29th March 17, 06:06 AM
A Very Nice Thing Happened to Me the Other Day!
I posted this on a famous bagpiping forum the other day. It's been suggested to me that the good people here might appreciate the story as well.
FYI, Grade IV is the lowest sanctioned grade for bagpipe competitions. It (roughly) consists of about the bottom 45 to 50% of piping competitors.
Anyway, this is the post I made on Monday:
I freely admit to being a Grade IV hack! I started piping late in life, and I play mostly for my own enjoyment.
I make it a point to refuse paying gigs. There are better pipers than me who deserve the gig more.
That said, I do tune my pipes well, and I try to play musically when on the GHB.
I practice in a downtown parking structure several days a week. It's convenient to where I work, and no one has complained (yet).
Today, a young woman approached me and waited till I had finished my tune before handing me a note.
This is the text:
"I want to thank you genuinely for your bagpipe playing. I lived in Scotland for a few months in college and your playing always takes me back in a good way. it is so lovely to get to the garage on a bad day, or even a mediocre day, and hear bagpipes in the distance.
"Thank you so much and keep playing. You sound great!"
Now I know that she can't tell a good piper from a bad one, but that note means more to me than the last medal I won.
'A damned ill-conditioned sort of an ape. It had a can of ale at every pot-house on the road, and is reeling drunk. "
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29th March 17, 07:23 AM
I know little about bagpipes. I do know from my experience with the chanter that it is difficult. I was a professional guitar player in the 80s and hope that gives some validity to my opinion.
When music moves people emotionally, one has achieved the goal. Often skill means little in music.
It is good for a musician to have these moving compliments.
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29th March 17, 09:33 AM
Sometimes we impact people without knowing and may never find out. Occasionally i cross paths with some of my wifes former students. When they see my last name (not a common one) they ask if my wife was a teacher. They then go on about how great she was etc. Other than these chance encounters she would never realize her impact. I think it is wonderful that someone went out of their way to tell you. I can just imagine being in that garage and hearing distant pipes and finding myself smiling. Im sure there are many more you'll never know about.....KEEP IT UP!
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29th March 17, 10:21 AM
What a great story! I'm probably in a similar boat to you - I'm a late-starter, Grade IV (maybe even Grade V), but I really enjoy playing. I can see how much that note meant to you. I echo her comment: "Keep playing"!
"Touch not the cat bot a glove."
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29th March 17, 02:52 PM
To this lady, your tunes are a random act of kindness, that led to the note being a random act of kindness in return. There is hope in the world after all.
29th March 17, 04:37 PM
You're lucky to get such a nice compliment in a downtown location. Back in the 90's our pipe band was practising in the Toronto downtown core at moss park armouries. It was too warm to stay inside so we went out to the parking lot to play some tunes. Didn't go down well, within 10 minutes the Police showed up with noise complaints because the sound was bouncing off the high rises and disturbing the local populace.....
3rd April 17, 09:53 PM
I'm a firefighter and a grade 5 piper. Next to our fire station is a county sheriffs office. I was playing 'let Erin remember' at the fire station the other day and a sheriff's deputy came out of the office and yelled 'hey!'
I stopped and said 'yeh?' And he said 'sounds good man!'
It's always nice when someone enjoys the sound, even if you're not the best piper out there
"The Scots have a transportable culture, you don't stop bein a Scot just because you live in America or Australia or anywhere else."
Colin G. Calloway
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10th April 17, 03:40 PM
As another late in life beginner on the pipes, I would say I fall in the great middle of the Grade IV pipers (maybe upper, toward Grade III on better days.) Compliments from unexpected quarters are always welcome and lead to some of the best conversations and meetings. I have worked funerals, birthdays, weddings and church services and people are always polite and appreciative. The pipes are hard and everyone who plays likes to be well received. People always have questions. My favorite (because I spend so much time on tuning) is: "you can tune those?" When everything is right, there's nothing like it; for me playing or for the audience.
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