Archive for the ‘Band Top Story’ Category


open a new door…

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. — Walt Disney

There are so many great lessons we all learn from life. These lessons have helped our members become the band we are today. Reading about other peoples’ experiences and lessons in life can give you a better understanding of how you can choose to live your life – what doors you should walk through.

To really appreciate the value these lessons can bring to your life, you need to experience life and embrace the challenges  life throws at you, make mistakes, fail, and bounce back. It is these life lessons you learn from–  all of your experiences which will have the most impact.

So get ready, be open and look forward to passing more life tests and learning more life lessons.

  1. Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.  There are many things in our lives that we have to do, even though we may not want to do it. The trick to managing these aspects of our life is to have activities in our life that we actually enjoy and love doing. It is all about keeping perspective and balance in your life. Health, wealth and happiness are the key ingredients to living a life you love and when you have activities in your life that bring you all three, then you are definitely living a life you love.

  2. Over thinking ruins you.  Ruins the situation, twists things around, makes you worry and just makes everything much worse than it actually is.  “Paralysis by analysis” is defined in Wikipedia as: “the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.” The result is that because decisions are never made opportunities are lost. Don’t spend too much time analyzing whether you should or shouldn’t act on an opportunity, or step out of your comfort zone to change your life. Manage your risk, listen to your intuition, find your courage and take action.

  3. Practice like you’ve never won.  Perform like you’ve never lost.  This life lesson is all about self belief and having a positive attitude in life.  Self belief and a positive attitude are the key ingredients to living a successful and fulfilled life.

  4. Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.  Have you ever felt fearful about what others think or say about you? If you seek validation from others before you make a decision or take action, then you will never truly be your own person. If people are speaking unkindly about you, ignore it because the comments they make aren’t really about you, your value or self worth. You don’t need other people to validate you, you are already valuable. When you find your courage and step out of your comfort zone to take positive action in your life, there will be people who will support you, ignore you, reject you and disagree with you – and that’s okay. Focus on those who are supporting and encouraging you to be courageous and to be different.

  5. Listen carefully to how a person speaks about others to you.  This is how they will speak about you to other people.  This lesson is all about being self aware and surrounding yourself with the right people. Those who support and encourage you, will speak their truth to you and to others with integrity and respect. If you are surrounded by people who are only massaging your ego and speaking ill of others, then that is a sure sign that they will be saying very similar things about you behind your back. Managing your ego is key to learning this lesson as it is your ego that will allow you to have these negative and untrustworthy people in your life.

  6. Two things to remember in life — take care of your thoughts when you are alone, and take care of your words when you are with people.  Negative self talk is not going to get you anywhere. If you listen to the negativity in your head, then it will definitely creep into the language you use to communicate with others – particularly in difficult and trying situations. Your negative thoughts without a doubt will influence your relationships. A positive attitude creates positive thoughts which results in positive relationships – even in the tough times!

  7. You should always be learning, if you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong place.  Become a student of life rather than a person who knows everything. Life lessons can only be learnt the hard way – there is no other way. Embrace the joy of learning new things and stepping into the unknown. There is no joy and there no lessons to be learnt when you know everything there is to know. It is a safe and incredibly boring way to live your life.

  8. Never lose yourself while trying to hold on to someone who doesn’t care about losing you.  This is a tough life lesson because it is all about understanding the emotions that come with being in love. For some people it takes many times of falling in and out of love before the lesson of “staying true to you,” is learnt. This lesson is also about being self aware and keeping your relationship in perspective. There will always be signs that the person you love may not love you as much. What often happens is that our love blinds us and we choose to ignore these signs. Stay true to you and don’t hand your power over to those people who don’t care for you.

  9. Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are.  Stress kills. Deal with whatever it is in your life that is creating bad stress. Practise appreciation and gratitude on a daily basis. It is appreciation and gratitude that provides the energy source for you to live an abundant and fulfilled life. Stress will not provide you with abundance and fulfillment in your life.

  10. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.  Because the people who are crazy enough to thing they can change the world, are the ones who do.  Dream big, think big; be courageous and believe in you. Surround yourself with people who support, encourage and believe in you – don’t worry about those who reject you or dismiss you. Embrace failure and learn from your mistakes. Accept that the lessons in life are only going to be learnt the hard way and there is no easy way to live a full and abundant life. Become a champion of change and go make a difference in the world.

Raleigh’s Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums currently has 70+ members who come from all walks of life and bring an indeterminate amount of experience with them. Our members are police officers, lawyers, engineers, students, machinists, Doctors to name but a few and all are tremendous individuals who share the common goal of being a successful and competitive pipe band. The band continues to exist thanks to the ongoing support of the public safety professionals throughout the Raleigh region; we are proud of our long history with them. Each year the band participates in a number of events on behalf of the the Public Safety Services. These events include recruit graduation ceremonies, awards and promotion ceremonies and community events, however none are more important then our participation in the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation march and memorial each spring. These kinds of events pay tribute to public safety professionals who have given their lives in service to others.


Every time we are out we learn, gain confidence and are starting to define our “sound character”.  We field 3 competition groups; Grades 5, 4 and 3.  Our competition program is under the direction of Pipe Major Ken McKeveny and drumming instructor Tom Foote; both professional level players and EUSPBA judges.  We are always seeking musicians who can contribute at these levels — and who are prepared to make a commitment to the band on and off the field.  If you are interested in becoming a part of our program – tell us, ask us questions. Music is currently available upon request.  If you wish to become a part of our group – do not hesitate to contact us.   Local and traveling players welcome…



Sharing some words from one of our newest traveling band members – Bill Gehringer Jr. —  Arlington National Cemetery is the most solemn place that I have been. I’m Honored, Privileged to have done three funerals for fallen Heroes there. I am indebted to everyone that has died protecting my family and the American way of life. The most striking thing about any military funeral is the manner in which the families endure the great pain of the death of their loved one, I witnessed a young mother going through all the pain and ritual etc. only to collapse in agony when all the other mourners left the grave. Grave 608454. I’ll never forget. Thank you for your service.


Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860′s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,”Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red That grows on fields where valor led, It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their“Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stampwith her likeness on it.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50′s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”

On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 to the Senatewhich proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of “the last Monday in May”. On April 19, 1999 Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform.

To date, there has been no further developments on the bill. Please write your Representative and your Senators, urging them to support these bills. You can also contact Mr. Inouye to let him know of your support.


dream big, strive for excellence…

“Vision without execution is just hallucination.” ― Henry Ford

From (by ) — We all know Henry Ford best for founding the world-renowned Ford Motor Company and transforming the way products are built in the United States. While it’s certainly easy to idolize someone who had so much business success, Henry Ford actually experienced many of the highs and lows people (organizations) face everyday. However, his experience and his triumphs make for some incredible life lessons.

From enduring the Great Depression to dealing with a high turnover rate at his factory, Henry Ford had to experience several failures that all added up to his incredible, historic successes. The best part is that if you need help overcoming an obstacle today, many of his life lessons are still applicable…

1. Seek Advice from Others — One of the biggest mistakes Henry Ford made was not listening to some of his most trusted advisers. Many people, his son included, warned him about the rising popularity of other cars, yet Henry Ford did not adapt well to these changes. By the end of his life, although he was a wealthy man, Ford Motor Company was third and not first in the automobile industry. His company certainly did not lose any of the prestige it had in its earlier days, but had Mr. Ford kept up with innovations, he could have been more of a leader in the industry.

2. Invest in What Works — What makes Henry Ford so successful is he took his business idea and made it bigger. Had he stayed with his original small factory, he wouldn’t be the icon that we know today. Every time he wanted to improve his company, he invested in a much larger factory to produce more products. He even diversified and started offering more services than just automobiles. Even though all of these changes were cost intensive, Henry Ford was willing to take the risk and invest in what worked.

3. Create For Everyone — Many successful business people have made their fortune catering to the rich, but Henry Ford created products that appealed to everyone. He even raised the salary of his factory workers to the point where they could actually afford the cars they were making. This led to reducing the turnover rate that plagued the Ford Motor Company in the early years.

4. “Don’t find fault; find a remedy.” —  This is one of our favorite Henry Ford quotes, and it’s one of his best-life lessons. It’s so easy to place blame on other people or to point the finger at someone else for your mistakes. However, one of the most integral skills you can learn in life is taking responsibility for your actions. Even better, take it one step further and find a solution to the problem. This will guarantee you much success in life.

5. Always Produce High Quality Work — Henry Ford once said, “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking,” and that is absolutely true. We should all be at our best at all times, not only when our Pipe Major or Drum Sergeant are watching or judges are watching. Creating good habits and developing into good players is much more important than getting ahead through unethical methods.

6. Have Passion For What You Do — If you don’t have enthusiasm for your band, then it’s time to find a new one! While you won’t have a perfect practice, rehearsal or contest every time, having a passion for what you do will make everything more worthwhile. It might take some time to find this passion, but Henry Ford’s life lessons show us they are worth fighting for.

7. Anything is possible — Last but not least, Henry Ford showed the world anything is possible. He built an iconic company from the ground up, running it himself, buying out investors, and making it bigger and better every year. He did his research, learned from great business owners who were using assembly lines, and adapted it to fit his product. He was an innovator and someone who championed personal growth. He treated his people well and raised their wages. He encouraged others to do the same. Like any person, he was not perfect, but his story offers some great life lessons that can still be used to this day.

In our opinion, Henry Ford is definitely worthy of his status as one of America’s giants. His life lessons can certainly help all of us to stretch ourselves, dream big, remain accountable, and strive for excellence.

 We certainly stretched ourselves this weekend at the Smoky Mountain Highland Games.  Congrats to our solo players for their placings — Tom Foote (Professional Drummer of the Day), John Lovett (Amateur Bass Drummer of the Day), Martina Murphy (Amateur Tenor Drummer of the Day), Timothy Hinson (G3 Piper of the Day) — along with  Christina Raig and Steve Turnball for second place medals in snare and bass drumming respectively.

Our band bands finished as follows:

  • G3 Medley – 1,1,1,1 (out of 2) — 1st place
  • G3 MSR – 1,1,1,1 (out of 2) — 1st place
  • G4 Medley – 4,2,4,1 (out of 5) — 3rd place
  • G5 QMM – 3,3,3, 2 (out of 3) — 3rd place

Sharing a note from the games vice president — John V. Rose, who did an AMAZING job of keeping things organized…

Thank you to everyone.  To the stewards:  Thanks for your hard work.  All of you did a great job in helping run a very smooth competition. To the Bands:  Thanks for your all day participation in competition, mass bands, in pleasing the crowds.  To the Judges:  Thanks for a long day.  Your efforts were great.  I never heard any complaints from any of you.  To the individual competitors:  You made the day run smooth.  No crazy questions.  No issues.  To all — please come back next year.  We are in this to have fun.  Even though the competition is tough we do this for the fun.  The board members of the games tries very hard to make them run smoothly and make everyone feel at home.  Please feel free to offer suggestions for improvements.  We will listen and do the best we can. Now I’m tired and will sit as peacefully on the couch as I can.   Again, thank you all very much for a successful games.

Thank you John, we had fun…


why we teach music…

Music is a science
It is exact, specific; and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor’s full score is a chart, a graph
which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once
and with the most exact control of time.

Music is mathematical
It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously,
not worked out on paper.

Music is a foreign language
Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French; and the notation is certainly not English–
but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas.
The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.

Music is history
Music usually reflects the environments and times of its creation, often even the country
and.or racial feeling.

Music is a physical education
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lips, cheek, and facial muscles,
in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach and chest muscles,
which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

Music is all these things, but most of all MUSIC IS ART
It allows a human being to take all these dry technically boring (but difficult) techniques
and use them to create emotion. That is one thing that science cannot duplicate:
humanism, feeling, emotion, call it what you will.

That is Why We Teach Music…
Not because we expect you to major in music
Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life
Not so you can relax
Not so you can have fun
Not Because we expect you to major in music
BUT–so you will be human
So you will recognize beauty
So you will be sensitive
So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
So you will have something to cling to
So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good–in short, more life.
Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless we know how to live?



Raleigh’s (newest) bravest…

The City of Raleigh Fire Department will hold a graduation ceremony for the 40th Fire Academy on Thursday, 15 May 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Fletcher Opera Theatre at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.   The 36 graduates have completed more than 998 hours of classroom, practical and physical fitness training. Upon graduation they will be certified by the State of North Carolina as a firefighter level II, emergency medical technician and hazardous materials responder. The diverse class of 32 men and 4 women includes local high school graduates and recruits from Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, and Washington.

 “We are very proud of these new firefighters that have endured rigorous training with dedication and perseverance,” Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath said.

Wake and District is honored to participate in the graduation ceremony – and would like to extend our congratulations to all the graduates; we wish you a safe career while protecting the public.


The graduating recruits will help fill open positions, including firefighters reassigned to Station 29, when the new companies Engine 29 and Ladder 9 are placed in service next month. They are:

Rontaegus L. Alford
Jacob T. Atkins
Ryan W. Ault
Scott D. Bartow
Dillon N. Brown
Jonathan W. Brown
Eric R. Champion
Christian C. Christopoulos
Andrew E. Davis
James L. Davis
Rebecca E. Davis
Bradley T. Faucette
Britney M. Fitchpatrick
Randy D. Fobbs
Tyler L. Gouge
Eric T. Griffin Jr.
John T. Hauser
Cody A. Heakins
Eric A. Hisey
Alexis R. John
Daniel E. Kennon
Christopher R. King
Joseph A. Lane Jr.
Timothy M. Lee
Justin J. Melanson
Ryan L. Nelson
Tyler C. Parrott
Christopher K. Patterson
Rafael Perez-Valdivia
Aaron W. Proctor
Nicholas W. Robinson
Diana N. Trout
Aaron M. Voss
Jordan L. Whitley
Nicholas K. Williams
Aaron M. Winfree



class photo by Mike Legeros — candid photos by Lee Wilson


on that day…

On Saturday, 06 May 2006 the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation held the inaugural ceremony dedicating a new fallen firefighter’s memorial; honoring firefighters from across the Old North State who sacrificed their lives serving others.

On that day — local firefighters Joe Harwell, Mike Bishop, Lloyd Johnson, Jason Lane (among others) were in attendance — watching the march from the sidelines. Until that day the Wake County region had rarely seen the pipes and drums at a fire service — event except on TV or in the movies.

The march was led by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band along with a local guest piper — Joe Brady. Throughout the day Mike, Lloyd and Jason “hemmed Joe up” about the bagpipes.

2007 NCFFF Memorial March

2006 NCFFF Memorial March with the Charlotte Fire Department Pipes and Drums

About 2 months later a group of like minded folks got together and held a  meeting about forming a public safety pipe band serving Wake County and the surrounding region; Wake and District was born. Ten years later — changing uniforms, changing members, changing tunes – never missing a year.

From our Drum Major — Jason Lane:  I know May is one heck of a month and we all have families outside the band — I just want to say thanks to all my brothers and sisters who put in all the hard work practicing and playing events.  Events like the NCFFF march and memorial are long and can be trying — I am very proud of our band and what we do.  

31 people on deck today with 18 pipers, 12 drummers and my ugly self, we looked good and sounded good. Today was a first for some of our members and the fourth, fifth and tenth for others.” I cannot thank you enough” were the words from the families, honor guards and firefighters who thanked me after it was over. So please have a great rest of the weekend and I do love you all.  As I told Joe years back standing on the same streets —

Today is not about you,
it’s not about me,
it’s not about us,
it is about the families  —
Those sitting in chairs holding flags.
That is who we are here for.
–  Jason Lane

Over the past 9 years Wake and District has seen tremendous growth which has been exhausting at times, yet remains fulfilling.  Little did we know where this chance encounter would lead us — year after year — AMAZING people on a journey of sorts — doing the right things for the right reasons — remaining true to our mission.  FOR OUR FALLEN remains everything we stand for.  God Bless our band family.

#ForOurFallen  #RightThings  #RightReasons #NoExcuses



11 reasons why you should move to Raleigh…

1. Great Location — Raleigh is centrally located with easy access to everywhere in the Triangle area. Raleigh is among the best places to live, start a business, raise a family, and earn a world-class education. The Triangle area is only a few hours from the mountains or the sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

2. World Class Health Care — Keeping your family healthy is important. The Triangle is an international center of medical care and research and has one of the highest concentrations of doctors and hospitals. Major health care providers include WakeMed, Rex Healthcare, Duke Raleigh Hospital in Wake County, Duke University/Medical Center and UNC Hospitals. These hospitals consistently rank among the highest in the nation.

The Road to Higher EducationWhether you are looking for high quality education for your children or yourself, we have it! The Wake County Public School System continually ranks as one of the best in the country and is one of the primary reasons relocating families choose to live in Raleigh. If you would like more information, just give us a call. We would be happy to provide all of the latest school information.  The Triangle area is also home to several world class universities, Duke University, University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University. The entire Triangle has 18 colleges, universities and community colleges and has the highest concentration of PhD’s in the country!

4. Career/Business Opportunities -Raleigh NC consistently ranks as one of the best places to work and start a business. Thanks to the diverse economic base, our residents can choose to work in a wide variety of industries. Our 3 largest industries are government, education and health care. In addition, we are internationally known for our industry leading high-tech companies in industries that include biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, computer software and hardware, and textiles.

Climate and Recreation — 
Visitors always comment on how friendly the people are in Raleigh…and why not? we know how good we have it! From Raleigh, the majesticBlue Ridge Mountains are only a few hours to the west and the legendary Outer Banks and beaches along the Atlantic Coast are only a couple of hours to the east.   North Carolina is known for its mild weather year round and its four distinct seasons. We usually get a a very small amount of snow each winter so the kids can build their snowman and then the next day it usually melts! Mild weather means year-round outdoor activities whether you like biking, hiking, boating, swimming or sports. What more could you want?

6. Arts and Culture — Raleigh is home to a number of world-class museums that are among the largest and best in the Southeast. In the capital area residents can enjoy the North Carolina Museum of History and The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Also downtown is the Marbles Kids Museum which offers new exhibits each month for people of all ages to enjoy. If you prefer a night out at the theater, the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts is the place to be. The performing arts center features the Memorial Auditorium, Fletcher Opera Theater and the Meymandi Concert Hall. These are home to the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Theater and The Carolina Ballet. Be sure to visit the North Carolina Museum of Art with its new collections and the 164 acre Museum Park which combines art and nature.  The Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek, the Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary, and the RBC Center provide plenty of opportunity to see exciting live music performances and concerts from your favorite artists.

7. Sports?…Absolutely! — One of our favorite pastimes is cheering for our favorite championship teams. For excitement, look no further than the highly competitive Alantic Coast Conference for action packed college basketball and football teams from Duke, UNC, and NC State.  The Triangle area is also home to the NHL Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes, the Carolina Mudcats (AA Baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds), the Durham Bulls (AAA Baseball affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays), and the Carolina RailHawks soccer team.!

8. Shop ’til you Drop! — We have everything here from the small boutique shops to the large fantastic malls. Raleigh is a shopper’s paradise with everything from Kohl’s to Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Between Cary, Raleigh, and Durham, you will find 5 major malls with more than 450 stores. Raleigh has Crabtree Valley Mall, Triangle Town Center, North Hills, and Cameron Village. Durham has its outstanding Streets at Southpointe Mall, and Cary has the Cary Towne Center. If you can’t find it here, it does not exist!

9. Bon Appetite — With 100 restaurants and clubs in downtown Raleigh alone, you can see why it is the place to be. When it comes to nightlife, you will find some of the hottest places around to dance or listen to some of the best live music. Our diverse mix of pubs, breweries and nightclubs are just a few reasons why everyone enjoys our area. We have some of the best restaurants in the South! Enjoy a good steak? Try our Angus Barn, ranked as one of the best steakhouses in America with the most outstanding wine list in the world according to Wine Spectator. How does our famous slow-cooked barbecue, fresh seafood from the coast, or homemade Italian cuisine sound?

10. Golf Galore — When it comes to golf destinations and outstanding golf communities, the state of North Carolina ranks among the most recognized in the country. The best part is that you can golf just about year-round. There is something here for every golfer from Raleigh’s public access courses to Pinehurst’s nationally known courses. Select golf courses in the Raleigh area include the Hale Irwin designed TPC course at Wakefield Plantation, the Tom Fazio designed course at Hasentree, the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course at the Brier Creek Country Club, and the challenging Heritage Wake Forest golf course.

11.  The eminent and infectiously fun – Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums (Raleigh’s pipe band) The band is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to improve piping and drumming quality, culture and tradition in the region; never compromising people and the art. Established in 2006, the program honors those who sacrifice their lives while serving others; FOR OUR FALLEN is everything they stand for.  The the band competes in Grades 3, 4 and 5 and teaches young and old the greatest musical traditions of the bagpipes and drums.  Want to join the band?  Send us an email – 



right things, right reasons #GoBald…

On Saturday, 25 April 2015 members of the Wake and District Pipe Band headed out to Tir Na nOg not to play the pipes and drums — rather, to shave their heads to raise money for childhood cancer research  (raising over $2500 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation)!

Did you know that kids’ cancers are different from adult cancers? It’s true. And childhood cancer research is extremely underfunded. So we decided to do something about it by raising money for cures.   You can still donate here.

A HUGE shout-out to our Team Captain (and Big Toe) Kristopher Stuart, for organizing the merriment.  Drum Sergeant Patrick O’Leary raised the most funds with $520.00.  And BRAVO to our newest tenor drummer — Martina Murphy for going under the clippers and shaving her head!

Here is a list of all the members of team Wake and District:

  • Kris Stuart, Team Captain — head and beard shaved
  • Patrick O’Leary – head and beard shaved
  • Chris Stevens – BEARD SHAVED
  • Hamish Stevens – head shaved
  • Jeff Rogers – beard shaved
  • Jeremy Egen – BIG head of hair shaved
  • Dyand Radford – head and sort of a beard shaved
  • Joe Brady – grey hair removed
  • Martina Murphy – head shaved!!!


#StBaldricks – #Shavee – #GoBald – #BaldSelfie – #ConquerKidsCancer


the only easy day was yesterday…

The 2015 Loch Norman games are officially closed.  What a terrific weekend for competing members of the EUSPBA.  The “from the field” results are as follows  Grade 5 – 1st Knoxville, 2nd North Atlanta,  3rd Richmond — Grade 4 – 1st Charleston Police, 2nd Loch Norman, 3rd NCSU– Grade 3 – (three way tie for 1st) 1st Saint Andrews, 2nd Carnige Mellon, 3rd Atlanta Pipe Band.

While none of our bands landed on the boards — several members of the band competed in solos and did VERY well.  Congrats to Johnny LovettAmateur Bass Drummer of the Day, and to Christina Raig, G4 Senior Snare Drummer of the Day.  Other “winning” Wake and District members included Steve Turnbull, Martina Murphy, Jacob Egen and Garrett Justice.

Thank you to the folks at Rural Hill for allowing competitions, to the Hahn family for orchestrating all of the pipers and drummers, the judges for their comments and critiques — and all of the wonderful pipers and drummers (old and new faces) seen throughout the weekend.

The Loch Norman Games were the debut of  3 brand new bands for Wake & District — competing for the first time in grade 3,4 and 5.  While we didn’t land on the boards – we played well, had a good time and enjoyed the bandsmanship.  John Churton Collins said, “In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends.”

Even in good times, there’s enough difficulty to go around for everyone. Every season, every competition — poses problems.  In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.   We are grateful to all our friends and mates no matter the kilt they wear.

6 Strategies to Overcome Adversity:  by David Heenan

By every conventional measure, J. K. Rowling was mired in her darkest hour. Her exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded. She had been sacked and was as poor as it was possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless. “By every usual standard,” she admits, “I was the biggest failure I knew.”

Against all odds, the spunky single mother poured her energies into finishing the only work that mattered to her—a book about a boy wizard. However, the publishing world hadn’t caught up with her genius. Twelve publishers rejected her manuscript before a small London house picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. And the rest is history.
Like Rowling, members of our bands are all confronted with their own dark hours: equally traumatic, life-altering events. Some of us are unshakable in our belief that anything is possible if we find the courage to forge ahead. Others, however, can’t seem to escape the jaws of defeat.

For the past several years, we have been scrutinizing dozens of dark hours—precarious situations, as well as individual lives, spiraling out of control—and how talented people like Rowling refused to be trapped by them. Because personal stories are a lively and effective way to illustrate important points, we chose to examine a wide range of extraordinary individuals from history and contemporary life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Our heroes are as different as chalk and cheese. Chancellor Joel Klein took on the monumental challenge of trying to overhaul New York City’s long-embattled public schools. Coach Bill Snyder descended on another Manhattan—Kansas—to turn around college football’s losingest team. Spunky Joanne Boyle not only survived a life-threatening cerebral hemorrhage, but elevated her California women’s basketball team from oblivion to national prominence. Similarly, world-renowned scientist and trailblazer Shirley Ann Jackson broke down racial barriers as the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from M.I.T. and to lead a major research university, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Former Hewlett-Packard chair and cancer patient Pattie Dunn beat the odds to restore her reputation—and her health. Legendary Marine Gen. Chesty Puller, surrounded by overwhelming hoards of Red Chinese regulars, escaped the deadly fog of war at Korea’s Chosin Reservoir, so his troops could fight another day. Sacagawea was the lone Indian, the lone teenager, the lone mother on the Lewis and Clark expedition, one of the most foreboding journeys ever undertaken. Equally adventurous, Gary Guller became the first one-armed man to scale Mount Everest, while also leading the largest cross-disability group to its base camp, at 17,500 feet. Retired Navy Commander Scott Waddle fought to remove the stain of the USS Greeneville, which accidentally sank the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru, killing nine people. Tarnished Time Warner ex-chairman Steve Case plotted his own miraculous comeback through an eclectic array of New Age businesses.

Whatever their route to success, these courageous and inspiring men and women prove taking on a truly hellish situation is not necessarily a death sentence. Bright Triumphs From Dark Hours celebrates those who are able to face adversity—and transform near-defeat into a bright triumph. And let’s face it, individually and collectively we all face some very difficult times. So, what wedid learn from these relentless bravehearts? Here are six lessons…

1. Learn From Adversity: “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm,” said Winston Churchill, whose life was littered with disappointments. The Last Lion, as William Manchester called him, was the dominant personality of the last century. He understood that setbacks are inevitable when we pursue a bright triumph. What set him apart was his incredible grit. To Churchill, anything was possible. Victory was always at hand. Remember his words at Harrow: “Never give in!” he told students. “Never give in, never, never, never never!”  Like Churchill, refuse to equate the occasional setback with defeat. Expect some dry spells along the way. Dark hours—let’s face it all are inevitable, and we can learn from them. Expect some dry spells—and move on.

2. Fashion a New Dream: Oftentimes, it’s necessary to recalibrate your goals. Corporate titans, for example, inevitably make mistakes, new competitors emerge, new technologies and consumer habits disrupt established practices in unseen ways. When things begin to spiral downward, successful folks make the appropriate corrections. The alternative to grime-encrusted lenses isn’t rose-tinted glasses: It’s a healthy dose of reality.

3. Sell Your Vision:  “A leader must be a dealer in hope,” Confucius wrote. Those who can illuminate the darkness are experts at restoring people’s faith in the future, especially the faith of talented people who have run into brick walls. Even if you’re the only person running your business, you have customers and clients, vendors and sub-contractors who need to see your vision.  The golden core of leadership is the ability to raise aspirations. Transition is an ideal time to do so. Our intrepid adventurers are unflagging optimists. In many respects, this special species of leaders is “delusional,” according to veteran executive coach Marshall Goldsmith. “They are not as good as they think they are, but they have the confidence to pursue big things.”  So tune out the cynics and second-guessers who say you can’t beat the odds. Don’t let pouting pessimists rob you from pursuing—and capturing—your dreams.

4. Share Your Dream: “We can do as partners what we cannot do as singles,” Daniel Webster observed. Therefore, build alliances. For example, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recruitment of outsider Joel Klein as the head of the city’s schools succeeded where a long line of predecessors had failed. The talented twosome—working together—used their close links to affluent New Yorkers to lure much-needed funds to their reform effort. These powerful allies, in turn, have been invaluable in helping turn around the Big Apple’s long-troubled school system.  So keep good company. Create a brain trust of people you can call on in tough times in dark hours. Share your dreams!

5. Focus, Focus, Focus:  Make life as simple as possible. Focus on what you know you can do. Know what you’re capable of on any given day, what you can count on. Do the simple things well, and then use that confidence to forge your own bright triumph. Learn to differentiate between what is truly important and what can be dealt with at another time.  Technology giant Steve Case, now getting his second wind at Revolution, refuses to get sidetracked. He believes zeroing in on the endgame has led to his success in business and beyond. “Anything is possible,” he says, “but it all starts with having a dream and sticking with it through thick and thin.” People like Case possess a tenacity that eludes those who wilt in the face of adversity. They don’t let a few potholes in the road erode their confidence. They share a steadfast determination to secure a bright triumph.

6. Start Now:  As Teddy Roosevelt said, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.  Let new ideas take root. Explore. Rattle hidebound thinking. Chuck yesterday’s assumptions. Don’t rely on what made you successful, but no longer works. The worst baggage we can carry is the baggage from a successful past.  Set goals that are specific and attainable, then break them down into manageable pieces—one step at a time. In the process, passing each milestone builds confidence and creates momentum. Self-confidence, in turn, develops much like a coral reef—layer on layer compresses into a solid base.


Don’t lose sight of your main goal by focusing on intermediate objectives. Take a wide-angle view of the challenge. As Gary Guller slogged his way up Mount Everest one painful step at a time, he never forgot the endgame: shattering stereotypes of the disabled. Summiting the top of the world was simply part of the process.

But don’t dillydally. “A degenerative disease will not be cured by procrastination,” said management guru Peter Drucker. “It requires decisive action.” Unlike sports, you can’t call for a time-out when things get rough. You must get out of the blocks quickly.

Remember the U.S. Navy Seals’ favorite slogan: “The only easy day was yesterday.” Properly scripted, tomorrow can become better than today.



what drives you…

‘Sacrifice’ Motivational Statements :: with Les Brown, Eric Thomas & Ray Lewis – invest a few minutes in these words… 

There will never be a point in your  in your life — where it’s the right time to do a great thing. If you’re waiting for that perfect perfect moment, that perfect timing, it’s not going to happen. You know what you have to do? You have to create the perfect time, and the perfect opportunity, and the perfect situation.

So a lot of people become comfortable. They stop growing, they stop wanting anything, they become satisfied.

People getting ready to go to jobs that they don’t like, jobs that are making them sick. You see when you are not pursuing your goal, you are literally committing spiritual suicide.When you have some goal out here that you are stretching for and reaching for that takes you out of your comfort zone, you’ll find out some talents and abilities you have that you didn’t know you have.

When the messenger of misery visits you, what are you going to do? What will keep you in the game.

There are things that you think you’ll never need to know. That you may only need to know one time in your life, but that could save your life because you had that knowledge.

Unless you attempt to do something beyond that, which you’ve already mastered, you will never grow. What is it that you looked at, at some point in time and you decided that you couldn’t do it, that you talk yourself out of it.

You’re waiting on your next door neighbor to make it happen for you, it may not happen. If you’re waiting on your mother, or your father, they may be so ancient in their thinking, that they don’t understand this opportunity that you have. And if you’re waiting on them it may never get done.

You don’t beg average people to be phenomenal. You don’t beg good people to be phenomenal. You just are phenomenal, and you will attract phenomenal.

What reason can you remember, that you can call on, that you can reach on, that can make you get back up. Find that reason.

If you’re not where you are. If you’re not where you want to be. If you don’t have what you want, want to have. If you’re not where you think you should be at this particular place. It has nothing to do with the system, but it has everything to do with the fact that you’re not making the sacrifice.

I want you to make that dream become a reality, because if you don’t, you will be working for somebody else to make their dreams become a reality.

And everybody is against you, or don’t believe in you no more. And let me tell you something, that’s a lonely feeling. That’s a lonely feeling. Particularly people that you are doing it for.

Most people take their greatness, take their ideas to the graveyard with them.

Listen to me, if it was easy, everybody would do it. There are people right now who are working who don’t want to work. There are people who hate their jobs, but they keep getting up to do it.

The wealthiest place on the planet, is the graveyard. Because in the graveyard we will find inventions that we never ever were exposed to. Ideas, dreams, that never became reality. Hopes and aspirations that were never acted upon.

The question is what are you going to do with your time?
What drives you?
Greatness is a lot of small things done well.
Day, after day. Workout after workout.
Obedience after obedience.

When things don’t work out for you. When things happen that you could not anticipate. What are the reasons that you can think of that can keep you strong.

You will never ever be successful, until you turn your pain into greatness, until you allow your pain to push you from where you are to push you to where you need to be. Stop running from your pain and embrace your pain. Your pain is going to be a part of your prize, a part of your product. I challenge you to push yourself.

See it’s easy to be on the bottom,
it doesn’t take any effort to be a loser.
It doesn’t take any motivation and any drive
in order to stay down there on a low level.
But it calls on everything in you.
You have to harness your will to say
I’m going to challenge myself.

I mean that what you did last week don’t count. Today today is the only important day. There are eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day and how you use those are critical. You got eighty-six thousand, four hundred today and what you do today is going to cement who you are. Nobody gonna talk about what you did last week.

Yet the biggest enemy that you have to deal with is yourself. There’s an old African proverb that says “If there’s no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.”

You have this opportunity of a lifetime. It means absolutely nothing if you don’t take advantage of it in the lifetime of this opportunity.

I got a saying that when life knocks you down, try to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up. If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for it, to give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it. If all that you dream and scheme is about it. And life seems useless and worthless without it.

See it’s time now. If you want to make this your decade, you’ve to start saying yes to your life. You’ve got to start saying yes to your dreams. Yes to your unfolding future. Yes to your potential. As opposed to saying no.

When you die, die on E. Leave no dream left behind guys. Leave no opportunity left behind. When you leave this earth, accomplish every single thing you can accomplish.

Listen to me, you’re going to be here one day, but you’ll never get here if you give up, if you give in, if you quit. And finally guys, you gotta wanna succeed, as bad, as you wanna, breath.