Archive for the ‘Band Top Story’ Category

right-decisions

how to make the right decisions…

Every now and then I will go back and read past blogs I have written on subjects that I am dealing with in my life that day. Tonight I read one of my blogs from back in 2012 that was exactly what I would have written to share tonight:

Life is so full of decisions that have to be made on a daily basis.  Some are small and insignificant.  Yet, some have huge impact on our lives and our futures as well as the people around us.  So how do you make the right decisions?

There are times the decisions can be made by simply looking at the black and white of what is right and what is wrong and then choosing the right thing.

There are other times when the facts point to what is right and what is wrong, but we get all tangled up in our own emotions and we allow those emotions to make us question or rationalize the decision in order to avoid dealing with the emotions we might be feeling (for example, you know the person you are dating is bad for you but at least they keep you from feeling lonely…or you know you should help that stranger in need but you are feeling embarrassed to approach them…or you know you should fire a person from work because they are doing a poor job but you feel sorry for them because they are struggling in their life…you get the picture?  In those situations it is critical to take the emotion out of your decision and base the decision on only the facts of what is right and what is wrong and then go with the thing that is right, ignoring that it might be emotionally tough to do.  When you can do that you will always feel better in the end even if you struggled to get through it.

The next type of decision is the one where you think you might be right but you doubt yourself because perhaps you worry you don’t have all the facts?  Or it could be that you doubt your own ability to make the right choice and insecurities keep from you from being able to decide.  Or it could be that you are afraid to make the choice because you simply don’t want to end up being wrong.  It’s never fun to be wrong, so often time’s people avoid making the decision at all – which I will say I think is one of the most dangerous ways to handle things.  Inevitably by not making a decision you make a decision.  Things happen and opportunities are missed.  Thus, making no decision made the decision for you.  So how can you avoid falling into this trap?

Lastly, there are the times that there isn’t a clear right and wrong decision.  Not because you have emotions involved, not because you are afraid to decide, but because there may simply be two decisions that are both good options and could both be right – how do you decide then?  An example of this would be choosing between two careers that could both be good options…or choosing to spend time with a child versus choosing time to spend with a spouse…both great things to do, so how do you decide?

I don’t have all the answers on this but I will share with you what has helped me to get through tough decisions in my life.  If there is a clear right and wrong decision I force myself to always choose the right thing.  I don’t allow myself to even consider the wrong thing as an option and that makes my choice easier.  Next, if I know I am struggling emotionally with a decision I try to sit back and look at the hard core facts, without my emotions involved, and if doing that allows me to see a clear right and wrong then I again choose the right.  If I come across a decision where I feel insecure or uncertain or for whatever reason or if I come across a decision where it feels like more than one answer could be right – well that is when I get on my knees and pray about it for starters.

The other thing I try to do is to find a quiet place to step away and just sit and let my mind go clear and I listen.  I know that probably sounds weird, but the fact is that when I try to sit and just listen it allows my mind to be open to things and it allows me to really be at peace as I consider my options.  And then I trust what answers come to me. Sometimes the answers come through a feeling; sometimes they come from a thought in my head that pops in there suddenly; other times it comes from a gut instinct that I should go with one option over the other.  And then there is the most important part – once I get an instinct or a feeling about something I have to learn to TRUST IT!

Learning to make good choices and learning to trust your instincts are critical in life. They are especially critical when you hold positions of leadership because so many people are counting on you to do the right thing.  Never let yourself hold back on making a decision out of fear, and never allow yourself to make the wrong decision based on fear.  Both of those will always turn out bad in the end. You have to be willing to step up and make decisions and as long as in your heart you are always trying to do the right thing, then have confidence in that and move forward.


~Amy Rees Anderson


choose-your-weapon

so you want to join a pipe band…

Raleigh’s Pipe Band – the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums currently has 60+ 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.

OPEN HOUSES SCHEDULED FOR:
December 11 and 18th from 3p-4p
at the NCSHP Training Center
3318 Garner Road, Raleigh (see map below)

Our mission is to provide a distinguishing tribute for our fallen comrades and to be in service to the families of public safety employees of the Raleigh region and across North Carolina. We desire to strengthen relations between the protective services and the public while preserving cultural heritage and enriching our community by providing the highest tradition of Bagpipe and Drum music.

We are seeking new members
to grab hold of this tradition…


Want to learn to play the bagpipes or drums?

We can help you. One of the primary goals of the our band is to teach anyone who has a sincere desire to learn to play. We will provide you with lessons free of charge, with absolutely no obligation on your part. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.

One of the biggest questions we receive is with regards to age — what is a good age to start learning the pipes/drums?  While the bagpipes and drums appear to be very physical instruments, pipe band life starts with practice chanters (similar to a recorder) and drum sticks and pads; we start with teaching music.  Our youngest students have started at 8 years old.  Our youngest piper started at 11 (same with our youngest drummer).  It really depends on the child and most importantly…parents.


BAGPIPE FAQ’s

I’ve heard the bagpipe is a difficult instrument to learn; is this true?

Yes and no. There are more skills to learn with a bagpipe than with most other instruments. You will not only need to learn to play the notes of the melody, but there are also embellishments to learn which give the bagpipe its distinct sound.

Also there are some coordination issues involved such as playing the notes while blowing into the bag and squeezing the bag. You could compare this to learning to ride a bicycle. You have to balance and pedal and steer all at the same time, but once you put all of these pieces together it all falls into place.

In addition it takes a fair amount of lung capacity and endurance to play the pipes. This will develop as you learn to play the instrument.

Will I have to pay for the lessons?

For group lessons, no.  You need only provide a sincere desire to learn and a commitment to practice.  One on one instruction is available starting at $25 per lesson.

Will I need to purchase any supplies to take lessons?

Yes. You will need to purchase a practice chanter (about $100).

How long will it take to learn to play?

This will vary greatly depending on your natural ability, previous musical experience and the amount of practice time that you devote. With average ability and a reasonably dedicated practice ethic you could reach minimum “street level” (parade) playing ability in about one year.

How far you progress beyond “street level” will likely depend on how determined you are and how much practice time you dedicate.

Once I learn to play will there be a place for me in your band?

Certainly!


DRUM FAQs

What kind of drums are played in a bagpipe band?

There are basically three types of drums used in a bagpipe band.

I. Snare drum: This is the most prominent sounding drum in the drum line. The snare drum that is used in a bagpipe band is different from the snare drums that are used in other bands. The pipe band snare drum has snare mechanisms on both the top and bottom drumheads. The drumheads are also tensioned much higher than on a normal snare drum. This results in a very high pitched and crisp snare sound which compliments the notes played on the bagpipe “chanter”.

II. Tenor drum: This is the drum that fills in the middle tones in a pipe band. The tenor drum is usually pitched the same as the bass drone on the bagpipes. Some bands may have multiple tenor drums and pitch them to various notes on the chanter scale. Pipe bands can have two types of tenor drum players:

  1. A “flourishing” tenor drummer does fancy “swings” with his/her mallets which visually compliment and add excitement to the band’s performance. A flourishing tenor drummer also plays rhythmic beatings which fill in the overall ensemble sound.
  2. A “rhythm” tenor drummer focuses on rhythmic beating which compliment the music. A rhythm tenor drummer usually plays within a pattern framework (ex. Hard, soft, medium, soft) that helps set the “groove” for the band.

III. Bass drum: This drum is the heartbeat of the band. The bass drum is usually pitched to the bass drone of the bagpipes, but an octave lower than the tenor drum. The bass drum sets the pace of the music as well as adding the harmonic “bottom” tone of the band. The bass drummer must have a strong sense of rhythm. A good bass drummer will set a strong “groove” for the band that makes it easy for the pipers and drummers to play together.

The importance of drums in a pipe band: The drum sections keeps the beat for the bagpipe band, but that isn’t it’s only job. The bagpipe is an instrument that can only be played at one volume level. There are no mechanisms for increasing or decreasing the volume. Everything sounds the same – LOUD! The drum section provides the illusion of the band playing more quietly or more loudly. This musical effect is referred to as “Dynamics”. A good drum section will work together, playing softer or louder parts together. The tenor and bass drummers may accent (strike more loudly) a beat that will compliment the accents that the snare drummers play. The snare drummers will often play parts or “chips” throughout the music to further enhance the dynamics within the ensemble.

Will I have to pay for the lessons?

For group lessons, no.  You need only provide a sincere desire to learn and a commitment to practice.  One on one instruction is available starting at $25 per lesson.

Will I need to purchase any supplies to take lessons?

Yes. You will need to purchase a drum pad (about $30) and a pair of drumsticks (about $20). In addition you may want to use a small cassette recorder to tape your lessons.

What will the lessons be like?

We like to start each new student as if they are starting from scratch (if you have previous experience this will likely be a quick review). We start with the very basics: Learning to properly grip the sticks and strike the drum. New students are given exercises to work on at home to develop proper technique. At each week’s lesson the student will be given instruction in reading drum music as well as developing the drum rudiments, such as rolls and paradiddles. The lessons are progressive; as each lesson is mastered new material is added.

How long will it take to learn to play?

This will vary depending on your natural ability, previous musical experience and the amount of practice time that you dedicate. With average ability and a reasonably dedicated practice ethic you could reach minimum “street level” (parade) playing ability in about one year. It has been done quicker.

How far you progress beyond “street level” will likely depend on how determined you are and how much practice time devote to the instrument.

Once I learn to play will there be a place for me in your band?

Absolutely.


How do I get started?

Send an email to join@raleighpipeband.com for more information.


map

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Training Academy – 3318 Garner Road, Raleigh, NC

All rehearsals are open to the public.  Rehearsals are held at the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Training Academy – 3318 Garner Road, Raleigh, NC — Building #4.


freedom2

unite in gratitude for our freedom…

November 11th — Veterans Day —  we honor those who sacrificed of themselves so that a Nation could protect the sacred gift of freedom for its citizens. We stand in awe of the amazing Veterans who so selflessly served, as well as those who continue to serve, for such an important cause. These veterans willingly chose to leave their homes and put their lives at risk, knowing they may never return to their families again, and that was just the start of the sacrifices they made:

The biggest sacrifice veterans have made for their country do not just happen on the battlefield. They happen quietly, without fanfare, without recognition. They happen in small homes and living rooms, with only those left behind as witnesses. Everything a veteran must do is a sacrifice, from leaving behind their lives, to stepping onto the battlefield. The sacrifice of time is just as important as the bravery shown in war, and oftentimes much more difficult. These sacrifices are what make veterans special.” -Unknown

We often question if we, as citizens of this great nation, do our part to be deserving of the sacrifice of our Veterans. We can’t imagine that these brave soldiers risked their lives for the freedom of Americans so that Americans could behave by turning on one another and viciously tearing each other down. These Veterans risked their lives so that the citizens of our Country could live together in peace.

Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” – Ronald Reagan

If we want to honor our Veteran’s we should do so by treating each other with respect and kindness. We should honor them by handling our conflicts by peaceful means. We should honor them by proving that we are indeed ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, that is GRATEFUL to be living in this great country, and that is willing to kneel in prayer to ask God to guide our leaders and to soften the hearts of our citizens so that we may each live worthy of the sacrifices that have been made on our behalves.

America needs God more than God needs America. If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under…We can’t have it both ways. We can’t expect God to protect us in a crisis and just leave Him over there on the shelf in our day-to-day living. We wonder if sometimes He isn’t waiting for us to wake up, He isn’t maybe running out of patience.” – Ronald Reagan

We thank God for this Nation and we thank our Veterans for their incredible sacrifice. And we pray that the citizens of this country will unite in gratitude for our freedom and move forward with the intention of working together to make both God and our Veterans proud.


thanks Amy Rees-Anderson


homecoming

a sort of homecoming…

When is the last time you were in a parade?  Like actually in the parade itself?  Marching down the street smiling and waving at the crowds along the route as you enjoy the music of the marching band…  For us it was yesterday as we marched from the site of the shuttered Tir Na nOg building on Blount Street to it’s new home at 108 East Hargett Street — next door to the London Bridge.  As we slowly marched around the block and into the garden of the London Bridge and the new Tir Na nOg  — we thought “Life needs to be more like a big parade!”

You see when you are in a parade like that it is impossible not to be totally present in the moment.  Not just physically present, but mentally as well.  You are focused on your surroundings, enjoying the view and smiling and taking in the faces of those around you.  You are fully present in the moment to totally appreciate it in every aspect.

So often in life we are physically present for things but our minds are racing a million other places and worrying about a million other things – we end up mentally somewhere completely different then our physical body is at any given moment.  It’s like we are constantly disconnected from ourselves.  When we allow that to happen we literally miss the actual moments we are living in because we were mentally somewhere else.

We need to walk through each day as if it is our parade route, smiling and waving to those faces we pass by.  We need to be present, both physically present and mentally present.  We need to focus on each moment and appreciate each step along our own parade route.  We need to hear the music of the pipe band in the air and have that spring in our step as we walk along the route.  We need to enjoy each segment of our life parade.  Laugh.  Smile.  Wave to everyone (wrist, wrist, elbow, elbow – you gotta do the proper parade wave!).  Skip along. Dance at times. March to the beat of the drums.  Throw candy to the crowd.  Make them happy.  Be happy yourself.  Don’t worry about what’s ahead in your parade route – know that it’s just more excited people waiting for you to pass by them so there is no need to be concerned, just focus on what’s around you in that moment!  This is your BIG PARADE!  ENJOY IT!

As we reflect back on the shuttered building on Blound Street – we recognize it’s not the building or the home that will matter – it is the memories we create within the walls of that home which will turn it into a home.  It is the love and the laughter and time that will create those feelings of making this new house a home for us.  And so we will continue working hard to decorate the new house and to hang photos so we can recall those memories from our old home as we walk through the walls of homecoming Queen’s new castle.

Welcome home Annie.

Thanks Amy Rees-Anderson


From Triangle Downtowner Magazine — Tir Na Nog has reopened in its new location on East Hargett Street, just around the corner from its former home of 18 years. Although the interior is smaller than the original, the new place seems somehow more inviting and intimate, and now offers a large outside seating area.

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London Bridge and Tir Na nOg partners Michael Ruiz and Darren Bridger Annie Britton-Nice in front of their pubs on Hargett St. in Downtown Raleigh.

When asked about plans for the pub, co-owner Annie Britton-Nice of Camlough, Ireland answered, “For now, we’re serving drinks and good times with live music on special nights.”

According to Annie, a full menu service will be available sometime in December. Until then they’ll be offering catered food service for events and large parties prepared by their chef.

The new nOg is within walking distance of many other downtown hot spots, has a stage for bands, and there’s even a back deck shared with its sister pub, The London Bridge.

Annie is happy with the number of excited new and returning regular patrons during their first week of operation. She expects numbers to grow even more as previous session bands return to play, and when the kitchen is ready for service.

Hours are 5pm to 2am daily, closed Monday and Tuesday with the option to open for private parties.

Tir na nOg Irish Pub
108 Hargett Street


blank-featured-image-1023

we’re grateful…

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

So often in life we get so sucked into thinking about every little thing we still want that we totally lose sight of just how lucky we already are and we forget to be thankful for all those things that we already have. When that happens we can often slip into the mode of acting ungrateful and entitled without even realizing it.

We have found one of the best ways to avoid slipping into behavior like that is to find inspiring quotes and hang them places you are forced to see them daily. You can write them on a post it note and stick them to a bathroom mirror or on a car dashboard, or any place where you know you can’t help but notice it. Having these quotes around serves as a great wake-up call to help our thoughts and our heads stay focused on positive things.  Find a quote that inspires you and put it up today! And don’t forget to live gratefully.

So keeping quotes where you can see them daily is a great tool for modifying our own behavior.

A great quote which helps remind me not to take things for granted is:

“No. We don’t always get what we want. But consider this: There are people who will never have, what you have, right now.”

Reading this always reminds me to have an attitude of gratitude. And this quote below helps remind me that having that attitude of gratitude will bring me happiness.

“Happiness isn’t about getting what you want all the time. It’s about loving what you have and being grateful for it.”

Thank you to our members, our mates, our families and our fans for a wonderful season; we’re grateful.


Thanks Amy Rees-Anderson


kilt-night

always dance…

We came across an amazing quote; no idea who wrote it, but we absolutely love it because it reminds us to celebrate this event called LIFE:

“As soon as you die, your identity becomes a “Body”. People use phrases like: “Bring the body”, “Lower the body in the grave”, “Take the body to the graveyard”, etc. People don’t even call you by your name whom you tried to impress your whole life…

Take chances…Tell the truth…Learn to say NO…Spend money on things you love…Laugh till your stomach hurts…Dance even if you are bad at it…Pose stupidly for photos…Be child-like…

Moral:  Death is not the greatest loss in life…Loss is when life dies inside you while you are alive…Celebrate this event called LIFE…”

Seriously love it! It’s true. We need to take more chances and laugh more and dance…always dance… (Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga Ooga-chaka).  We need to live our lives as if we really mean it and appreciate each moment. We can’t keep sitting around waiting for the life we are “going to have someday”. We have to stop waiting for things to be as we want them to be and start celebrating what they are right now in this very moment. That’s what we need to do gosh dang it!!!


Thank you to everyone that came out tonight to celebrate another Tir Na nOg Fall Kilt night. We had a packed house. Special thanks to Bobby Glass and the Raleigh Roadhouse staff for hosting us. To Born Again Heathens —  especially Scott Ervin for help with sound.   Cheers to our great fans and friends — and of course the brilliant Albannach. And THANK YOU RALEIGH for your continued support of Celtic Events.  

Last night we also raised a glass in memory of our friend Patrick Taylor was laid to rest last month.  

Thank you Annie Nice for being a pillar of the Celtic community here in Raleigh.


dalton-and-gab

what trifles constitute happiness…

“Music, uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional,” Oliver Sacks wrote in contemplating music’s singular power over the human spirit — a power that has humbled some of humanity’s most brilliant minds into a state of awe that transcends the intellect.

Among them was the great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (October 15, 1844–August 25, 1900). He who proclaimed that “god is dead” and believed that nothing worthwhile is easy found in music life’s sole unmerited grace.

In an autobiographical fragment quoted in Julian Young’s altogether fantastic Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography (public library), the German intellectual goliath writes:

God has given us music so that above all it can lead us upwards. Music unites all qualities: it can exalt us, divert us, cheer us up, or break the hardest of hearts with the softest of its melancholy tones. But its principal task is to lead our thoughts to higher things, to elevate, even to make us tremble… The musical art often speaks in sounds more penetrating than the words of poetry, and takes hold of the most hidden crevices of the heart… Song elevates our being and leads us to the good and the true. If, however, music serves only as a diversion or as a kind of vain ostentation it is sinful and harmful.

Nietzsche wrote these lines two months before his fourteenth birthday — a detail doubly poignant when contrasted with the “vain ostentations” marketed to teenagers today. But his profound reverence for music never left him. Toward the end of his life, he immortalized it in an aphorism included in his 1889 book Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer:

What trifles constitute happiness! The sound of a bagpipe. Without music life would be a mistake. The German imagines even God as a songster.

Complement the wholly illuminating Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography with the great philosopher’s ten rules for writers and his heartening 1882 New Year’s resolution, then revisit these seven essential books about music and the mind.


www.brainpickings.org


helmet2

a nationwide tribute for fallen firefighters…

For the 10th year in a row, members of the band will be attending the 35th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, MD.  This special Weekend honors the service and sacrifice of the families of fallen firefighters. New survivors will have the opportunity to meet fire service survivors from across the country, share experiences, make lasting friendships, and begin to look ahead.  It’s a time for pipe bands across North America to come together to honor their fallen comrades through music.

Our hearts go out to the families of these fallen firefighters. Their families have 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.

 

For more information on the memorial — and to watch live streaming of the candlelight vigil and memorial service — visit their website @ www.firehero.org


attitude

we can be all in or we can get out…

When things aren’t working the way you want them to, or you feel you’re surrounded by problems, it can be tempting to look outward and try to change the things you feel are causing issues. Chances are the issues you’re facing aren’t so cut and dry. The solution to the problem might just be your attitude. That’s what pastor and educator Charles R. Swindoll believes:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.”

Good advice – thanks Amy Rees Anderson.

 


reason

reason, season, or lifetime…

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
— Unknown