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Listening to the Atlanta pipe band play Amazing Grace at the closing ceremonies of the Stone Mountain games caused me to stop, listen and look around and reflect on how special we as pipers and drummers are.  John Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life’s path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences which were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination.   

Author Gilbert Chase writes “Amazing Grace” is “without a doubt the most famous of all the folk hymns,” and Jonathan Aitken, a Newton biographer, estimates the tune is performed about 10 million times annually.  As bagpipers and drummers I think we take this tune for granted because the gawking onlookers expect to hear it from us; our own form of recalcitrant insubordination.   Twists and coincidences, win or lose – we know this tune closes out another day together playing and promoting the music we all love.

We do amazing things through music – and the Stone Mountain gathering was indicative of how much better we are getting at raising the art.; some truly brilliant performances throughout the day by all the bands.  We can’t all march of the field with first place.  For Saturday, 18 October 2014 in Stone Mountain, Georgia – we congratulate the champions of the day…  G5’s Grandfather Mountain Highlanders, G4’s City of Chattanooga Pipe Band and G3’s St. Andrew’s University Pipe Band.   CHATT has taken the G4 Throne for 2014!  Be on the lookout for new “thrones” for 2015 which will include grades 3, 4 and 5…

To the members of Wake and District – thank you for another brilliant season of hard word and diligence.  Thank you as well to all of our family, friends and fans for supporting this “hobby” of ours (we all know it is much more than a hobby – piping and drumming has threaded itself into the tartan fabric of our lives).

Our G5 band closed out the season at stone 7th of 11 (3,9,5,5) and our G4 band finished 2nd (1,1,3,2).  SCORE-SHEETS HERE.  Next weekend our G4  members travel to Richmond to partake in the Central Virginia Celtic Festival Pipe Band Competition  challenging up to G3 as we looking forward to 2015.

Amazed by Grace – not triumphant, merely grateful…

– Joe Brady



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