Archive for the ‘Band Top Story’ Category

richmond

make ready…

We are making ready to close out the season with a trip to Richmond for the Central Virginia Celtic Festival & Highland Games.   We will be competing in Grade 4 and challenging up to Grade 3 against the eminent MacMillan Pipe Bands and our friends from Tide-Water and Richmond (among others).

No need to fix bayonets…”Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”  -Sun Tzu

There are some concerns…why would they put FLYING AXES next to the pipe band circle?!  Are they trying to tell us something…

 


amazed-by-grace

amazed by grace…

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


NCFF20142

side by side…

Firefighters from across the United States of America gathered together this weekend at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Maryland.  This is an annual gathering honoring those brothers (and sisters) who gave their lives in service of others.

Playing the pipes and drums is how we honor our fallen; no spoken words – side by side with respect and honor.

This year firefighters (and pipers and drummers) from across North Carolina had the opportunity to come together in fraternal fellowship to honor our fallen comrades.  Although we work for different agencies, play different instruments in different bands and wear different kilts – music brings us together FOR OUR FALLEN.

The 33rd Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service honored five firefighters from North Carolina who died in the line of duty last year. They were among the 98 firefighters who died in 2013, as well as nine firefighters who died in previous years, remembered at the official national service held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD.

  • Firefighter Tony Barker, age 36
    Mountain View Volunteer Fire Department
    Died after being electrocuted while operating at a fire on June 13, 2013.
  • Assistant Chief Jeffrey L. Fields, age 51
    Youngsville Volunteer Fire Department
    Died December 25, 2013, from a heart attack after responding on a motor vehicle accident on December 12, 2013.
  • Captain David A. Heath, age 48
    New Hanover County Fire Rescue
    Collapsed then died while participating in department training on October 14, 2013.
  • Fire Chief Scott A. Morrison, age 44
    Knotts Island Volunteer Fire Department
    Died after he collapsed at the scene of a brush fire on March 3, 2013.
  • Captain Jon Schondelmayer, age 44
    Cary Fire Department [also Firefighter with Swift Creek Fire Department] Died after responding to multiple calls on December 18, 2013.

Our hearts go out to the families of these fallen firefighters.  They’ve become members of a fraternity no one seeks to join.  These heroes are no longer with us. But we can tell you in our hearts, we will always remember and be grateful for your husband, your wife, your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your daughter, your son. We will make sure that their names and their memories live on in the hearts, minds, and souls of our community for generations to come. This is our commitment to you. This is our duty —- For Our Fallen.


more-than-9-notes

it’s more than 9 notes…

On Saturday, 04 October 2014 Wake and District - along with bands from across the region – packed our bags, filled our coolers and headed to Scotland County, North Carolina for their highland games.  It’s always great to see so many pipers and drummers together and hear the cacoffiny of music.  Throughout the day we made a point to ask our fellow pipers and drummers “why do we do this…”  –  this question wasn’t meant to disparage the spectacle of the games – but to capture a snapshot of why pipe bands do what we do.

Piping and drumming is all about tradition and excellence.  No one likes to lose. It’s all important.   After the closing ceremony we watched as bands gathered together to talk about the day; what went right, what went wrong and how things can be done differently next time.  These bands care about their members.  It tells you a lot about the pipe band community; we are raising the level of our art.  It’s more than 9 notes…

We had our share of pipe band problems throughout the day which did not lend themselves to our best performances in front of the judges.  Both our G4 (1*,1,2,5  *AGL) and G5 (1,2,2,4) finished 2nd overall to the City of Chattanooga Pipe Band and the Knoxville Pipes and Drums.

We look forward to our seeing our pipe band friends at the 42nd Annual Stone Mountain Highland Games — hope to see you there.

#TakeTheThrone


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.


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)