Wendy's Writing Project Blog

Last night’s story July 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — uiwpwendy @ 3:18 pm

The Mugdock pipers always begin their rehearsals on the practice chanter.  The practice chanter resembles a recorder, but has the same nine notes and fingerings as the bagpipe itself.  It is quieter and takes less air, making focusing on embellishments and learning tunes more manageable.  Between every couple of tunes, stories are told so that our lips can take respite.  The group was having a discussion of how, when you are playing in a band, you never get to hear the sound of the collaborative effort.

Last night, Mr. Lynch, our 94-year-old pipe major shared a story of when his band marched in a parade.  “I wasn’t able to play that day because I had a sore throat,” he reminisced.  “So I went uptown to stand on a street corner to wait for the band to come along.  Everyone was standing around, talking.  They were having a good ol’ time.  Then, from off in the distance, you could begin to hear a hum.  I looked down the street and saw the pipers.”  Cupping his hands around his head, he added, “Then crowd fell completely silent.  They were entranced.  The sound had captured all of their being.”  As I watched, his eyes twinkled at the memory and he let out a bewildered chuckle, “It was amazing to watch how affected they were by the sound.  It sent chills down my spine.”

In telling his story, Mr. Lynch reminded me of why I play the pipes.  To me, the distinctive sound reverberates deep down into my soul. It captivates me and stirs my deepest emotions.  The thought of, one day, having that power to affect others in such a way is gratifying.

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4 Responses to “Last night’s story”

  1. sbridgemuiwp Says:

    Will you play the pipes for us??

  2. sbridgemuiwp Says:

    Oh i forgot to add, Oh mistress of technology!!

  3. scottfilkins Says:

    I don’t know how many of you knew Clif Aldridge, a Centennial grad and son of a very good friend, Sue, who teaches at Centennial. Clif died of cancer this past January at just 23. I had the honor of playing the piano for his memorial service, but by far the most memorable music of that afternoon came from a bagpiper. While in college at ISU, Clif somehow got into bagpipe music and (perhaps jokingly?) said he wanted bagpipes at his funeral, having no idea it would come so soon. The piper played “Amazing Grace,” and did a solitary procession through the sanctuary. I know that the situation had much to do with my response, but I agree with Wendy that the bagpipes are (is?) an instrument that can reverberate within the soul.


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