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Military funeral bagpipers: recruiting the next generation
The Akron Beacon Journal ^ | 8/20/2005 | Thomas J. Sheeran

Posted on 08/21/2005 8:31:16 AM PDT by sionnsar

FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio - George Roudebush, a World War II Battle of the Bulge veteran, feels the heart strings tugging when a bagpipe plays at a military funeral, and he's done his part to recruit the next generation of pipers.

Roudebush, 80, of Chardon, a bagpiper for 32 years, has convinced his 12-year-old grandson to take up the pipes.

A bagpipe at a military funeral "fits so nicely with taps," Roudebush said while taking a break from his Red Hackle Pipes and Drums band practice in a veterans hall in suburban Cleveland. "The pipes have a place for us in memorial functions."

Military funerals for U.S. casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq - particularly the recent two-week series of services for Marines from an Ohio-based battalion - have highlighted the role of bagpipes and a unique sound that, for many, invokes just the right solemn tone.

The last of the scheduled funerals of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines killed in two attacks in early August was held Saturday in suburban Cincinnati for Marine Sgt. David Kreuter, 26, who was posthumously promoted from corporal.

Don Barner, 54, a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam and assistant Lake County prosecutor, took up the pipes in 1989 after hearing them at a police officer's funeral and gets inspired when he occasionally plays at military funerals.

"I look at it as an honor to give tribute to guys I served alongside," Barner said as fellow band members practiced fan favorites including the "Marine Corps Hymn" and "Amazing Grace."

Donald B. Willis, 60, of Lyndhurst, an undertaker and 20-year bagpiper, said the unique sound makes the bagpipes fit into a teary-eyed funeral for a fallen service member.

"It's just marvelous sounds that bring out the emotion and it's a very respective sound," said Willis, who is about to publish a sequel to a first novel with a bagpipe theme.

"If you're happy, it will bring it out. If you're sad, it will bring out tears," he said.

Recruiting new pipers like Roudebush's grandson can involve family connections, sometimes without regard to military tradition or lump-in-the-throat funeral duty. Other factors include a fascination with the sound and an interest in trying something different.

"I thought it would be nice to try," said Kirby Weldon, 16, of Litchfield, who took up the bagpipes two years ago based on his mother's love for the pipes and a friend's involvement.

The Red Hackle band directed by Scottish-born Sandy Hain, 76, has fared well attracting newcomers. It's a mix of about 50 members including young, middle-aged and old.

Band member Nate Wiles, 14, of North Olmsted, said his family's Scottish-American roots and a cousin who plays nurtured his interest in the pipes.

Wiles said his involvement in school cross-country, track and wrestling teams helps his stamina for an instrument that requires a lot of lung power.

"You have to blow a lot of air into the bag. It keeps going out," he said.

And what do his North Olmsted High School classmates make of the bagpipes? "It's popular with the ladies," Wiles said.

Stephen Holter, 39, of Youngstown, played the pipes at the Corpus Christi, Texas, funeral of a nephew, Marine Cpl. Paul C. Holter III, 21, who died Jan. 14 in a non-combat incident at Camp Ramadi, Iraq.

"There is head-turning (attention) just because people don't see it very often," said Holter, who has gently encouraged his 3-year-old son's interest in bagpipes.

"He likes bagpipe music. He'll actually ask for it - CDs - in the car," Holter said. "I don't want to push him into it, but I want to provide him with the opportunity if he wants."

ON THE NET

Red Hackle band: http://www.redhacklepipeband.com

Eastern U.S. Pipe Band Association: http://www.euspba.org


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/21/2005 8:31:17 AM PDT by sionnsar
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To: investigateworld; Peelod; jimtorr; CurlyBill; TexanToTheCore; hoosier_RW_conspirator; ...

Pipes and Drums of FreeRepublic ping!

This is an ultra-low-volume ping list (typically weeks to months between pings).
FReepmail me if you want on or off this list.

2 posted on 08/21/2005 8:31:50 AM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity || Iran Azadi)
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To: sionnsar; Miss Marple
Love the story & to my own newspaper, too!

A Warm Scots ping!Thanks for the thread sionnsar....and please add me to your list. Thanks!!

3 posted on 08/21/2005 8:36:32 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher (We are Americans...the sons and daughters of liberty...*.from FReeper the Real fifi*))
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To: sionnsar
U.S. Marine Pipers' Network


4 posted on 08/21/2005 8:36:33 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: sionnsar

My 11-yr-old, who's determined to join the Navy, is learning to play bagpipes. So keep yer pants on! :)


5 posted on 08/21/2005 8:40:53 AM PDT by Graymatter
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To: sionnsar
The difference between playing a funeral and a wedding?

One less critic of your playing at a funeral.

6 posted on 08/21/2005 8:47:52 AM PDT by Cogadh na Sith (Steel Bonnets Over the Border)
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To: sionnsar

If hearing Amazing Grace on pipes as a flag-draped coffin leaves the church doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you're probably the one in the coffin.


7 posted on 08/21/2005 8:49:55 AM PDT by anonymous_user (You gotta be passionate about something. I guess.)
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To: sionnsar; Molly Pitcher
Please put me on your ping list, sionnsar! I didn't know there was a pipes and drum list, and as a member of McLaine of Lochbuie, I MUST be on it!

Molly, thanks for the ping!

8 posted on 08/21/2005 9:06:43 AM PDT by Miss Marple (Lord, please look after Mozart Lover's son and keep him strong.)
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To: Graymatter
My 11-yr-old, who's determined to join the Navy, is learning to play bagpipes.

I feel you pain, I had a 12 year old that tried desperately to play the drums.

9 posted on 08/21/2005 9:09:22 AM PDT by oyez
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To: sionnsar

If your in houston send your kids to this school...

www.stes.org

Best piping school in North America...


10 posted on 08/21/2005 9:11:32 AM PDT by ARA
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To: sionnsar
I wanted to learn to play the pipes as a youngster. No one in our community could help. IMHO there's no more soul moving music than the pipes. I choke and tear up every time.

mc
11 posted on 08/21/2005 9:28:57 AM PDT by mcshot (Boldly going nowhere with a smile and appreciation for life.)
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To: sionnsar

A house close to me recently sold to a young couple, and the guy plays bagpipes. I've been refinishing the wood floors in my house and stepped out to the porch for fresh air yesterday and heard Amazing Grace and Brave Scotland.


12 posted on 08/21/2005 10:18:16 AM PDT by SoDak
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To: sionnsar

Put me on the ping list--love the bagpipes.


13 posted on 08/21/2005 10:58:30 AM PDT by Tarheel (Tarheel born, Tarheel bred, When I die I am Tarheel dead.)
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To: ARA
www.stes.org Best piping school in North America...

Welllll....my daughter would probably disagree with you. They have an all boys pipeband. Our daughter played with RMM out of Vancouver. They invited her to play with them and when they met St. Thomas at World's in Scotland...let's just say that the United States kids got beat. Pretty bad when a US girl has to go outside the country to play with a World quality pipeband at World's. That was fun for her, but I have to admit that Mike Cusack is an awesome teacher. Our daughter had him a few times at bagpipe camps over the years.

14 posted on 08/21/2005 12:28:03 PM PDT by Pure Country
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To: Graymatter
My 11-yr-old, who's determined to join the Navy, is learning to play bagpipes. So keep yer pants on! :)

So...have you gotten to the point where it sounds as if a whole herd of Canadian Geese are flying through your livingroom? LOL!!! Our daughter would practice in the livingroom with us sitting right there. We would hold the phone on our laps so that we could hear it vibrate--you sure couldn't hear it ring!

15 posted on 08/21/2005 12:30:42 PM PDT by Pure Country
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To: Pure Country
We would hold the phone on our laps so that we could hear it vibrate--you sure couldn't hear it ring!

And if someone called... you were going to try to talk with them...? *\;-)

16 posted on 08/21/2005 1:36:17 PM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity || Iran Azadi)
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To: Molly Pitcher; Miss Marple; Tarheel

You're all on the list now. Fàilte (Welcome)!


17 posted on 08/21/2005 1:37:04 PM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity || Iran Azadi)
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To: Pure Country

They can't win the worlds ever year... But three wins is pretty good...

Ara


18 posted on 08/21/2005 3:04:19 PM PDT by ARA
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To: sionnsar; Miss Marple
Thanks for the welcome, sionnsar.

If Jane is going to mention her Scots names, I will as well...Here a few: McRae, Stark, Hutchison, Urquhart. This is why when I hear bagpipes, the tears start to flow....

19 posted on 08/21/2005 6:26:19 PM PDT by Molly Pitcher (We are Americans...the sons and daughters of liberty...*.from FReeper the Real fifi*))
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To: Molly Pitcher; Miss Marple
Despite many exceptions, it seems the one group most firmly tied to America and her (traditional) ideals are the Scots. I keep wondering about that, other than this . Thoughts?
20 posted on 08/21/2005 6:32:29 PM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity || Iran Azadi)
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To: sionnsar

Please add me to the ping list.


21 posted on 08/21/2005 6:53:36 PM PDT by LTCJ
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To: sionnsar
Please add me to the ping list. Here's my band:



U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band.
22 posted on 08/21/2005 8:49:18 PM PDT by CIApilot
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To: ARA
RMM and Mike's Band usually switch off every other year going. In 2001, they both met head to head for I believe the first time. Mike's a super instructor, but so is Jack Lee. You can't do better than either one of them. Awesome guys!!!!

It's just that Jack lets girls play--of course my daughter says that that is why they won! LOL!

23 posted on 08/21/2005 11:04:08 PM PDT by Pure Country
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To: sionnsar
That book is excellent!! So is the James Webb book out this year about the Scots-Irish...

Now I'd also like to point out another group which meant so much to the beginning of our wonderful country: the Dutch in New Amsterdam....Their practical, business-oriented, self-government ways were quite significant to our nation's culture.

Would you be interested in those names in my family tree;^))) Quite a mouth full, most of them!! LOL

24 posted on 08/22/2005 5:29:23 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher (We are Americans...the sons and daughters of liberty...*.from FReeper the Real fifi*))
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To: Molly Pitcher

Sure. The wife speaks Vlaams, which is almost Dutch... *\;-)


25 posted on 08/22/2005 7:38:19 AM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity || Iran Azadi)
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To: CIApilot; LTCJ

You're on the list now.


26 posted on 08/22/2005 7:38:51 AM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity || Iran Azadi)
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To: Pure Country

You can't compare Mike and Jack Lee.


27 posted on 08/22/2005 7:47:49 AM PDT by ARA
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To: ARA

Do you know who Jack Lee is???? Mike and Jack are both awesome!


28 posted on 08/22/2005 11:18:49 AM PDT by Pure Country
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To: Pure Country

Highland Piping) teaches the pipes at St. Thomas Episcopal School in Houston, Texas. In 1985,1995 & 1998 under his directorship, the band won the Juvenile World Pipe Band Championship in Scotland. As a soloist he was the first American to win the Dunvegan Medal at Skye (1983) and the Gold Medal at Oban (1984 & 89). In 1987, he won the Gold Medal & the Strathspey and Reel Competition at Inverness and the MSR at the Glenfiddich Invitational. After more than a decade of outstanding successes competing in Scotland, in 1997, Mike captured the Big Three by winning the Senior Piobaireachd Competition at Oban, the Clasp at Inverness, and the Bratach Gorm in London.

Found this online.. Maybe dated though...


29 posted on 08/22/2005 1:08:00 PM PDT by ARA
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To: ARA
Here's Jack's. They are both at the top!

Pipe Sgt. Jack Lee

Jack Lee is ranked among the world's most accomplished pipers, having won the Gold Medal, Clasp, and Silver Star (twice) at Inverness, and the Gold Medal and Senior Piobaireachd at Oban, as well as the Bratach Gorm in London, and the Piobaireachd event at the Glenfiddich Championship in Scotland. In 2002, Jack won the coveted Dunvegan Medal in Portree. In October 2001, Jack Lee made a CD as part of Lismore's "World's Greatest Pipers" CD series.

In the mid-70s, he pipe-majored the Canadian Pacific Airlines Pipe Band to the Cowal, European, and Canadian Open Championships in Grade II. A highly successful and sought-after teacher as well, Jack has two students who have won the Gold and Silver Medals. On September 10, 1999 P/M Terry Lee and P/S Jack Lee were each presented with the Meritorious Service Medal by Governor General Romeo LeBlanc in Quebec City, Quebec.

30 posted on 08/22/2005 5:19:15 PM PDT by Pure Country
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To: ARA

If nothing else, we are keeping this thread alive and bringing to the front two of the best pipers in the world. We could go on to Alasdair Gillies--named the greatest piper of the 20th century.


31 posted on 08/22/2005 5:23:14 PM PDT by Pure Country
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To: sionnsar
Anderson, Indiana, is home to Highland High School. They have bagpipes in their band (usually about a dozen of 'em), and are usually in the top 10-20 in the state band competitions. They won the 2005 State Fair Band Day.

http://www.acsc.net/hhs/band/


32 posted on 08/22/2005 5:40:56 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: Pure Country

Absolutely

ARa


33 posted on 08/22/2005 5:52:53 PM PDT by ARA
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To: Pure Country

which US band got beat... Mike's won lots... usually when ever they go over...


34 posted on 08/30/2005 8:51:44 PM PDT by ARA
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