Sadly – we learned of the passing of the legend behind Everything Scottish in North Carolina – and a Grandfather of piping in the South, Harvey Ritch.
“Most people who don’t like pipe music,” said Ritch in an interview for the StarBanner in 1984, “have either never heard the pipes played in the proper setting or never heard them played in proper tune — and there are a lot of badly tuned bagpipes around.” Harvey was captivated by the bagpipes — he indicated what really got him going was seeing the pipes played at John Kennedy’s funeral, and in the cortege down Pennsylvania Avenue, when they had the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment from Scotland play the pipes. That was the beginning for him – and 51 years later legions of pipers, drummers owe much of what we know with regards to pipe bands in the South because Harvey Ritch.
There are a plethora of “Harvey” stories which will be told in the days, weeks and years to come. His legacy lives on in every finely tuned set of pipes echoing through the mountains of North Carolina…
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Harvey E. Ritch – born August 21, 1927 – at rest June 8, 2014.
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