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What was your proudest moment as a piper?

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  • Tervs and Tunes
    replied
    I've thought several times about replying, but have put it off until now. I think its due, in part, to my discomfort with the notion of pride. But my experience is particularly appropriate today. For about ten years running, starting in 1999, I lead, as a solo piper, the Vermont Statewide Veterans Day Parade. High stress, as I was literally the first in line. And the cold weather each year was a serious challenge over the course of a long parade route. I developed a number of coping strategies, e.g. gloves with the fingers cut, extra reeds and chanter at the ready. Only had one serious issue the last 150 yards of one of the parades when the 40 degree weather overwhelmed everything and caused a total shutdown. Got to meet the Vermont Congressional delegation, veterans from WWII on, and many others. Very grateful to have been permitted to contribute.
    Last edited by Tervs and Tunes; 11-11-2021, 08:58 AM.

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  • John Haack
    replied
    Grade II POTD in Atlanta eons ago. The band won that day too. I don't remember much of the rest of the day/evening.

    Or more likely, it would be having a student invited and go off to Nicol-Brown and the Sherriff. I mean, I know fully well that I was in no way responsible for getting him that far. I taught him the basics, and band music, and some lower grade solo efforts and then turned him over to far more talented players/educators than me to give him opportunity to reach his potential. But...hey...I at least contributed. And contributed where I think I'm most effective, with fundamentals and fundamental technique. On the other hand, I get just as excited by the ones who fight to build that kind of talent and become a huge, solid contributing member of the band.

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  • Ian Lawther
    replied
    Originally posted by Dave Sanderson View Post
    Proudest as a solo piper, Lament at the Menin Gate, Ypers, 20:00Hrs. daily ceremony
    I have also played as part of the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate and it is a humbling experience. But reading this flagged up a similar but prouder moment for me. Along with piping, an interest of mine going back at least to my early teens has been Second World War PoWs, particularly from the RAF. This probably started started with reading a junior edition of The Wooden Horse as a kid. Over the years I corresponded with quite a few ex PoWs and had some contact with the RAF Ex -Pow Association. I had always wanted to visit the site of Stalag Luft III and finally did so to coincide with the 50th anniversary of mass break out there in March 1944. Before going I contacted the RAF Ex -Pow Association to see if they knew of any events taking place on the anniversary. It turned out there was a church service happening in London but nothing in Zagan in Poland which is the location of the camp.

    As a result of this contact they asked if I would lay a wreath on their behalf at the memorial for the fifty officers shot following the escape and I was honoured to do this on their behalf. I also took my pipes and after laying the wreath played Flowers of the Forest in front of the monument. This was timed to coincide with the church service in London where some of the the survivors, and other ex PoWs remembered their friends who were lost in what is now know as the Great Escape. In Poland there was no one there but me and my wife, but I was very conscious of those in London whose thoughts were in Zagan.

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  • Dave Sanderson
    replied
    I'll list 3 categories, regardless if it is a big event or the smallest one does their absolute best performance.

    Proudest as a band member, band performance at Balmoral Castle for HM the Queen, Princess Margaret, and PM Motherwell

    Proudest as Pipe Major, Trooping the Guidon for the Duke of York, big parade, lots of stress, perfect starts and stops.

    Proudest as a solo piper, Lament at the Menin Gate, Ypers, 20:00Hrs. daily ceremony

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  • Pip01
    replied
    Originally posted by iunderwood

    Getting to the end of a wedding while my blowpipe stock slowly worked its way out of the bag,
    only to pop out completely at the last note at the end of the gig.

    Hmm... We are so often "saved"--are we not--by the intersession--
    of-- "The Wee Folk"--The Music--drawing-- "The Wee Ones"--as well. :-)

    ("There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    than are dreamt of in your Philosophy.") :-)
    Last edited by Pip01; 11-06-2021, 07:34 AM.

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  • iunderwood
    replied
    Getting to the end of a wedding while my blowpipe stock slowly worked its way out of the bag, only to pop out completely at the last note at the end of the gig.

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  • EquusRacer
    replied
    Speaking of your shoulder pain, I remember playing with a competition band back when there was a theory that the larger the bag, the more steady the blowing. What BS! (But we fell for a variety of theories). I was having issues, until I realized it was the bag size. Once I moved to a medium bag, the pain disappeared. On the developing arthritis...am I'm having some in my thumbs...damn! Sure, I'm taking some supplements for joint health. Who knows. I just keep plugging away...and will 'til I drop. You're a hero for getting back to it, notwithstanding the issues.

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  • Piperpadre
    replied
    Originally posted by EquusRacer View Post

    So glad that you're back to it. What a terrible thought of not playing what we love. I had been thrown from my horse, breaking five ribs (figures it'd be on the left side), and was out for 6 months. I cannot imagine being out for years. Anyway, all the best in your recovery, back to playing, and now winning your next piobaireachd competition!!
    Thank you! It's good to be back! I know all about broken ribs.... sorry to hear that. Surprisingly, my shoulder, although painful as it is when I play, does not present an insurmountable obstacle. he newly developed arthritis in my fingers is the latest challenge. I'm trying to address that through various means. I'm very much looking forward to getting back at it!

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  • EquusRacer
    replied
    Originally posted by Piperpadre View Post
    Completing my piobaireachd in a competition when my left shoulder was out of the socket as a result an accident. Would have been better had I placed, though.. Surgery followed and I haven't been able to play at all since. 7 years later, I'm just getting back to the pipes now.
    So glad that you're back to it. What a terrible thought of not playing what we love. I had been thrown from my horse, breaking five ribs (figures it'd be on the left side), and was out for 6 months. I cannot imagine being out for years. Anyway, all the best in your recovery, back to playing, and now winning your next piobaireachd competition!!

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  • Piperpadre
    replied
    Completing my piobaireachd in a competition when my left shoulder was out of the socket as a result an accident. Would have been better had I placed, though.. Surgery followed and I haven't been able to play at all since. 7 years later, I'm just getting back to the pipes now.

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  • Rick
    replied
    I'd guess my proudest moment was about 4 years ago when I flew out to Oregon and played for my oldest grandson's wedding. Beautiful outdoor service at his in-laws farm, with a mountain for a backdrop. It was certainly worth all the aggravation of dealing with air travel.

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  • Raibeart
    replied
    Playing the 2016 Virginia International Tattoo!
    Last edited by Raibeart; 09-16-2021, 02:04 PM. Reason: typo

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  • Locke Bar
    replied
    Playing the lament (Flowers of the forest ) as the lone piper at the Vimy Ridge memorial 50th anniversary when I was serving as a member of The Royal Scots pipes and drums. It was a memorable occasion and it inspired me to compose my slow air The pipers of Vimy.

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  • Mac an t-Sealgair
    replied
    I am very proud of the era of piping I grew up in, the amazing players and people I was lucky enough to be surrounded by and the opportunities for learning, competing and travelling that afforded me.
    I find it difficult to measure, or single out a 'proudest moment' but I'd say I had the best time, with the best people from '94 until about '01. Since then my piping story has been one of abject mediocrity

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  • el gaitero
    replied
    Originally posted by pancelticpiper View Post

    We have a top-level piper here who still wears a surplus Mess Dress jacket! But I think his is US Navy.
    Haha...those come with water wings....not propeller bow ties...

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