My Father’s Pipes (and one more Colin Kyo)

Many years ago, sitting in the passenger seat of our family car, my dad brought up the subject of possible career fields to go into. I wasn’t seriously looking at colleges yet, maybe early teens. The field mentioned as a possibility was chemical engineering, large impact on society and just a little lucrative. I don’t know why the memory stuck in my head. I remember looking at the chemical engineering building at Texas Tech University with the goal to do at least do something productive with my life. A year ago I graduated with my Ph.D. in chemistry (not engineering) from Texas Tech and today I signed a contract for a dual appointment in chemistry (teaching Chemistry II) and chemical engineering (prepping/fixing/piddling around their fluid dynamics lab) for the spring 2013 semester. It has taken a while since that moment long ago for me to make it to the chemical engineering building, but I’m here!

So with that sap story comes another one. Today, I’m playing my dad’s old pipes again. I’ve got them set up with a Gannaway bag that’s a little too big (thanks Bryan, better than no bag at all!) and Colin Kyo drone reeds. Same chanter as before. In the vein of recollection, I feature many of the tunes I grew up hearing my father play. I hope you enjoy hearing them from me as much as I enjoyed hearing them from him.

First up is a 2/4 march by Pipe Major Robert B. Nicol followed by a reel. The sheet music for the reel my father first worked off of was a handwritten copy from Mike Cusack (former piping director, now school headmaster, at St. Thomas Episcopal School in Houston, TX). I think the march would be a great one for grade 4 solo players. Unfortunately it can only be found in one book that I know of:┬áThe Gordon Highlanders, Pipe Music Collection, Volume I. Funny enough, it starts out A LOT like┬áJohn MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage.

Pipe Major Bob Brown’s Farewell to the Ballochbuie and Captain Lachlan MacPhail of Tiree

Next we have an air my dad used to play along with the jig I named after him, the second or third tune I ever wrote, and one of my best, I think. I say used to play because of course, he has retired from piping, so he’s not dead if you were wondering!

Laggan Love Song and Hilton McLaurin

I end this post with one more recording of Bryan’s Colin Kyo bagpipes with Canning tenors and a Rocket bass. The post previous to this one was recorded in the walk-in closet as the little people were sleeping, but since they were off at dance class today I get to record in the larger bedroom, so I wanted to give the CK one last airing in a bigger room. As I’m wont to do, I play tunes associated with whose pipes I’m playing, so this time we’ve got Bryan’s competition MSR.

Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque, Highland Harry, and Bessie McIntyre