Music is part of the fabric which unites and strengthens our society. The intrinsic value of music is widely evident in our culture and different backgrounds. Through music, we are able to recognize our heritage and carry forward our varying cultures and ideals. Through participation in ensemble, we get a sense of belonging and respect.
“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
“The poet ranks far below the painter in the representation of visible things, and far below the musician in that of invisible things.” — Leonardo da Vinci
This site was initially established in mid 2003 and operated through to early 2011 and showcased events and information relating to the Grand Celtic Pipe Band.
A pipe band is a musical ensemble which consists of pipers and drummers. The origin of pipe bands may be obscure but are attributed to have begun with the military. In ancient times, Pipers used to serve in regiments.
There is no official documentation to establish when the Grand Celtic Pipe Band was formed but their debut performance was made in the year 2000 according to their official Website. The site is now relaunched as a tribute to the Grand Celtic Pipe Band who have brought joy and entertainment to many pipe lovers.
Almost everyone at some point in their lives wants to be part of a band. The image of playing electric guitar while a crowd full of people shout out the lyrics is a dream that everyone has but few people get to live. However, this is not my story.
Being in a Bag Pipe band for 5 years my musical journey was different to say the least. For starters, the sight of a man wearing a skirt and mouthing a weird looking instrument doesn’t really spell out ‘Rock On’ and bagpipers are often subjected to giggling remarks. To be honest, I was never fascinated by the costume and I completely understand why people find the get-up funny.
Instead, I was intrigued and mesmerized by the sound the bagpipes produced. When I heard it for the first time at a military parade in Ottawa, Ontario, I found the music to be vastly different from anything I have ever heard before. It was a band of about 100 men donning checkered kilts, tall black Glengarry bonnets, and white and black dress shoes. Most of the men played bagpipes while about a dozen of them kept the beat with drums.
While everyone was busy giggling about the kilt and what they wore underneath it I was busy soaking in the music. I looked past the costume and fell in love with the music almost instantly. I knew right then and there I wanted to be a bagpiper.
When I came back home in Philly I bought my first bagpipe, joined a class, bought the uniform, and started practicing. About 5 years back I joined a band of 25 men which included bagpipers and drummers. We now perform professionally for weddings, parades, and even in one instance a Scottish themed bachelor party.
However, this story is not about how I made it as a bagpiper. Instead, it’s about how I manage to get the most beautiful girl in my life despite being one. Being a professional musician most of the interaction I had with women was during performances.
Pitted against guys wearing tuxedos, me and my checkered kilt always ended up ridiculed and lonely. It’s probably safe to say that I never had much luck with the ladies especially when I was wearing the women-repeller costume. It was also very difficult for me to walk up to a woman wearing a skirt and say ”can I get you a drink”. To make matters worse, women that did walk up to me were mostly curious about my costume than anything else.
One day at an event, I thought enough was enough and I was determined to spot the most beautiful girl and just go for it. It was an outdoor Scottish wedding. While playing, I saw a beautiful lady chatting with her friends. I decided right there on the stage that I am later going to walk up and ask her out. Once we were done playing, I mustered enough courage to walk in her direction and made eye contact. She smiled and I smiled back.
After a few minutes of small talk, I went for it and asked her if she wanted to go out with me. “Why not it will be a girl’s night out,” she said and started laughing. That response was like a sledgehammer to my self-confidence and I decided to never again put myself in an embarrassing situation like this.
In the following few months, I kept playing my bagpipe like a zombie and avoided conversations with any women. One day while I was playing at an event, I noticed a woman sitting quietly and listening intently to what the band was playing. Almost everyone else ignored us completely, but she gave her full attention to the music. When I was getting off the stage she walked up to me and said “Must take a lot of effort to learn how to play bagpipes?” “And a lot of courage to wear the kilt,” I replied.
What she said after that really changed my mindset. She told me that wearing the costume makes me look manlier than anyone else in that room that night. Noticing my utter confusion she explained, “Only a man who is secured with his masculinity can dare to wear something like that.” To my surprise, before I could ask her out she asked me out on a date. I realized that moment that my kilt played an important role of filtering out all the other women while attracting the most beautiful and special woman.
She comes along with me to all my events and passionately cheers when we are done. I never needed the entire world to love and support what I did, I only need one person to be as crazy as I was. We are now a happy couple and I wear the kilt with absolute pride.