|Current Membership Level||
|Pipe Band Membership||
Chester County Emerald Society Pipe Band
|Solo Competition Level||
I haven't played solos
|Band Playing Level||
Pennsylvania Born and Raised. I live about 35 miles west of Philadelphia.
Music stuff- I Have listened to the pipes since I was a child and thought the instrument and people looked strange playing them... but, that was one of the reasons I was drawn to them! I played the clarinet in high school, but it was not a passion, and I gave it up after graduation. It did help me initially with my acceleration with the chanter since I knew how to read music going in, but the advantage stopped there. My paternal great grandparents were Scottish-Irish, and my great grandfather lived to be 94 and listened to the pipes on occasion. This stoked my curiosity and love of the instrument even further! The first piper that really amazed me was Rufus Harley and who I inspired to be like! I saw one of his albums (vinyl) in Tower Records in Philadelphia. His innovation over traditional tunes and sounds was amazing.
I traveled to Scotland in 2006 for genealogy research and it sealed the fate after seeing the instrument played on various street corners for money/tips! I began taking pipe lessons soon after my return home just outside Philadelphia in Willow Grove AFB area. The drive was insane with traffic congestion taking me an hour and a half one way! I soon joined a newly formed band in my hometown that was specific to LE and FF and was chartered as an Emerald Society. I had the privilege of playing in Killorglin Ireland in 2010 for their Saint Patricks' celebration by chance since one of our band members grew up there and was invited to come back and play!
Why am I here? My band has dwindled in numbers to 5 pipers and never has reset post COVID. Over the last two years, numbers in our band have fallen to 5 pipers from the original 23 and drummer attendance is sparse with only 3 members total in the corp. Our pipe major is semi-retiring for health reasons and his instruction has dwindled to only coming on occasion. He was a great guy and teacher. Sadly, as a band we are at a crossroads with no one really able to fill the shoes of our pipe major. He was unique and able to corral the group and anyone that knows cops and FF's know it is a lot of A personalities... My growth has stalled over the past three years, and I have gone backwards in my skill and abilities. I need challenged and am here to step up my game. To be TOTALLY honest, I have been checking out the Dojo for years and on the fence about joining. I LOVE the pipes, but never was a fan of the community in general since it was always a negative crowd constantly criticizing each other's abilities and sound. I get it, constructive criticism is a good thing if delivered appropriately, but someone that was raised in music, I have found the pipe community a harsh crowd in general on each other. Hopefully anyone reading that statement experienced a different pipe community, but thus another reason I opted to finally squeeze the trigger and join the Dojo. I immediately noticed that Andrew and the few instructors I have listened to in lectures are not negative and "get-it" with no boasting and claiming to be Jedi Master pipers. They are here to help and will not tolerate that crap here. I'm staying!
Personal stuff-Game Warden in US and help train Game Rangers in South Africa. I am currently a board member and Secretary for the Pennsylvania Rhino Advocacy group in Philadelphia. Rhino conversation is my passion. I also protect the fuzzy creatures in Pennsylvania.
Navy family, married father of 3 and a grandfather of 3 and getting old is not fun so I run a few marathons and triathlons to stay ahead of the grim reaper. Not sure if the pain is worth a few more years of life... 🙂