Young members of the Bermuda Island Pipe Band ready for the Highland Games
The Highland Games have been a long-standing tradition in Scotland.
They started when clans competed against each other in sporting events.
Earlier such events were viewed as war games; these brought out the strongest and bravest soldiers.
They werent always about war; they also thought that music and dance were important, as well as the best runner for jobs such as couriers.
In the Highland games you will see multiple things such as highland dancing, pipe bands, tater throw (log throwing) and traditional Scottish food.
Bermudas Scottish heritage has afforded us the opportunity to join in these traditions.
The Young Observer was able to catch up with one of the members of the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band, Dylan Moulder age 16, who attends Saltus Grammar School.
The role in the pipe band for a piper is keeping the beat, stated Dylan, who is one of the youngest members of the pipe band. As a piper you have to learn to keep in time, keep up with music, and march all at the same time.
He also stated that since he is one of the youngest members, hes an advertisement to other young children to say this is fun even at such at young age.
Dylan said that some of the challenges of playing the bag pipes are having to remember four things at one time, things like playing the instruments, keeping in step, marching correctly and remembering the actual tune — as every tune is played by heart.
Some of the things that are rewarding are the fact that you get to meet a lot of new people, which can lead to new friendships, as well as lots of new knowledge.
For Dylan its rewarding because it gives his family a sense of pride because hes playing an instrument that is not really easy to play, nor very common.
When Dylan initially began playing with the pipe band, it was a bit uncomfortable because a lot of people told him the bag pipes sounded like a chicken getting ran over by a car, but he feels really good about it now.
He realised that there was nothing to feel bad about, because it is a tradition and it runs in his familys blood line, and he wants to follow.
He said that he has become so fond of some of the tunes that he plays, he plays them nonstop.
The bag pipes are not the only instrument Dylan has played; he has played all of the string instruments and piano.
The way I got involved was my music teacher asked me if I was interested and I said, yeah, okay, Dylan stated. Theyre always looking for some new band members because some of the guys are getting older so theyre always looking for fresh meat.
If you would like to join the Pipe band or play the drums, and you are within the Saltus community go to the music department and they will help you get involved.
If not, just come to the practices on Wednesday evenings at 5.30, and they will see what they can do to accommodate you. There is no age limit.
Right now in the pipe band there are some pipers as young as five years old, and girls are allowed to pipe and drum as well.
Although this was once just a competition to compete, it is now something that the whole family can enjoy.
You can come to Saltus on Wednesday at 5.30pm or 6pm, but the newcomers usually come at 5.30pm.
They meet in a little building by the junior school ramp. If piping or drumming is not your thing, then there is also highland dancing to enjoy.
So, come out and join them on Friday June 8 at Sandys 360 complex and see what the Highland Games is all about, try some of the food, watch some of the dancing and sports, and listen to the music.
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