike’s tenor drum and gave it to him while crushing the drum over his head (no animals were harmed in the taking of this photograph).
A BIG THANK YOU to the band members who came out to play thi$ gig for the band – adding to what has already been another marathon week of piping and drumming. See y’all next time!
Now that the St. Patrcik’s day hullabaloo is behind us – the band will be re-reeding our Gibson band chanters with the new Lee & Son chanter reeds. The Lee family has been producing quality bagpipe music and tone for many years. Jack Lee has won every major solo prize in the piping world and helped lead the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band to six Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championships. Jack has done this by continuously developing and refining the quality and tone of his music. He has the proven ability to produce great bagpipe tone in solo and band settings by working with and understanding chanter reeds. Lee and Sons Bagpipes is using this experience to produce chanter reeds that make this kind of tone available to all pipe bands.
Simply put — these are terrific reeds and we can’t wait to set-up the band with them.
For more information on these reeds visit their website @ www.leeandsonsbagpipes.com
The fog of Brigadoon has faded and we fondly bid farewell to our 6th St. Patrick’s Day together. It was a long day for many of the band members who donned their kilts early to play at retirement homes, grade schools, a WEDDING (congrats Brendan Hartigan) and of course a pub or two…
Thank you to all the band members (band students) and our family, friends, fans and co-workers who came out to celebrate and share in the festivities with the band. Raleigh is our hometown and we filled it with the skirl of the pipes and drums.
We’re on the one road, sharing the one load We’re on the road to God knows where We’re on the one road, it may be the wrong road But we’re together now who cares.
Check out some of the moments from the night as captured by Véronique McMillan here and if you have multimedia please share on our Facebook wall.
Lastly, to our dear friend Annie Nice (who we adore beyond words) – THANK YOU for making Raleigh greener this year! It gets better and better in Wake County because of you and your love for the Irish culture and we are humbled to be on this road with you. As you journey back home to Ireland we wish a safe journey and look forward to seeing you again in May — Slán abhaile.
Continuing on with the band’s St. Patrick’s Day marathon…members had the distinct privilege to perform with Ireland’s very own CHIEFTAINS. The concert took place on Sunday, March 13th at the Progress Energy Center to a crowd of over 1,000. The band was well received by the audience during both sets on stage. Thank you to all the band members who stepped up to this challanges and to J.V. Hudson for thinking of us when booking the performance – and thank you to the Chieftains for allowing us to share their stage and music.
The band is very fortunate to have such wonderfully smiling band members. There are so many people behind the scenes who make things happen as well – from spouses who let their loved one’s leave for the weekend, parents who caravan their children from gig to gig, friends and fans who continue to support us and those patrons we adore (Tir Na Nog, Raleigh Fire Department). Then there is someone like our Drum Sergeant’s lovely bride >> Véronique McMillan << who is able to capture the spirit of what we do from the outsider and insider point of view of her camera. If you glance through band photos over the past 5 years and see members smiling in photographs << it is because of Véro.
A HUGE THANK YOU to the 17 pipers, 5 sides 5 mids, 1 drum major and the plethora of family and friends who journeyed to South Carolina for the 3rd year in a row to participate in the North Myrtle Beach St. Patrick’s Day doings; we obviously LOVE A PARADE!
We started the weekend at Flynn’s Irish Pub where they packed the place in, we played a few tunes and met up with some new friends (the Ceol Na Gael pipe band from Charlotte, NC)!!! For most of the band members and groupies it was off to bed early for the parade which stepped off at 9:00 am. The sight of a drill will give me a thrill, I thrill at the skill of everything military. The band was delighted to have the honor guard from the North Myrtle Beach Police Department lead us down their streets carrying our Nation’s flag; everyone on hand performed epically.
The weekend ended at the Ocean-side stage where the band performed our concert set for the myriad of spectators who thrilled at the skirl of the pipes and drums.
Once again a generous THANK YOU from the Pipe Major to all the band members, our family and friends for coming out to help us kick-off the St. Patrick’s Day season in true District spirt and style. Now it’s off to play with the Chieftains…
On Saturday, March 5, 2011 a cadre of band members helped sound the start at the 3rd Annual Tir Na nOg Green Run. The organizers pulled together the runners event of the year for Raleigh MS Society and band members were thrilled to be a part of the festivities. A great post-race block-party hosted by Tir na nOg Irish Pub continued throughout the night.