Archive for the ‘Band Top Story’ Category

welcome

Scotland bound…

Competing members of Wake & District are gearing up for this weekend’s Scotland County Games (in North Carolina-USA).  The band will be represented on the field by solo players as well as our Grade 4 and Grade 5 competition pipers/drummers.

On Friday, 03 October 2014 (on the eve of the games) come hear a wonderful concert by one of North America’s most innovative pipers — Matt MacIsaac — in concert @ 8 p.m. at the Avinger Auditorium of St. Andrews University, Laurinburg, North Carolina.  Admission $10 at the door. 

On Saturday, October 4th head out to the grounds of the John Blue Home and Historical Complex in Laurinburg, North Carolina (Scotland County).  This site contains the John Blue Home and several other historic Scottish-American homesteads as well as a working ante-bellum cotton gin, and a general store. The games site provides an immersion into the Scottish-American historical experience of this region. Local hotels and restaurants will offer Scottish-inspired Southern hospitality to welcome you to Laurinburg and Scotland County.

There will be NO closing ceremonies “massed band” performance on the Games field.  @SCHGNC is starting a new event this year called “Five after Five” for those who may wish to come out to the Games at 5 p.m.  For the public, admission from 5 p.m. on ward will only be $5, and many of the games amenities will still be available – though they are encouraging this as a “come out to the ‘after party’ “ type event.   Their entertainment stage – featuring “Rathkeltair,”   “Stirling Bridge,” and “The Thistledown Tinkers” will remain open until 8 p.m.   All food and Scottish wares vendors will also remain on the field until 8 p.m.  The beer tent will be open until at least 8 p.m.  They are hoping to start this as a “on the site” beer tent/ceilidh for the general public as well as our participants.

For more information on the Scotland County Games and the events taking place throughout the weekend please visit their website @ www.schgnc.org


worth

the work is worth it….

The pitter patter of the pipes and drums were abundant this weekend at the Boone Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, SC.; this contest marked the kick-off of the the back half of the Southern EUSPBA season.   It was fabulous seeing so many of the Southern EUSPBA bands coming together;  as we looked around, we saw no enemies – just good, old-fashioned rivalry.    Soloists and bands are working harder.  At each grade level bands and players are getting better and better — playing with so much more expression and musicality and the pipes and drums sounding bigger and brighter.

A special nod to Jim Dillahey and the members of “America’s Band” – The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes —  performing a heart warming rendition of the Parting Glass  - and heart stopping performances in the G5 and G4 circles; we’ve never hear the Citadel sound better.

To all the bands — lose the expectation everything in life should be easy.  It rarely is.  In fact, there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.  Enjoy the challenge of your achievements.  See the value in your efforts and be patient with yourself. And realize patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams.  It’s knowing deep down the work is well worth it in the end.

Marching off the field to the sounds of Maui to Kona

Marching off the field to the sounds of Maui to Kona

 

Today we celebrate our achievements – G4 1st place, G5 3rd place, Jean Russell “Lady AGL” tenor drummer of the day and Garret Justice “Your Grace AGL”  2nd place overall junior piper of the day.
Tomorrow we keep working…

A myriad of photos can be seen here.


jason---cover

a privileged gesture of trust…

Tomorrow, the sun will rise over New York City. Tomorrow, the sun will rise over this country we love, this special place, this state of grace. For all those directly impacted by the events of 9-11, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we’re thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones are never forgotten – we salute everyone impacted by that day.

The salute is an expression which recognizes a personal commitment of self-sacrifice – a way to show respect; a privileged gesture of trust.


g4

on we go…

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

The patter and pitter of the bagpipes and drums (and a metronome on steroids) echoed through the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Training Center this past Saturday morning as members of the Wake and District G5 and G4 competition bands drilled and drilled and drilled.  The tunes, the tone and the ensemble playing is getting better and better each time we take the instruments out of the box.  We are preparing for the back half our the EUSPBA “Southern Branch” competitions which begin in Charleston on Saturday, 20 September 2014.  We’ve come so far together and look forward to so many possibilities…

Would you believe the skirl of the pipes and beat of the drums sooth the soul of 1 month old baby; that or they cause an explosion inside the diaper of the same child…LOVE you little Corinne.


welcome

it’s a hard instrument…

In the words of our Pipe Major’s instructor, the late Dave McKee Sr. “…it’s a hard instrument to learn, it really is. You’re going to be a part of hundreds of years of piping history and we don’t want you to let down that tradition…”.  Take pride – your preserving a long, colorful tradition.  As a band, we have to keep the band going — and the only way to do that is to perpetuate the band by bringing in new students.  

CONGRATULATIONS to our 5 newest pipers – Antonio Raynor, Scott Munn, Ashby Spratley, Silas Wells and Brian Wells on making it through an 18+ month crucible — learning the practice chanter and bagpipes then bringing them together to play and pass your audition process.  It’s not easy, but now you a part of our tradition.

We LOVE the music – it’s the greatest music in the world.    You’re now members of the band – piping the tunes of glory.

In the words of Captain Han Solo — don’t get cocky. 

Welcome to the band.


baseball-cards

band trading cards…

We are having some fun with our first series of “band trading cards” featuring all fully fledged members of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums.  Members with silver stars on the bottom right corner are founding band members.  The full set of “cards” can be seen on our facebook page here.   Some really interesting fun facts emerging about our band members in for form of comments on individual trading cards.  Again – this is the first series — we plan on a line of throwback, rookie, NCO moments of brilliance cards and more…  Maybe we will event step outside of our circle for fun with other bands or starz of the pipe band world.


g3

focused on future achievements…

Raleigh’s pipe band (the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums) – has added several new players to our roster bolstering our numbers to over 70.  We have spoken with the EUSPBA and are planning to add a band for 2015 (fielding 3 families of bands in grades 5, 4 and 3).  A Juvenile program – the Crossroads Kilty Band – has been formed with a planned debut for our 10 year anniversary in 2016.

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 opening a new chapter and want to transparent about how we continue to grow and how new members come into the band” said Ken McKeveny, “we have policies in place to address this”.

“There is a really good piping scene in your area…Wake and District is a big part of that, and as you grow you want to continue to be a positive force…it is great to see good things happening down there.” - June Hanley, chair of the EUSPBA music board

Wake and District has come a long way since our first gig on 10 September 2006. People come and go. Uniforms and tunes change. Through it all, Wake and District has grown into a formidable presence.

“Band members take great pride in all our endeavors and realize there is always a higher level of excellence to be won”, said Joe Brady, band manager. “We are focused on future achievements while remaining steadfast to our mission honoring our fallen comrades through music.”  

“Of all the bands I’ve played with, large and small, grade 1 to street band, I have never found a more supportive and welcoming band that will stop at nothing to improve and dominate.” – Michael Supples

Thank you to Andrew Berthoffeditor @ pipes|drums - for writing a nice story recognizing our program.

For more information on Wake and District do not hesitate to contact us at info@raleighpipeband.com


crossroads

youth bagpipe and drum academy…

Wake and District is partnering with Ms. Becky Flowers to develop a youth bagpipe and drum academy in the Flowers Plantation Community of Johnston County; the Crossroads Kilty Pipe Band.  The band will honor the man behind the Flowers name – David Howard Creech.

The program will be open to youths from 8-18 and is an alternative music experience — committed to nurturing the values of dedication, practice, teamwork, respect, responsibility, community service and tradition.  No previous musical experience is necessary; all instruction will be provided.  It takes about 18 months to learn to read music and begin playing the bagpipes, snare drum, tenor drum or bass drum.

We are still getting things organized based on geographic areas folks are reaching out to us from – with the likelihood of organizing a “North-Side” Wake Forest group and a “South-Side” Johnston County group.  If you are interested in the program or have additional questions please contact Joe Brady @ brady@raleighpipeband.com.

flowers logo

An umbrella organization of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums — the Crossroads Kilty Band was founded in memory of Howard Creech. The goal is to teach young people respect and responsibility through music;  Scottish bagpipes and drums in Flowers Plantation, NC-USA.

Here is  little background on Mr. Howard Creechthe man behind the legend…  The South owns many famous legends and new stories become legends as the years go by. There is a special legend which concerns a Charleston, S.C. native and a North Carolina family. However, there is a man who never in his lifetime became a legend. Throughout his life, he stood behind, in support of this North Carolina family to enable them to be successful.

John B. Watson, famous Charleston native, moved to North Carolina in the mid 1700’s, pur-chased thousands of acres in an area just east of Raleigh, N.C. which became known as “Pineville”. He and his wife had five sons while living there. Many famous stories surround his life at Pineville, as well as the life of his oldest son, Dr. Josiah Ogden Watson, who later owned the farms and home place.

Dr. Watson was a surgeon in the War of 1812 and a North Carolina statesman in the 1820’s. At his death, his nephew inherited the estate and when he died in 1897, the estate eventually was purchased by Joshua Washington Flowers in 1905. Josh Washington Flowers oldest son, Joshua Percy Flowers, was two years old when his mother and father moved to the Watson estate.

Joshua Percy Flowers left his home and the families’ farming at age sixteen and became very wealthy. He purchased over 4000 acres of the Watson land through the years of the late 1920’s until the 1960’s. Legend has it that he made the money to purchase the land through illegal liq-uor making and selling. He was featured in Newsweek in 1958 and the August 02, 1958 Satur-day Evening Post magazine described him as the “King of the Bootleggers”.

David Howard Creech, born on July 10, 1917, lost his mother at the age of four and his father was killed in a car accident when he was sixteen. He was raised by his grandmother, “Mamie”, from the time his mother died. Joshua Percy Flowers’ mother also was named Mamie. Howard walked to The Flowers Tavern, owned by Joshua Percy Flowers, each afternoon to ask if he could work, pick up trash or do anything needed to earn money.

Howard soon became recognized by Joshua Percy Flowers as a hard worker and ambitious young teenager. As a result, Howard became his “Right Hand” employee and through the years his best friend and loyal companion. They were together for over seventy five years.

Mrs. Percy Flowers became like a mother to Howard and he worked also beside her and helped when needed in their home. He was with her on December 18, 1952 when a friend arrived to tell her of a tragic private plane accident in which her only son, a student at the University Of North Carolina School Of Law had died. Howard and “Percy Jr.” were best friends, and Howard was only eleven years older than Percy Jr. They were together on the farm as they grew up and worked together.

Shortly prior to the loss of their son in 1952, Mr. and Mrs. Flowers were surprised to learn they were having another child after 22 years! In 1950, Rebecca Dell Flowers was born. Howard was 33 years old and became her nanny of sorts. He took care of her many days, saddled her horse, carried her in his arms to the country store for candy and through many years gave her words of encouragement as life’s lessons came her way.

In 1982, Rebecca gave birth to identical twins, and the physicians of Duke Medical who were caring for Mr. Flowers at that time, wrote a letter to Mrs. Flowers explaining they believed he was granted two weeks of his life to witness the birth of his two grandsons. Howard was with Mr. and Mrs. Flowers when the call came the boys were both healthy and one was his name sake. At that time while sitting on the hearth of Mr. and Mrs. Flowers home, Howard was to become the companion of Jordan, Mr. Flowers the companion of Joshua and the four of them would spend many hours hunting, fishing, and learning about life. Little did they know Mr. Flowers’ death was two weeks away.

Again, Howard at age 65, became the nanny of the twins. He spent the time with both of them caring for them, hunting fishing, and “rambling” the farm learning the out of doors and the importance of nature.

In 1995 when Mrs. Flowers died, Howard was living in the home and caring for her. He took care of her for 13 years after Mr. Flowers died.

Without his adopted father Howard had cared for his grandsons, and the woman who became his adopted mother, Delma Flowers. Howard never experienced his own life independently with a wife and children of his own in a home as a family. He was much too interested in giving back to the life he had come to know as his pleasure, his work and his family.

Today “Flowers Plantation” is the name of what was in the distant past, “Pineville”. Just 23 miles east of Raleigh, it is home to thousands of families and is the largest planned unit development in the entire Research Triangle. It continues to grow not only with a rich history, but with legends of the past history. In 2013, Flowers Plantation was voted N.C. Community of the Year by the North Carolina Home Builder’s Association.

The family regards Mr. and Mrs. Flowers as characters who will long be remembered for each one’s specials gifts of knowledge and life’s lessons. However, David Howard Creech, is their greatest legend as well as the man behind the Flowers legend!

 

Crossroads Kilty Band — in memory of Howard Creech

– respect and responsibility through music for youths 8-18 — @CrossroadsKilty #CrossroadsKilty


listen

open your eyes and listen…

The most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way.”    This is from Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, we champion this quote.  How might it apply to your band?

Over the past 8 years we’ve worked tirelessly to fulfill our mission to honor others through our music.   We help nurture and communicate to our members the value of the relationships which sustain our success, with the aim of improving piping and drumming quality, culture and tradition; we do not compromise people and the art.

We have to be sensitive to the fact we are dealing with people and a range of skill levels, so we tend to be conservative; yet, we can’t be static.

We might be able to buy a small island if we had a dollar for every time we heard a version of “We’ve always done it this way” or “Our band doesn’t do that“.  Doing things differently or trying new things fundamentally has nothing to do with being reckless or risky, but it does take courage and confidence to continually iterate in order to improve.  Courage to challenge yourself, question assumptions, and possibly admit you have been wrong.  Confidence you are smart and capable enough to responsibly navigate something new and make a correction if necessary.

How else will you know if “doing great” is really only “okay”?  We’ve found the bands and players who have the courage and confidence to try something new make significant gains in generating more success on and off the field.

The successes of our program were evident this weekend at the Greenville Highland Games where both our bands and solo players had STRONG showings on the field of competition.  Congrats to the G4 (1,1,4,1) and G5 (1,2,2,4) for their 2nd place finishes – along with our solo players including Jean Russell (1st place tenor) and Garret Justice with two seconds in piping.

Congrats to the City of Chattanooga Pipe Band (G4) for their 1st place performance in G4 ; they have retained the throne for the summer – and to the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders (G5) for their 1st place performance in G5.

We have a lot of plans for the summer with new music, new gigs, new members — along with some big announcements for 2015…

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.”
— Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912)


rehearsal

practice with intention…

At the end of the day there are no shortcuts or magic tricks. Practice offers this brutally refreshing reality: practice only puts into place what you practice. If you don’t put in sufficient practice, embodiment of the new way of being simply won’t come. In fact the key to good practice is to accept this fact and to strip away all that is superfluous and distracting from the bare practice itself. Strip away the stories and narratives about how difficult and punishing the practice is. Strip away the stories about what a great person you are for walking the path of practice. Release the desire to be seen by others as magnificent or as a martyr. Simply practice with intention, and pay attention to what happens.

Read more about the trans-formative power of practice here

try-losing